Charles Krauthammer has a long piece on the Immigration Bill and building fences. This whole fence argument comes with a timing that I find full of synchronicity. What with all of the air play Ronald Reagan’s Berlin speech has gotten on the anniversary of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Here we are in America…Land of the Free, wanting to build walls to keep out the huddled masses we once claimed to want
The final argument against fences is, of course, the symbolism. We don’t want a fence that announces to the world that America is closed. But this is entirely irrational. The fact is that under our law, America is indeed closed — to all but those who, after elaborate procedures, are deemed worthy of joining the American family. Those objecting to the fence should be objecting to the law that closes America off, not to the means for effectively carrying out that law.
A fence announces to the world that America is closed to . . . illegal immigrants. What’s wrong with that? Is not every country in the world the same? The only reason others don’t need such a barrier is that they are not half as attractive as America, not because we are more oppressive or less welcoming.
“Those objecting to the fence should be objecting to the law that closes America off, not to the means for effectively carrying out that law.” Does he not think that that may be the biggest part of the problem Congress is having? Immigration Reform seems to be seen as two entirely separate issues by the opposing sides of the political spectrum.
Maybe I missed something at the end of the last century? When they refurbished the Statue of Liberty did the scrub of the immortal words on the tablet?
THE NEW COLOSSUS
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land,
Here at our sea-washed, sunset- gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome, her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin-cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she,
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore;
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Maybe, we need to re-evaluate exactly who we are, America. Once we held ourselves to a higher standard than the rest of the world. Now the world is beginning to think the American Ideal is just a myth because we choose not to live up to the standards we created as a people. Even after the cleaning and the polishing, there seems to be some tarnish on that torch Lady Liberty holds aloft that is causing the light of liberty to be dimmed even in America.
As President Reagan said”…tear down this wall!”