Friday, April 30, 2010

Come one, come all

It is old news that last weekend Arizona passed a discriminatory immigration bill which makes not providing proper documentation to a government official a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5,000 fine. Here is an article discussing the extreme fracture and fervor it has created in America in a little under a week. In discussing the bill's significance with my girlfriend, she was shocked to find my extremely liberal views towards immigration.

Surprising to her, I am pro-immigration along all the spectrums, but especially pro- high-income and technically skilled immigrants. I make the distinction "among all the spectrums" because I read many articles on repealing the skilled workers' quota (which includes sports athletes to the exclusion of doctors and engineers) but not as many that propose increasing America's overall cap. I view this as a subtle slight (at best) against potential Latin American emigrees - racism and xenophobia at worst.

The homeland security argument is a valid point, but I view the costs, both in human and financial terms, as far outweighing the benefits of detering a (in my opinion) low probability terrorist event.

I never knew that the inscription on the Statue of Liberty was so long. All I knew were the succinct verses towards the end (in bold) which really capture the warm and accepting message that I've appropriated as my own opinion towards immigration. I wish America would welcome all who seek her refuge today, for it was her who took on my ancestors when their dream was to come across the Atlantic in a boat to seek a better life.
The inscription in its entirety:

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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"