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Comic: Bermudez Shorts

The problem with Immigrants... or lack thereof

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Arnie Bermudez

“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!”

That's the poem on the Statue of Liberty written by Emma Lazarus, a Jewish woman in 1883.

A woman who then did not have the right to vote and came from a group of people that have been and continue to be persecuted the world over. A woman who was the daughter of immigrants.

The point being is that America is a nation founded and built by immigrants. It continues to be to this day. To be xenophobic is almost by definition un-American. We all know what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. We also know who hijacked those planes and where they were from. The attacks that took place that day changed America forever and that includes increased security measures on travel to and from the United States. We have to take our shoes off and submit ourselves to "Total Recall" type X-ray machines or very intimate pat-downs.

We also know what happened in Germany right before World War II. The persecution of a certain group of people that according to the German leadership at the time was responsible for all the ills of the nation. A group of people that needed "extreme vetting" and surveillance. That group's vetting got scaled up bit by bit until they found themselves in labor or concentration camps. During that time we in America did a similar thing, to our citizens of Japanese descent.

History tells us that these approaches to our security were a mistake. It tells us that other have slipped further down the fearful slope. We need to learn from history. We cannot fight terrorism with fear. Ben Franklin said it best: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Immigrants are not our enemies, whether they are Muslim, Mexican or otherwise. They are our backbone and always will be.

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