Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coffin Ships and Hypocrisy: A Lament for Irish America by Katie Grimes, My Response
"About half of my ancestors immigrated to this country as a result of the aftermath of Irish famine, an event in which people were found dead on the side of the road walking hopelessly in search of food with grass stained mouths. They were that hungry. They left Ireland without legal permission and entered the United States without papers (as did every 19th century Irish immigrant.Funny how we didn’t have border patrol then.) They didn’t wait for years for visas; they just boarded ships as soon as they could. They had suffered centuries of brutal British colonialism-to every other place it claimed as its own. But they entered the United States as immigrants and not slaves, and so they had it made. Bearing the right type of bodies, they exchanged colonization for unenslaved whiteness."

Bridget Mary's Response: My immediate family came to the United States in 1956 and we were documented. Aunt Molly, my mother's sister, and Uncle Fergus sponsored us. 
 The present policy of the Trump administration violates the spirit of welcome that immigrants and refugees felt when they saw the Statue of Liberty.  I still remember my first glimpse of Lady Liberty.
Of course, we need to "vet" newcomers, and keep our country safe, but this can be done without abandoning our core values of being an open and hospitable nation, especially to those in need of shelter from other war-torn lands as well as those who seek economic opportunity here. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

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