Pretend for a moment that France offered to give the United States another Statue of Liberty.
The question then becomes where to put it. Somewhere in California would be a good choice, giving our nation the opportunity to provide a welcoming symbol to immigrants on both coasts. Virtually any city would love to make room for this instant landmark, any city except perhaps Murrieta, Calif. Just recently buses carrying women and children, refugees from Central America, made their way into that town for processing, a procedure required by law. These people had been through hell to get here, only to face a welcoming committee better described as a mob who told them to get out of town.
Picture your own kids on that bus and imagine the cold, stark fear they must have felt when a trip to the promised land turned into a nightmare as men and women turned back the buses with intimidating screams and shouts and “Go Home” signs.
There is no doubt we have an immigration problem, and a do-nothing House of Representatives is doing nothing about it. But this isn’t about whether those people on the buses should stay in this country or leave. It’s about the deplorable actions of some of those Murrieta residents, descendants of immigrants themselves, as we all are. Thank God most Americans are far more compassionate towards those in desperate straits.
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So let’s put our make-believe Statue of Liberty somewhere else, where people will read and perhaps heed the following inscription:
“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!”