Ellis Island, 2.0

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An earlier generation of immigrant children

Yesterday, my office looked a little bit like what I would imagine Ellis Island resembled in the early 1900s, when immigrants from all over the world flocked to these shores for the proverbial ‘better life.’  President Obama’s new initiative allowing people who came here as children to obtain working papers and some minimal protection from deportation finally went into effect, and the reaction was overwhelming.

I know that many of my friends on the right have no sympathy for someone who jumped the border or overstayed his or her welcome, even if that someone was an infant at the time of entry.  I understand that there is a sharp difference of opinion as to who deserves to be here, and who doesn’t.  And I refuse to pull out the ‘racist’ card that liberals throw around because their analytical skills have atrophied.

But  if you could have seen the people in my office yesterday, you might understand why it’s important to welcome these young people instead of keeping them in the shadows.  None of them had foreign accents when they spoke.  Not a one looked any different from the teens and young adults on the streets of Philadelphia (which may not be a good thing, but I digress…)  They were all in school, all planning to go to college, all loyal to the only country they’d ever known.

This is a good thing, people.  And it’s about time.