On Wednesday, January 21 at the National Cathedral here in Washington, the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins delivered a sermon to President Obama and other luminaries entitled "Harmonies of Liberty", [full text| Video |MP3]which greatly inspired many, including my LA-based daughter, who was so impressed, she emailed me the sermon which I otherwise would have missed.
Rev. Watkins offered a stirring call to unity and good will. Her words were full of hopeful advice about sharing and compassion which of course befitted the occasion.
In her sermon, she quoted Emma Lazarus. That poem is frequently used by those who want to promote open borders. But Emma didn't write it for that purpose. France gave the U.S. the Statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" to recognize the workings of ordered liberty in American society as an example to the world. The Statue was a call for other nations to emulate our democracy, not an invitation for the whole world to come to the US. My 2007 op ed on this subject may be of interest.
From a book about the Statue of Liberty,
"Historical amnesia also seems to have affected the Lazarus poem. According to Mr. Moreno's book, 'The New Colossus,' though written in 1883 to help raise money for the pedestal, it was forgotten until it was rediscovered in a Manhattan bookshop; the text was inscribed on a tablet placed on the pedestal in 1903.
'Emma Lazarus's poem was not originally attached to the statue in the public mind,' historian Dr. Boime said. 'That would come with the waves of immigration after the turn of the century.'" [Cracks Found In the Myths Around Statue; Park Service Librarian Writes Book to Clarify Lady Liberty's Origins, By Glenn Collins, New York Times, October 28, 2000]
As a keynote to her sermon, Watkins talks about a Cherokee grandfather telling his grandson that humans embody within two wolves, one full of vengefulness, anger, resentment, self pity, and fear, while the other embraces "compassion, faithfulness, hope, truth and love." "Which one wins?" asks the grandson. "The one you feed."
Nice, eh? However, the problems facing this planet really call for a reduction of our human numbers, which are heading for 9 or 10 billion by 2100, absent an apocalypse, from the almost 7 billion today. The US population of 320 million could reach a billion by 2100. For a worldwide view, read chapter 7 of Lester Brown's book, Plan B 3.0.
This is how to express compassion for our fellow man—by appreciating our limits and having respect, love, and kindness. Giving away our country to the point of bringing it to ruin, which unlimited, unneeded immigration is in the process of doing, will eliminate the USA's capacity to continue as the primary example of providing for the world with foreign aid generosity. Weakening the USA, now that rare beacon of a working democracy in a world of countless tyrannies, makes no sense for the world.
Rev. Watkins says at one point: "In international hard times, our instinct is to fight—to pick up the sword, to seek out enemies, to build walls against the other–and why not? They might be out to get us. We've got plenty of evidence to that effect." I can only hope this "walls" reference is not a slap at the newly built US/Mexican border fence, which will actually protect lives and has proven an effective deterrent here and many other places in the world. See my OP ED Israel Proves Border Fences Work.
Every aphorism has an opposite one, like "good fences make good neighbors". And it would not be harsh to note that the Mexican government has been promoting the export of its unemployed to the USA.
Today, I fear, the down economy is another excuse for corporate America to replace expensive people, American citizens, with an infinite number of international workers.
Did you know that there are more English-speaking people in China then there are Americans in the world? With mathematics and engineering as universal languages, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and others have invested billions in Asia to capitalize on the local market and talent.
As he made numerous personal contacts after his inauguration, Mr. Obama of course met with many special interest groups, including a group representing illegal aliens. I am hopeful that he will not succumb to the importuning of those who think the Rule of Law is obsolete.
A Taiwanese immigrant and a legal US citizen, Yeh Ling Ling, Executive Director of Alliance for a Sustainable USA, in Oakland, CA, just had published a most temperate and straightforward article entitled, in Harvard Law School's Record titled Examine Mexico's Real Intent Before Reforming Immigration. Speaking of wolves feeding, she just sent me a video about the supporters of Aztlan, those claiming the US Southwest belongs to illegal aliens, which speaks volumes about the kind of anarchical situation that is evolving in America.
What the open border crowd want is "comprehensive immigration reform"—which to anyone who can read means full amnesty for the 20 or more million here illegally now.
Many patriotic immigration reform advocates, including FAIR, offer solid advice on how to turn back this burgeoning invasion of illegal aliens, actions which are "comprehensive", achievable and effective. These include no amnesty, a security fence from San Diego to Brownsville, enforcement of immigration laws against employers, mandatory employer verification of identity and Social Security numbers, restriction of all federal and state benefits, Justice Department support, a congressional declaration that children born to illegal aliens are not automatic citizens, no chain migration, English as the official language—and a "time out" for all immigration until these actions can be put in place.
Will the majority of these suggested actions be done? Sadly, probably not. But if E-verify is extended (this government system allows employers to quickly and accurately check to see if job applicants are here legally–it works almost 100% of the time) and the recession deepens, the power of the open border demagogues will be substantially reduced. People of every ethnic background who are here legally will see their best interest lies in the Rule of Law.
Of course the greater problem now is the legal importation of 138,000 immigrations a month on various visas, the kind that could put many, even more high tech Americans, like my engineer son, out of work. Over a million a year brought legally into a deepening recession! Idiocy!
By the way, I should remind readers to go again and have a look at that Roy Beck's seminal lecture on world migration and US immigration. Go to www.numbersusa.com and punch up "The Gumball Presentation", without doubt the clearest explanation of world migration ever.
Just remember, folks, whichever of those two Watkins wolves are embraced, the world can't go on breeding at present levels if it expects to be able to keep feeding the masses of new arrivals.
Rev. Watkins, I hope you meant that we could be generous to the world in our external giving and in our attitude toward those in need without opening our borders indiscriminately.
The USA is a job magnet—only slightly less attractive in its present economic condition to many who are poorer and still see us as the premier destination.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.