“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!” Statue Of Liberty
When most immigrants set off on the perilous journey to new homelands or settlements seeking greener pastures, the raison d’être typically fits some or all of the creed set forth by the forefathers as indicated by the Statue of Liberty; embarking heavy laden, tired, poor, homeless, tempest-tossed and more. The United States to many is that beacon of light that beckons to them providing relief and solace for their restless hearts.
If the Statue of Liberty represents America’s rich immigrant heritage are we to believe that this message from Lady Liberty is a privilege reserved for some and not others? Considering the plight of the undocumented, DACA, refugees, asylum seekers and the migrants from the Southern borders could it be that Lady Liberty’s message has expired and the lucky ones are in while the rest can rot or die in their tempests?
In the spirit of culture and heritage this Sunday while many American families will be celebrating Father’s Day many immigrant children however will be steeped in depression and hopelessness from pain inflicted on their families by the cruelty of separation, deportations or terror from impending deportations of parents whose only crime is seeking better opportunities for their children.
It is certainly even sadder to hear the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions justify the cruel separation of children from their parents by quoting biblical texts to deter families from heeding the words of Lady Liberty. Could it be that we as Americans and citizens are facing a new temptation that is to treat our fellow human beings seeking refuge in the cruelest of ways? In Jeff Sessions words:
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said at a press event Wednesday. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent, fair application of law is in itself a good and moral thing and that protects the weak, it protects the lawful. Our policies that can result in short-term separation of families are not unusual or unjustified.”
Worth noting however that there is always a biblical passage that can justify anything we as humans choose to do to our fellow humans good or bad, after all the same bible tells us in Matthew 4:1-11 New King James Version (NKJV) Satan Tempts Jesus using many references of Divine intervention.
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
How therefore can we as a nation built on Christian values agree to be served by policies that choose the parts of the Holy Bible that suit our selfish ends while dehumanizing our children, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters?
To be silent in the face of such villainy and cruelty would mean complicity. Fortunately regardless of religion or belief, the ‘milk of human kindness’ is plenty and voices are being heard from all corners. One voice that captures the essence and condemnation of this cruelty are the words uttered by “Late Show” host, Stephen Colbert who last Thursday used his platform to wake us all up sternly taking issue with Sessions citing the Bible in support of separating migrant parents from their children at the border.
The Immigrant Magazine stands with Stephen Colbert and all others in condemning this heartless policy. We are asking the government to retract and retrace its steps and to get this beautiful nation back to its foundation as the land that embraced the huddled masses, wretched, homeless, tempest-tossed, tired and poor. Laws certainly must be obeyed, however laws that treat humans in the cruelest way are against the same laws found in the same Holy Bible that we quote all too often to justify our greed, racism, bigotry and prejudice; “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”
Matthew 22:36-40 King James Version (KJV)
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
“I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Lady Liberty