Steve Jobs’s father is Syrian. Sergey Brin of Google is Russian. Satya Nadella of Microsoft is Indian. Tim Cook of Apple is Alabamian. Deadpool is Canadian and Wolverine is Australian. My dad is a Swede born in Coral Gables, FL. His father came over on a boat from Sweden as did his mother. Donald Trump’s mother was from Scotland. His wife is from Slovenia. His United Nations Ambassador is from South Carolina, but her American citizen parents are from India.
I do not oppose Donald Trump’s executive order that orders a pause in immigration from seven countries listed by Barack Obama as state sponsors of terror or with active terrorist organizations operating within their borders. I think it was poorly written and some of his White House staff should be fired for intentionally excluding language that would have resolved the green card issue. But I also see a real and troubling trend of some Trump supporters and even some within his administration being hostile to immigration in general, not just illegal immigration.
We are a nation of immigrants. My mother’s family has been here since the Revolution. But into that family flowed immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and Sweden. If you are reading this, your family is more likely than not the same way. Many of our major corporations are run by either immigrants or the immediate descendants of immigrants. Many of our American inventors who improved the lives of people globally are immigrants or the children of immigrants.
I would hope that the Trump Administration recognizes this and the language this Administration and its supporters use on the issue of immigration recognize that this nation has always supported legal immigration and should continue to support legal immigration.
If those in government are concerned that there are too few jobs for Americans because of immigration, their response should be to spur economic growth, not curb legal immigration. Words do have meaning and value and hostility to immigrants, in general, is neither very American nor helpful in calming opposition to President Trump’s policies on illegal immigration. We must be vigilant in distinguishing between the two.