Papers, please.

I’m not inclined to be gentle with those people who crank up the whine about how undocumented immigrants are such a horrible plague.

I encountered one and gave him this to chew on.

Most of us aren’t descendents of “legal” immigrants. There was no legal or illegal status. You just showed up and were taken in. It’s pretty sad when the child of someone who was passed through the gate with nary a glance stands in privilege and denies the same right to anyone else.

The fact that Mexico is all but a hellhole is OUR fault. I grasp that empathy really isn’t their long suit, but if the situation were reversed the supremely self-absorbed so-called “conservatives” that so hate undocumented immigrants would quite likely run for the border so fast that they’d leave scorch marks across the Rio Grande.

I know damn well that if I’d have been born there, I’d pretty much do whatever it takes to get the hell out and to the promised land of opportunity across the border. The difference is I’m willing to admit it.

If your ancestors came over before 1924, the only thing they might have been required to do was pass a literacy test. That’s IT. Assuming they weren’t Chinese, anyway. Chinese weren’t allowed after 1882. Because racism. Didn’t want them stealing American jobs.

Well, aren’t you lucky to have been born to a family that happened to get in before the gates were slammed shut? Between roughly 1890 and 1920, roughly 4 million Italians were allowed in. No barriers except an innate nativistic racism that all new immigrants were faced with until they were accepted as “white” within a generation or two. We instituted quotas in 1924, allowing 2% of the total population of any nationality that was already here.

The privilege of birth. You happened to be born in America rather than in the Old Country. How nice for you. And me, as it happens, as my ancestors were Irish, who ALSO were treated like dirty foreigners for a couple generations until they integrated.

Eventually the Hispanics will reach that saturation point, but given how much racism they’re facing, I’m wondering how many generations it’ll take before we decide THEY’RE all but white. Of course, they DO have far too much of that dirty Native American blood, so maybe they’ll end up as a permanent underclass like the descendents of our former slaves until there are just too damn many of them to continue doing that.

I mean, what the hell, right? So what if your ancestors got spit on? The glorious thing about America is we get to turn around and do it to the next group to come in.

Fact is, they’re people. And they’re desperate. Just like MY ancestors were when they arrived from Ireland.

Just like the Jews from Eastern Europe fleeing religious persecution also arriving in large numbers; over 2 million entered the United States between 1880 and 1920.

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