I’m sitting around a small table at my dad’s retirement home. He’s on the far corner, and three women finish out the seats.

“You know,” he said, gesturing across the table, “her family is third-generation on the island.”

On Galveston Island, the term BOI — or born on island — carries an earned level of respect for hardened resiliency in the face of deadly hurricanes and dangerous flooding. A sandbar is, by nature — and because of nature — a curious place to build a town.

I look to a woman sitting to my left, her eyes like small orbs of light, smiles with sparkle of shyness.

“Yes,” she says. “My great-grandfather came over from Germany, my great-grandmother from Switzerland.”

A teenager, her great-grandmother crossed the Atlantic alone and with few prospects.

“Why did she emigrate?” I asked.

“To get a job,” she said.

Her words were so matter-of-fact — and timely.

Immigration is a problematic discussion these days as hundreds of thousands of people migrate toward the United States. Some legally, others not. But in the end, their reasons generally fall into a small number of categories. And from my experience, the motivation drawing my dad’s friend’s great-grandmother is a powerful draw: a job.

As much as we in the United States like to say we’re the world’s beacon of hope, we have never fully achieved the words etched into the Statue of Liberty.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” is a big ask of a nation that is in a constant state of reinvention. Wide-open immigration, as alluded to in these words, is more aspirational than reality. Managing immigration, right down to my mother’s in 1952, is filled with hoops, standards and commitments.

My uncle, a U.S. citizen, even signed a document to the government promising my mother would find gainful employment and never burden the American people.

The allure of a better life in the United States burns worldwide with the intensity of a supernova. Given an opportunity to support themselves and provide for a family can be a powerful magnet in this big, round world.

It is impossible for me to fully appreciate what it is like to live in the world those so desperate to come to America endure. If you’ve traveled beyond national borders, you will quickly be embarrassed at the sheer scale of wealth we enjoy in this country. And by wealth, I mean running water we can drink, the food we toss out on trash day and petty disagreements we can pick with one another over shades of gray.

Right now, tens of thousands are attempting to migrate to America because of a bi-directional problem: away from poverty, despair and persecution and toward a place where they believe self-sufficiency and self-destiny can happen.

This problem will not resolve with angry words but by addressing both ends driving the action. Only then can we fulfill the destiny of our promise etched on the Statue of Liberty.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com.

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(28) comments

Charles Douglas

2 Thessalonians 3:10. "...If A man is unwilling to work, then he shall not eat."

2 Corinthians 8:9 "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." ( Abundantly Supplied ).

2 Corinthians 9:8. " God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you always having sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."

Deuteronomy 8:18 " But thou shall remember the Lord thy GOD: for it is He that giveth thee POWER to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

Romans 8

Charles Douglas

Romans 8:17 >

" And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint Heirs with Chirst; ....."

My point for posting these words OF GOD is because GOD honors and stands by his word! ( Psalm 138:2). If I had a choice between grabbing hold of the words on the Statue Of Liberty, and the Words God put in the Holy Bible, the Bible would win out everytime! Many people are in poverty and remains in poverty because they focus on the wrong things, and listens to the wrong voices. If it worked for me..it will work for WHOSOEVER, WHOSOEVER decides to use them with faith and corresponding actions!

Gary Scoggin

While we’re on the subject of the Bible....

The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:34

Carlos Ponce

Those were LEGAL aliens, Gary Scoggin, recognized by those in charge.

Gary Scoggin

Hmmm... how did the legal part work? Is not mentioned anywhere in Leviticus. Did one of the tribes act as the INS. Did the Ammonites issue passports? Does it say it’s okay to treat non-legal immigrants badly?

Perhaps it’s a rationalization for not obeying verses you don’t like. That’s my bigger point. Anyone can pluck a handful of verses from the Bible to justify anything they want. The Crusades, slavery, and various and sundry wars are evidence of that.

Charles Douglas

Quite alright! That is the very reason I took the years to go to an Oral Roberts University accredited Bible School to learn how to deal with those who come half-stepping about the Word of God! My diploma is hanging on my wall next to my war medals!!! I place more values on that Diploma 9 days a week! [wink]

Carlos Ponce

"Hmmm... how did the legal part work?" The Bible does not state they were ILLEGAL, Gary Scoggin. Since they are recognized by the writer of Leviticus whose tenets were to OBEY THE LAW, one can surmise they were LEGALLY in country.

From WIKi : "The consistent theme of [Leviticus] chapters 17–26 is in the repetition of the phrase, 'Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.' " Can one be HOLY if not obeying the laws as directed in the Torah? No.

I notice you truncate Leviticus 19:34. It fully reads:

" Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you - you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am ADONAI your God." [Complete Jewish Bible]

Were the Jews ILLEGALLY in the land of Egypt? No.

Gary Scoggin

You’re the one that brought up their legal status. And I’m pretty sure the writer of Leviticus wasn’t referring referring to the Israelites as the aliens. He was referring to others that came upon them.

Carlos Ponce

Gary Scoggin, do you really think the religious of the time would tolerate illegality in their land????[rolleyes]

Gary Scoggin

I don’t know. But I think they would follow the Law. Which is pretty clear in this case. But, hey, I’m not the one that started dueling Bible verses here.

Carlos Ponce

Gary Scoggin posted "I don’t know." I agree that hew does not know.

Charles Douglas

Romans 13:1-2 says: "Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. ... There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow." Unless I missed my guess an Alien is one who was not born in a country and not necessarily one who committed a crime, fraud, or broke laws to enter it!

*******************************************************************

Yes, and we have those in this world, and on this forum who don't give a .."RIP".. about the SIXTH Commandment ...commanding us to DO NO MURDER, so they proceed to either murder babies GOD created in the womb like he created them, or THEY SUPPORT IT, which is one and the same! [wink]

Charles Douglas

Some are in over their heads when it comes to the Word of God! So then they have tendencies to go off after having read something but they leave behind them Holy Ghost understanding, having ears which can't hear, and eyes which cannot see.

Gary Scoggin

That’s where YouTube prophets come in handy.

Charles Douglas

Quite alright! That is the very reason I took the years to go to an Oral Roberts University accredited Bible School to learn how to deal with those who come half-stepping about the Word of God! My diploma is hanging on my wall next to my war medals!!! I place more values on that Diploma 9 days a week!

Also I consider any name you call me as a complement! It won't change a thing! I have been call the worst from the best! [beam]

Gary Scoggin

"Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. ... There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow."

So, if we literally follow this with no other context, then the ones who followed orders by running the gas chambers at Auschwitz and elsewhere would have sinned if they had not followed orders. In fact anyone who disobeys a government order is sinning and is subject to punishment.

Bailey Jones

I agree with you Leonard, 100%

Dan Freeman

[thumbup][thumbup]

Helen King

So true.

Jose' Boix

The current Editorial and recent immigration related columns seem to highlight 3 salient points in my view:

1. We are trying to fit the successful American footprint within other societies, cultures and countries,

2. We must understand that this great Country is not only large, but a resulting amalgam, melting pot or salad of societies, cultures and backgrounds. Just consider the size and limited diversity of their peoples; and,

3. These “other” Countries have a significantly different governmental and political structures from the USA; a key element causing the exoduses!

I guess that my background and immigrant experience may be polarizing or tilting my views. There were two montages that became into focus with me: One, of “Little Havana” in Miami and the other of Puerto Rico. Here we have basically the America “footprint” with all the benefits, freedoms and protections of our marvelous Country. Sadly, such “montages” will be difficult to develop as solutions elsewhere.

Just my thoughts!

Charles Douglas

I understand all that sir! However if I'm cold, broke, homeless, and hungry, I should not come to your home seeking to gain entrance, or to break into your house DEMANDING you to take me in, feed me, or for you to give me a place to live at your expense!! If you are saying that is the right thing to do, I know some people right in this area could use a setup like that. I know you, and I know you are not saying that. However there are some who means JUST THAT!

I have nothing against immigration as long as it is done within the laws of this nation as I alluded to in my post earlier. If we do not live with a nations of laws we will abide in chaos and upheaval.

Jose' Boix

Mr. Douglas, the points I developed were on the "fixes" to the huge income of immigrants. I am totally on the side of enforcement of the laws we have. Back when I emigrated, there were specific requirements to follow but with the end result of Citizenship. Trying to "fix" the issues by trying to get the foreign governments to use the American footprint is likely not a successful model to use. Until we begin in earnest to enforce our entry requirements, we will continue to have the same/bigger issues into the future. Just my thoughts.

Charles Douglas

Mr. Boix> [thumbup][thumbup]

David Hardee

Mr. Woolsey says,

"As much as we in the United States like to say we’re the world’s beacon of hope, we have never fully achieved the words etched into the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” is a big ask of a nation that is in a constant state of reinvention. Wide-open immigration, as alluded to in these words, is more aspirational than reality. Managing immigration, right down to my mother’s in 1952, is filled with hoops, standards, and commitments." in his article.

Woolsey well pursues immigration from the immigrant’s point of view and describes some of the basic elements of a legitimate immigrant.

Woolsey leaves the article with this saying, quote “Only then can we fulfill the destiny of our promise etched on the Statue of Liberty.” And that statement is an underhanded denigration of the USA. That etching, Woolsey refers to, is a proclamation of spirit and has no value relative to the laws or the good esteem of our country. Woolsey bestows on those wishing to enter our country a shroud of legitimacy no matter their reason. All while the reason of our country for allowing entry is made to seem like an unreasonable obstruction. The current chaos at our borders is a direct result of the Woolsey-style publications inflicted on our society. We are made to question the legality and worse the humanity of our society for its portion of the chaos. Ergo, these articles create a shame on us, the USA, our laws, and our society.

Allowing entry into our country is and always has been a prerogative based on the countries need. Those prerogatives are codified in-laws and set out the quotas, procedures, and punishments for noncompliance. Articles like Woolsey’s seldom go that deep to disclose these controls because it would cloud the sentiment of a progressive liberal. Neither do these types of publications expose the actual pain and inhumanities inflicted on the county of the immigrants’ origin, the countries they invade and cross, and the criminals that prey on them along the way. Here again, we see where sympathy, charity, and humane are actually nothing more than enabling and enticement.

There is a wonderful, applaudable, and humane sentiment in these liberal articles. But. Why the top echelon of news organizations produce their opinions/editorials with no respect for the context, reasonableness, and full consideration of the subject's legacy -: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past - of the subject matter, has to be their intent to, either misinform, create a perception or promote an agenda. The media in concert with the progressive liberal agendas are inflicting on the impressionable minds a convolution to reality. An OPINION in the microcosm is to be respected. But a media-driven editorial with the mega horn to blast on the general population a scheme is abusive and treacherous.

STOP IT!

Jarvis Buckley

Leonard sometimes your socialist views just pop out of your articles.

Gary Scoggin

Jarvis, just wondering what exactly is Socialist about what Leonard wrote? Other than the fact you don’t agree with it. Is that the definition of Socialism?

Charles Douglas

"So, if we literally follow this with no other context, then the ones who followed orders by running the gas chambers at Auschwitz and elsewhere would have sinned if they had not followed orders. In fact anyone who disobeys a government order is sinning and is subject to punishment." ......Mr. Gary Scoggin

As I So eloquently stated in a prior post, ...some people read the Word of God then run away NOT HAVING understanding of what they read. They have eyes but cannot see, and ears but cannot hear. The answer to your TEST probing is also in a prior post of mine, I'm not going to rob you of the work it will take to figure this out. I know you can do this!!! I got faith in you. I'm done! I got to move to another thread.

Gary Scoggin

My work on this one is done. You know my position. I'm moving on as well, my good friend.

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