I recently spent two and a half days in a hospital 50 miles away. If there had been no immigrants born in foreign countries working there, directly assisting me, I’d still be in a hospital bed.
It’s not hard to tell these people are foreign born – they have accents no other Americans have. I met 10 -- four from Nigeria, one from India, one from Nepal, one from Mexico, one from Russia and two Muslim women. All but the one from Russia were persons of color.
I remember the president attempting in the first month of his presidency to formulate a policy seeking to bar Muslims coming into the United States until the courts ruled that the exclusion was unconstitutional.
Later he said “Why do we want these people from s___hole countries in Africa, El Salvador and Haiti? Why can’t we get more people from Norway to come here?” Then recently, talking about four congresswomen of color he disagreed with, “If they don’t like it here, why don’t they go back to where they came from?” Three of the four were born in this country.
These 10n people in the hospital all worked hard, some of them 12-hour shifts, some two jobs; they were friendly and courteous and all handled medical tasks with skill that indicated training and competence. They weren’t stealing jobs from Americans; they were working side by side with American workers.
There are 35 million people in the United States. All came from immigrants except the children of Native Americans and slaves. Our country wouldn’t be the same without them. What the workers in the hospital, from housekeepers, to nurses, to nurses’ assistants and doctors had in common is they worked all hours of the night and day, they worked hard and they all cared about their patients.
No matter where they come from, their color, their accent or why they came here, I’m glad they had the drive and ambition to come and I was glad to have them caring for me.
As the script on the Statue of Liberty states to our immigrants: “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.”
I’m happy to open our arms to the masses with the ambition to be free in the land of opportunity. The lazy don’t come, and let’s face it – the Norwegians aren’t coming again.