I, Immigrant

My mother’s family emigrated from Germany in the 1700’s, from Ireland in the 1800’s, landing in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.

statue-of-liberty

1910 Image. Library of Congress.

My father’s family were among those “huddled masses” of the early 1900’s, escaping eastern Europe for a better life.

They were drawn by the promise of work in the steel mills and farmlands of rural Pennsylvania.

I am the child of immigrants.

We all are.

Important to remember that.

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47 Responses to I, Immigrant

  1. Erika Kind says:

    Wow, your family has quite a history, Van!

  2. Well said, Van. And I hope those that that was aimed at, were paying attention. :O)

  3. You are so right Van, most of us are! 🙂

  4. Yup. Saw a post on FB that stated succinctly, “If you ain’t Native American, shut up about immigrants.” It’s all so sad the vitriol flowing so freely. I’m just hoping this too shall pass.

    • If you accept Darwin theory and scientific DNA evidence, we all migrated “out of Africa”over a million years ago. So, in reality, we are all the same; we just adapted regionally. There you go. Thanks, Debby

  5. George says:

    You’re right. I think it’s important that we remember that and find a way to safely and legally allow anyone who wants to come to his country the opportunity to do so, just as my grandparents and aunts and uncles did a century ago. Unfortunately, fear distorts our ability to see things
    clearly and allows a group of people to prey on those fears. We should be smarter than that.

    • I think most of us understand that, and those who do not are prime targets for that fear mongering, George. It’s sad to me that we lose our perspective over that kind of fear. Thanks.

  6. I’m Irish-German, too, as are both my parents. A very common combo in the US.

    • I know that for many years, the Irish were subjected to quite a bit of discrimination on arrival here. There was, again, a push back by those who “came first”. History repeating these lessons. We should know better. Thanks, Kitt.

  7. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    I will offer a slightly different perspective:

    Both my Mom and myself immigrated from Taiwan and are naturalized citizens. She applied for a Visa properly and travelled to the US legally. To earn her citizenship (it took 8 years), my mother had to learn to speak and read English (the test was only given in one language) and had to learn basic American history to pass the citizenship exam. She works, pays taxes and has been a positive contributor her whole life.

    While I am a firm believer that America’s strength lies in its diversity and our borders should reflect this, I do not think citizenship should just be freely given.

    You don’t appreciate or respect what you didn’t have to earn. American needs to continue to be a land of opportunities however “success” can only be achieved through hard work, not entitlement.

    • I agree with all of your thoughts here, Vic. It should be earned. I don’t know that the requirements for citizenship have changed all that much over the years. Not sure. I’m especially attuned to the language requirement. My ancestors learned English quickly, a requirement of the jobs they desired, even before they became citizens. That doesn’t always happen here, where generations are not incentivized to learn English. Thanks for weighing in. ☺

  8. Erica Herd says:

    You’re right. My Dad’s family came from Ireland and my mom’s from Germany and Austria. Compassion is needed, particularly in these difficult times.

  9. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Oh, Van!!! How so many in this county do not remember this truth and are so quick to cross their arms and stamp a foot and say GET OUT! Bless you for this reminder …. it is as valid today as it was when Columbus first landed here. ❤

  10. Absolutely true. It’s stunning to me that so many people have forgotten that fact. It’s just mind-boggling.

  11. Yes it is important to remember Van – a timely post. ❤
    Diana xo

  12. lbeth1950 says:

    Prejudice is rampant. Time to be reasonable.

  13. Wonderful family history so cool. Yes it is always important to remember that for sure, we are immigrants! My mother’s family came from Sweden!

  14. joey says:

    So relatable. Of my great-grandparents, only four lived in the U.S. and of those four, one was Native. Half of my grandparents weren’t even stateside until the 1920’s. How quickly people forget their own history.

    • Thanks, Joey. I am 2nd generation American on my Dad’s side, who are the folks I most connected with growing up. I lived in that culture (Czech/Hungarian) as did most of my neighbors. I’ll never forget. ☺

  15. Reblogged this on sherriemiranda1 and commented:
    Thanks, Van, for this short but poignant post. You are right: Unless you are 100% Native American (or what they call themselves: “Indian”), then you are a child of an immigrant. That’s what makes us American: having ancestors from other places.
    I still hope to follow my maternal grandmother’s roots back to her gypsy beginnings. She was a very special woman who I wish I had known better. 😉 ❤
    Peace, love & respect for all, no matter where they hail from,
    Sherrie

    • Gypsy…fascinating. My grandfather was from Budapest, and it listed “Magyar” as his nationality on immigration documents. I thought the term referred only to gyspy clans, but apparently, most Hungarians were designated as such. Thanks for the reblog, Sherrie. ☺

  16. I’m glad someone reblogged this post for me to see it!

  17. Ellen Hawley says:

    And my ancestors as well. Wouldn’t we be horrible to say, “I’m in, now lock the door forever.”

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