BUILD THAT WALL! BUILD THAT WALL! BUILD THAT WALL!

A loud chant, or a quiet poem? “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!” In those few precious, well-chosen words Emma Lazarus captured the essence of what I like to think of as the ‘heart’ of my country. I’ve always thought it ironic, that the woman who wrote those words, a woman born into a large Sephardic-Ashkenazi Jewish family, would likely have been turned away trying to escape the horrors of Nazi Germany in the late 1930’s. At the same time a plaque with her words was being placed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, the Immigration Act of 1903 was being passed, sometimes called the Alien Enemies Act. It was intended to keep out Anarchists, revolutionaries, and radical labor unionists. The lamp beside the golden door that was a welcoming beacon was now used to show the way out. That applied to foreign-born troublemakers, and the act allowed the use of administrative procedures without that pesky due process detail. We can go all the way back to 1798 and thank the men…

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