My northern European ancestors were immigrants to this country in the 18th and 19th centuries. My Muslim friend who took me to see the fireworks and the new Hispanic friends who shared their truck are 21st century immigrants. Yet they were helping me.
For much of our nation's history, we welcomed immigrants. To hear some politicians and their followers, you would think that is no longer true. But the Statue of Liberty still stands in New York Harbor as a beacon of hope, proclaiming the promise of Emma Lazarus's poem that we once so proudly believed:
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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"