When did we become a nation of immigrant-haters?

BY Shawn Sedaghat

I really don’t need to go on a soap box here and talk about the benefits of immigrants to our multi-cultural society, but given the recent stunning re-election defeat of House Republican leader Eric cantor leaves me wondering whether we, as a nation, will ever look at immigration based on facts rather than allowing it to remain a lightning rod for our fears and anxieties about our economic woes, and where we have come as a country. Immigrants did not get us here, but strange and outrageous immigration law and policy may have somewhat thwarted our growth in the right direction. Almost thirty years after a Republican President Reagan recognized the potential of immigrants both politically and economically and offered millions of illegals amnesty, the very word is now taboo and can cause the unseating of favored and favorite politicians that dare to even approach something remotely similar to that brave solution. There is absolutely no other way to deal with an estimated 11 million immigrants, some of whom have now lived in this country for decades, but through a humane and well-thought-out amnesty. Our politicians, dumb down the national discourse by calling a solution to this national black-eye “Path to Citizenship” or “Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007″ or ” The Ted Kennedy Immigration Reform Act of 2014″  lest we break out in a collective frenzy and unseat them all if they tell us the truth. “Amnesty”. There, the word itself does not hurt us. We have 11 million immigrants who are second class citizens and we, as a decent people need to acknowledge it and do something about it.

Oh, by the way, if you are of the mindset that immigrant are not a source of pride for this nation, just look at a list below :

  • Louis Adamic (1899 – 1951) Slovenia 1913 Writer,
  • Lucien Aigner (1901 – 2000) Hungry/France 1939 Photo Journalist
  • Mary Antin (1881 – 1949) Russia 1894 Writer
  • Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992) Russia 1923 Writer
  • Charles Atlas (1893 – 1972) Italy 1903 Bodybuilder
  • Mischa Auer (1905 – 1967) Russia 1920 Actor
  • Abraham Beame (1906 – 2001) England 1906 Politician
  • Sidor Belarsky (1898 – 1975) Russia 1930 Singer
  • Ludwig Bemelmans (1898 – 1962) Italy 1912 Writer/Artist
  • Irving Berlin (1888 -1989) Russia 1893 Composer
  • Frank Capra (1897 -1991) Italy 1903 Film Director
  • Samuel Chotzinoff (1889 -1964) Russia 1895 Pianist
  • E.E. Clive (1883 – 1940) Wales 1912 Actor
  • Claudette Colbert (1903 -1966) France 1912 Actress
  • Edward Corsi (1896 -1965) Italy 1907 Politician
  • Ricardo Cortez (1899 -1977) Austria 1903 Actor
  • Frank Costello (1893 -1973) Italy 1893 Gangster
  • Donald Crisp (1881 -1974) Scotland 1906 Actor
  • Xavier Cugat (1900 -1990) Spain/Cuba 1915 Musician
  • Karl Dane (1886 -1934) Denmark 1920 Actor
  • Al Dubin (1891 -1945) Switzerland 1896 Lyricist
  • David Dubinsky (1892 -1982) Poland 1911 Union Leader
  • Max Factor (1872 – 1936) Russia 1906 Cosmetician
  • Edward Flanagan (1886 – 1948) Ireland 1904 Priest
  • Felix Frankfurter (1882 – 1965) Austria 1894 Lawyer/Judge
  • Douglas Fraser (1916- ) Scotland 1922 Union Leader
  • Marcus Garvey (1887 – 1940) Jamaica 1916 Ethnic Leader
  • Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931) Lebanon 1895 Writer
  • Emma Goldman (1896 – 1940) Russia 1919 Anarchist
  • Samuel Goldwin (1882 – 1974) Poland 1896 Movie Producer
  • Arshile Gorky (1904 – 1948) Armenia 1921 Painter
  • Bill Graham (1931 – 1991) Germany 1941 Music Promoter
  • Juano Hernandez (1898 – 1970) Puerto Rico 1915 Actor
  • Jean Hersholt (1898 – 1956) Denmark 1914 Actor
  • Joe Hill (1879 – 1915) Sweden 1902 Activist/Writer
  • Sidney Hillman (1887 – 1946) Lithuania 1907 Union Leader
  • Francis Hodur (1866 – 1953) Poland 1893 Priest
  • Immigrant Native Land Year Occupation
  • Bob Hope (1903 – 2003) England 1908 Actor
  • Sol Hurok (1884 – 1974) Ukraine 1906 Movie Producer
  • Vincent Impelliteri (1900 – 1978) Italy 1901 Politician
  • C.L.R. James (1901 – 1989) Trinidad 1953 Historian
  • Al Jolson (1886 – 1950) Lithuania 1894 Actor/Singer
  • Elia Kazan (1909 – 2003) Turkey 1913 Director
  • Ruby Keeler (1909 – 1993) Canada 1912 Actress/Dancer
  • John Kluge (1914 – ) Germany 1922 Businessman
  • Simon Kuznets (1901 – 1985) Ukraine 1922 Economist
  • Meyer Lansky (1902 – 1983) Poland 1911 Gangster
  • Alfred Levitt (1894 – 2000) Belarus, Ukraine 1911 Painter
  • Charles Luciano (1897 – 1962) Italy 1906 Gangster
  • Bela Lugosi (1882 – 1956) Hungary 1921 Actor
  • Mike Mazurki (1909 – 1930) Ukraine 1915 Actor
  • Claude McKay (1890 – 1948) Jamaica 1921 Poet
  • Antonio Moreno (1886 – 1967) Spain 1902 Actor
  • Alan Mowbray (1896 – 1969) England 1920 Actor
  • Philip Murray (1886 – 1952) Scotland 1902 Union Leader
  • Pauline Newman (1894 – 1986) Lithuania 1901 Union Leader
  • Louis Nizer (1902 – 1995) England 1905 Lawyer
  • William O’Dwyer (1890 – 1964) Ireland 1910 Politician
  • Warner Oland (1880 – 1938) Sweden 1894 Actor
  • George Papashvily (1895 – 1973) Georgia 1923 Writer
  • Frank Puglia (1892 – 1975) Italy 1908 Actor
  • Gregory Ratoff (1897 – 1964) Russia 1920 Actor
  • James Reston (1909 – 1995) Scotland 1920 Journalist
  • Hyman G. Rickover (1898 – 1986) Poland 1904 Admiral
  • Edward G. Robinson (1893 – 1973) Rumania 1903 Actor
  • Knute Rockne (1888 – 1931) Norway 1893 Football Coach
  • Nicola Sacco (1891 – 1927) Italy 1911 Anarchist
  • Ben Shan (1898 – 1969) Lithuania 1906 Painter
  • Igor Sikorsky (1889 – 1972) Russia 1919 Inventor
  • Spyros Skouras (1893 – 1971) Greece 1910 Movie Producer
  • Lee Strasberg (1902 – 1982) Austria 1909 Director
  • Jule Styne (1905 – 1994) England 1912 Composer
  • Arthur Tracy (1899 -1997) Russia 1906 Singer/Actor
  • Baron von Trapp (1881 – 1948) Austria 1938 Singer
  • Rudolph Valentino (1895 – 1926) Italy 1913 Actor
  • Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888 – 1927) Italy 1911 Anarchist
  • George Voskovec (1905 – 1981) Czechoslovakia 1951 Actor
  • Anzia Yerierska (1885 – 1970) Russia 1901 Writer
  • George Zucco (1886 – 1960) England 1913 Actor