Immigration History

D L Henderson
3 min readFeb 2, 2024

February 2, 2024

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” proclaims the “Mother of Exiles,” in words that reverberate today as a definition of what America offers to the world. — https://www.loc.gov/programs/poetry-and-literature

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m here and I’m dog tired — physically, politically, and socially.

There has been structural racism in this nation since its outset — from the genocide by European immigrants (politely called “Pioneers” and “Settlers”) of the Indigenous American Nations that lived on this continent for tens of thousands of years. — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

What followed were the people systematically kidnapped from Africa. “In late August, 1619, 20–30 enslaved Africans landed at Point Comfort, today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., aboard the English privateer ship White Lion. In Virginia, these Africans were traded in exchange for supplies. Several days later, a second ship (Treasurer) arrived in Virginia with additional enslaved Africans.” — https://hampton.gov/3580/The-1619-Landing-Report

Indentured servitude followed with taking advantage of desperate people from Ireland and other European Countries. “Approximately 300,000 European workers immigrated to the American colonies in the 1600s as indentured servants, and indentured servitude continued throughout much of the 1700s. Indentured servitude in the U.S. began in the early 1600s in Virginia, not long after the settlement of Jamestown.” — https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/indentured-servitude

For a dramatic presentation of the history of structural racism in this country, watch the movie “Gangs of New York” and decide who you most resemble — the leader of the “Dead Rabbits” called “the Priest” or the leader of the “Natives” called “the Butcher.”

This little essay was inspired by a post on FaceBook with a video complaint railing against the Royal Treatment given to immigrants from South and Central America. Many are not considering that most all came here to escape extreme political and environmental calamities — just like our forefathers. They came like most immigrants with the hope of working for better lives for themselves and their families. But they . cannot get workpapers until the Federal Government changes the Immigration Laws to allow them to work. That fact didn’t make it to the calculus of the video.

It’s been a political hot potato for decades (and as I have alluded to in this composition, for centuries).

Everybody, it seems, has overspent, more than they earn, using the Beast of credit cards, and our government is in a political stalemate — not for humanitarian reasons or upon the ideals our nation was founded upon — but instead for personal power, prestige, and wealth, for personal advancement and electoral advantage.

They have chained themselves to this unrighteous method of governance — neither of, nor for, nor by the people they are supposed to represent.

So, here we sit in this sorry pool of self pity and are put in a deep hole to literally fight each other for the leftovers — a pit for dogfights for the entertainment of the cruel and sadistic.

Maybe this is the situation: “You’re so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshanks’ table that you’ve missed your God-given right to something better.” — https://movie-sounds.org/war-movie-sound-clips/quotes-with-sound-clips-from-braveheart

“Longshank’s table” is, of course, allegorically depicts our “generous” Leaders in our government… Well, it used to be”ours,” anyways…

So, what are we ordinary folks supposed to do?

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” — Bible verse, Hebrews 13:2, New Living Translation.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between