I am a granddaughter of immigrants.
During the Irish potato famine, my mother’s father emigrated to the United States and was met with signs in businesses saying, “No Irish need apply.” Moving to Chicago, he established a blacksmith shop.
My father’s mother emigrated from Poland, looking for a better life. She was a single parent who built her own house and raised her three children.
I was a teacher of migrants and immigrants.
As a teacher and administrator, I saw how migrant parents spent long hours laboring in the asparagus fields to provide a better life for their children. Many of their children grew up to become small business owners and teachers.
In the 1980s, schools saw the influx of Southeast Asian families, fleeing from Communist regimes seeking asylum for their families.
Today, I see bigotry, fear-mongering and racism toward immigrants and migrants generated by Donald Trump and his surrogates. His America is not the America that I envision for my grandchildren. My America provides opportunities for people to come to our country, like my grandparents did.
The words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” are not and should not be meaningless.
Suzanne Feeney, Kennewick