"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, November 24, 2014

On "Legal Immigrants"

Very interesting article by Ben Railton at TPM on the history of US immigration laws. The meat:

So if your ancestors came before the 1920s and weren’t prostitutes, criminals, or from one of those Asian nations [covered by extensions to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act]*, they remained unaffected by any laws, and so were still neither legal nor illegal. This might seem like a semantic distinction, but it’s much more; the phrase “My ancestors came here legally” implies that they “chose to follow the law,” yet none of these unaffected immigrants had to make any such choice, nor had any laws to follow.

(* -- See? There's always been a racist element in America.)

For the record, my father's family came over well before there were any "immigration laws" -- he and his siblings were all born here, my father in 1916. My mother's family was here well before the mid-19th century: my sister found a land transfer dated 1847 between one set of Strouds and another set of Strouds. (Of course, if you believe family history, which I'm inclined to do, at least some of my ancestors have been here for at least 12,000 years.)

The article is worth a read. Click through.

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