Update on Blog Status & Immigration Quote

Cora is eleven weeks old now and doing great! We're all happy and healthy, but Sweet baby!very tired. I returned to work a few weeks ago, but we're still trying to figure out our normal routine. Being sleep-deprived and short of time, Mother of Exiles is not yet back to her former self, and I expect she won't be for some time, unfortunately. As such, I'm going to discontinue regular posts such as the image, quote and famous immigrant of the week, and simply post whatever I can, whenever I can. That will take some pressure off of me and my new family.

In order to preserve my sanity, I'm actively NOT watching Condi Ricepolitics these days. The election is depressing, at best, and the Republican National Convention just frustrates and disappoints me. This morning, however, I happened to see this USA Today article about Condi Rice's speech last night. I generally like her and wish I'd  caught her speech. There are lots of gems in the article, but this one about immigration stood out and I thought it made a nice quote of the day:

We must continue to welcome the world's most ambitious people to be a part of us. … We need immigration laws that protect our borders, meet our economic needs, and yet show that we are a compassionate people.

I only wish more Conservative Republicans agreed with her!

California Farm Labor Shortage - Worst Ever

From CNBC:

The Western Growers Association told CNBC its members are reporting a 20 percent drop in laborers this year. Stronger border controls are keeping workers from crossing into the U.S. illegally, and the current guest worker program is not providing enough bodies.


When asked if any local residents have come out to apply to work in the fields, Craig Underwood replied, "None. Absolutely none." He is even having trouble finding truck drivers and other semi-skilled labor for jobs that pay $12-$18 an hour.

I thought immigrants were "stealing Americans' jobs"?

Team USA - Team of Immigrants

Here's a great story from NY Daily News about the US Olympic Team and how immigrants made up a huge part of it.  From the article:

Winning Olympic medals is nice for patriotic spirit and national prestige, but there’s a bigger point here that goes beyond the world of sports. It's easy to count medals and see how much immigrants have added to American athletics. The contributions in science, business, art, music and cuisine can be harder to quantify, but they are there, too. Close the immigration door tighter, as restrictionists recommend, and we’d have fewer Olympic medals, but also fewer scientific discoveries, fewer successful high-tech startups and fewer worldwide hit songs. Open it wider, and we’ll have more.


Attachments: Faces and Stories from America’s Gates

By guest blogger, Jim Woods

A new exhibit at the National Archives offers a very human face to American immigration.  Through the photos attached to the official documents of individual immigrants, you can look into their eyes, read their stories, and experience how their life became part of the American story.

As President Reagan shared at a campaign rally for then Vice President George H. W. Bush in San Diego on November 7, 1988:

America represents something universal in the human spirit. I received a letter not long ago from a man who said, ‘You can go to Japan to live, but you cannot become Japanese. You can go to France to live and not become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey, and you won’t become a German or a Turk.’ But then he added, ‘Anybody from any corner of the world can come to America to live and become an American.’

In one of my favorite cases from the exhibit, Michael Pupa offers a living testimonial (see video below) to bring an old immigration case from the exhibit into the present as he shares his emigration from postwar Poland as a child and his subsequent American life.

Check out the National Archives’ videos below to glimpse facets of these American stories.  More information about the exhibit is available at the National Archives’ website.

Take the kids to the Archives this summer and share with them the testimony of these American lives.

Extra Points:

  • For a policy solution to fix the mess that Congress has made of U.S. immigration policy, see Dr. Harry Binswanger’s proposal “Open Immigration”.
  • For ongoing and current commentary on immigration policy issues, see Mother of Exiles.
  • NPR’s piece on the exhibit includes interview with historian Erika Lee.

Press Briefing on Exhibit, including personal stories from historian Erika Lee and immigrant Michael Pupa

Discussion of Exhibit by senior curator Bruce Bustard and exhibit designer Ray Ruskin with additional comments by historian Erika Lee and immigrant Michael Pupa