littlephillygirl's blog

We are all immigrants . . . Aren't we?

The stories of the struggles that my great grandparents went through to get to Ellis Island are legendary. Immigration to the United States for opportunity, freedom, and religious tolerance has shaped my family’s traditions, my identity, and my values. The lesson that I learned from my immigrant history is that this is country of opportunity where everyone can be welcomed regardless of where you come from—that is what makes us uniquely American.

In the recent debates on immigration policy, those simple values that most of us grew up with seem to be missing from the debate. Did my great grandmother stow away on a ship from Germany with money in her pocket so that she could pay the “legal status” fee when she arrived? I don’t think so. Did she learn to speak English before she left? I know she didn’t. In fact, her insistence on speaking German at home was legendary. Like many people who arrive everyday from Haiti, Cambodia, Guatemala, Ghana, and other countries, world conflicts and failed economic policies put her in a position to make the very frightening choice to travel to strange country on the chance that maybe she would have a future without poverty and suffering.

What happens to us?

I have been extremely disturbed lately by the public discourse over what I consider to be my personal health decisions. In fact, it is keeping me awake at night. I have heard the arguments about why I should vote for Bob Casey, even though he has said that he would not support Roe v. Wade, explained to me by people who I respect. But, I keep coming back to the question, "What happens to us?" What happens to those of us women who want to control our fertility? What should the government know about my personal health decisions? Does it stop at terminating a pregnancy? Does it start at getting the pill from a doctor? It is not just an abstract discussion for many women and, quite frankly, I am really scared.

Click "read more" below to find out why.

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