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Prejudice Reimagined

by Dan Seagren

Posted: March 24, 2019

Considering the immigration debate…

NBC News

Princeton University

Editor's Note: The two photos represent two perspectives on U.S. immigration: illegals caught at the southern border by Border Patrol (left) and a Naturalization Ceremony at Princeton University (right) where legal immigrants have gone through the process of becoming U.S. citizens. Not all legal immigrants, of course, become citizens, but have legal status through various types of visas.

Re imagine is vague in its definition such as to imagine again or anew especially to form a new conception. Prejudice likewise is also defined as an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge. However, both prejudice and re imagine can also have a positive effect as we shall attempt to show in this column.

What is happening these days at the border as well as with our stance (position) on immigration is on our minds today, yesterday and will be tomorrow. My mother was an emigrant, fulfilled the requirements in 1912 and became a citizen, learned English and became a Registered Nurse (RN). My granddaughter came to the USA from China at the age of 11 months and just finished collage and started her new position. Our daughter-in-law is from the Philippines, married our son and they live and work in Texas. So if I am prejudiced, I suppose I have that privilege.

We have come a long way since 1912 in Immigration procedures, privileges and positioning. Whether we can go back or forward depends on re-imagining as well as purifying our prejudice. We want to welcome strangers not invaders (intruders), those who will enrich our society, assimilate, learn our customs and language, utilize their skill and knowledge, and become legitimate citizens. Our Constitution calls for this after all these years and sets the goals.

Yes, many who come are poverty stricken, mistreated, unemployed, desperate for a new opportunity, However, some come for lesser or ulterior motives and some are sponsored by family and friends or benevolence which is not always beneficial.

Today figures vary on Illegal Immigrants within the country from 22 million to half that number depending on how the count was determined. The costs to the country are considerably higher than the benefits from illegal Immigrants. These Immigrants rose in late 1900s and early 2000s peaking in 2007 and 2008.

How to remedy this is not easily agreed upon but must be accomplished lest our reputation as a welcoming, sanctioned, Immigrant Nation fades away. Above all, certain essentials including abiding by our Constitution, tightening our borders, insisting on legitimacy, welcoming potential citizenship and assimilation, solidifying relationships with neighboring countries, identification of legitimate immigrants as well as unfavorable intrusions are all preliminary necessities.

Is this likely? Only if necessitated by the people, supported by Congressional leaders and judiciaries, made known abroad, congruent with the Constitution and re-imagined

Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: March 24, 2019

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