Letter: Contributions from immigrants
What does it mean to be an American? In her letter published April 17, Patricia Carter Harding refers to the American way and she states that new immigrants to the United States are not embracing the American way. I wonder to what she is referrin...
What does it mean to be an American? In her letter published April 17, Patricia Carter Harding refers to the American way and she states that new immigrants to the United States are not embracing the American way. I wonder to what she is referring. To me, part of being an American is celebrating the diverse backgrounds of all our citizenry. Does not one of our country's famous icons, the Statue of Liberty, represent the welcome the United States has historically given to immigrants?
Most of us, if we go back in our family history, can find an American immigrant story. These are stories of people who came seeking new opportunities for a better life, to work hard and build up the community in which they lived. I hear these same stories today from recent immigrants, so how is it that they are not embracing the American way?
Far from bringing the ruin of the United States, immigrants have contributed and continue to contribute to the vitality of this country. We are not being overrun by immigrants. Even if one would use the highest estimated figures on the number of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, they would account for less than 4 percent of the total U.S. population.
I am grateful to be a part of the city of Willmar where we have a diverse and vital immigrant community. I am proud to welcome them as a part of our ongoing American immigrant story. We all are part of God's creation, and all part of the American dream.
Pastor Naomi Mahler
Paz y Esperanza Lutheran Church