Friday, August 17, 2012

"Welcome, welcome, emigrante!"

For me, it would be enough to mention that this is the wisdom of Buffy Sainte-Marie. Perhaps you've heard of her. 

She's a Cree Indian, she's from Canada, she sings (think "Universal Soldier," "Until It's Time For You To Go," "Circle Game"….), she did a long stint on Sesame Street in the late 1970s, and yeah, she's political about Indian affairs, she's 71 years old and still going strong, I heard her modern performance last year, it sure wasn't "Pocahontas with a guitar"—Buffy's disdainful description of the image that some misguided well-wishers created for her years ago—I loved her concert, same old Buffy, singing about the same old uncomfortable realities that she has never shied from mentioning, I loved it…..

I thought about her less well-known "Welcome, welcome, emigrante!" when I read this week that the Obama administration has launched its newest program to do what's right for young illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and have led decent lives here. The program offers almost two million of our non-threatening neighbors an opportunity to avoid the threat of deportation. It ain't citizenship for free…'s a decent recognition that they're here, they're part of us. Of course it's "political," in an election year. That doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post published a brief rundown on it, see the text here.

I join Buffy in saying:

"Welcome, welcome, emigrante!
To the country that I love."

Immigration...a bottom line
...another bottom line

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