Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor

To The Reader’s Forum:

“Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

These works, penned by Emma Lazarus in 1883, have welcomed millions of people seeking a better life. My parents were among them, arriving in the Spring of 1929. Six months later, their dreams were shattered with the collapse of Wall Street. Times, of course, did improve over the years, and the average citizen has enjoyed a good life with many amenities for many decades.

However, the financial news of recent times has not been as rosy. Many governments at all levels face revenue shortfalls coupled with increasing expenses, threatening reduced services and even bankruptcy. Expenses not budgeted possibly/probably cannot be accommodated.

The flood of immigrants from the late 1800s to the 1920s became reduced to a trickle from the 1930s to the present for a variety of reasons. However, as we all know, our southern border is currently the scene of an avalanche of people, many of them children and youths, fleeing intolerable conditions. The strain on already stretched-to-the-limit budgets is enormous and becoming unsustainable in some communities.

Emma Lazarus’ words reflected the values of the American people and their government at that time. The Statue of Liberty has been the symbol of those values, standing tall and proud with her torch of freedom held high as she welcomes all who come to our shores.

“Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” Can we/will we now help those yearning to breathe free?

B. Dolores Thompson

Jamestown