“Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me”

Since Trump’s election to office, a fair amount of attention has been on immigrants and the immigration process. From building a border wall between Mexico and the United States to the separation of parents from children, there has been no shortage of media buzz both for and against what is taking place.

Desperate to learn more about the immigration situation in this country, I took a first hand look at Title 8 of the United States Code and at the Immigration and Nationality Act. I waded through a barrage of legal jargon that ran on page after page. It was a labyrinth of hyper links and terms that only those who know how to navigate and possess understanding of the system could possibly survive. Even then I feel certain that details would be overlooked.

Everything from regulations, forms, and definitions can be found on these sites but one must certainly know what they are looking for and have the exact information as to what is needed. Like anything related to the government, it is complicated. For a natural born citizen of ordinary background trying to learn what is needed to gain a visa, provide a sponsorship, or just gather information it would be near impossible to decipher without professional help. If it is this complicated, how can a person who speaks little to no English, with little to no education and access to few resources possibly understand the process?

The procedures required for applying for an Immigration Visa is a bit more straight forward but the documents are once again so confusing that a layman will be easily overwhelmed. The applicant must file for an immigration visa through the consular process (look into this) at a U.S. embassy or consulate. If they do not have a sponsor in the states than they must file an immigration petition. Once this is approved the appropriate visa can be applied for. A medical exam and interview then follow and then finally a decision is made to grant entrance into the United States.

Of course none of this is free. An immigrant fee is required to pay for the process packet. This fee ranges from $160 to $930 depending on the type and circumstances. This is per person, mind you!

Looking at all this and the incredible expense for a person who usually has so little to begin with, is it any wonder that so many try to come to this country though other means.

Since Trump came into office several changes have been made to the immigration policies but the Migration Policy Institute points out that “Congress has thus far shown little inclination to pass major immigration legislation” and the courts have down their part to slow or end certain initiatives pursued by the Trump administration. However arrests of unauthorized immigrants have risen, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was canceled, some nationalities have been banned from entering the country, and the refugee admissions has been reduced.

At one time, immigrants came on boat, often arriving in New York. On their journey to new beginnings they would pass the Statue of Liberty in the harbor. Inscribed on her is the promising message of this country to these immigrants:

“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-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

In light of what is seen and heard in the news today, children ripped away from deported parents, talk of walls and closing borders, it is hard to believe that the United States is a welcoming country anymore. The country built and founded by immigrants, whose blood was spilled upon the soil while building railways, mining for coal, and forming the infrastructure of this nation now turns its back on people of other nationalities. It’s mind boggling.

Even the Declaration of Independence recognizes the basic rights of ALL men.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

No where does it say that only Americans are created equal.

The world is a heavily populated place and we need to learn to share the resources of this planet. Satellite images of Earth show no lines, no borders and labels. The only breaks are between water and land, geographical partitions, not national divisions. Instead of walled borders, perhaps we can recognize the fact that we are all human beings with basic needs such as food, water, and shelter. Instead of making the immigration process so complicated and expensive, perhaps the change that the United States needs to make in order to become “great again” is to learn how to share and be humanitarians by helping our neighbors instead of increasing their hardships.


For forms and information – https://www.usa.gov/enter-us

Questions – 1-8444-872-4681

Laws, Regulations, and Guides – https://www.uscis.gov/laws/laws-regulations-and-guides-immigration-and-nationality-act

Visa Fees – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/fees-visa-services.html

Listing of U.S. embassies and consultants – https://www.usembassy.gov/

Presidential Proclamation 9645

No immigrant or diversity visas for the following countries:

Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen

for more information on Presidential Proclamation 9645 – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/presidential-proclamation-archive/june_26_supreme_court_decision_on_presidential_proclamation9645.html

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