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The Sensitive Issue of Immigration Reform

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While history records that Christopher Columbus discovered America, it also tells us by the time he got there, the land had already been inhabited by tribal groups who were known as hunter-gatherers that was assumed migrated from Siberia and we all know today as Native Americans. It had been said that since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas led to centuries of conflict and adjustment between Old and New Worlds. Europeans had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were extremely different. The differences in cultures caused political tension, ethnic violence, and social disorder between Native Americans and Immigrant Europeans. The European colonization of the Americas changed the lives of the peoples of the continent forever. Eighty to 90% of Native Americans diminished while ravaged by epidemics of diseases such as smallpox, measles and cholera brought by Europeans explorers. These culture of people suffered high mortality rates, violence on the part of colonists which resulted in massacres on the indigenous groups and enslaving them. The U.S. Bureau of the Census (1894) detailed that the North American Indian Wars of the 19th century cost the lives of about 19,000 whites and 30,000 Native Americans.

The real reason behind reminding us of such a time in history is to inform those in leadership responsible for re-creating or remodeling our immigration policy that their ancestors were immigrants as well when they arrive in this country. Long before they showed up, it had already been inhabited by a different race, culture and ethnicity of people who were forced to embrace new ideology, plague of diseases most of which ended up in great conflict, loss and casualties. To Americans, originally born here who see immigration as a one sided story, unable to relate to the struggles on the other side of the world or why many lives flee to the borders to crossover into a side that provides the opportunity of equality, forgetting that among that many are Europeans descendants who saw an opportunity in a land other than the one they came from which is why they gatecrashed and forced their way in, no one can truly claims the rights to these lands when the results of its occupancy came from intimidation, bloodshed, slavery and many more shortcomings. We are all just as guilty as any outsiders struggling to fight their way in.

We need to be reminded of our own foundation to better understand how to relate to others. How will you know exactly what to say to a person diagnosed with cancer when you have no experience or anything to relate to horrors that comes with the pain of such a disease? I believe it is shameful to be reminded of our roots before we can relate with others when such stories have been well documented and forwarded down generationally. But for some of us when the idea of sharing our meal with visitors reduces the ration we are normally used to when we already carefully waste so much of what we have, we forget so easily our forefathers were once visitors as well who bit off much more than they were supposed to and not just reducing the ration of others but an entire population due to their patriarchal views and cultural differences. Should others feel guilty for pursuing the same life you are already living? Immigration reform is a very sensitive issue which should be carefully thought about and not living out the journey through which our ancestors and forefathers became citizens of this country. God bless.