My jaw dropped down to my navel when I heard the woman from Tennessee say, “The only immigrants who’ve become real Americans are those who arrived through Ellis Island.”
She was a caller at one of those public affairs talk shows on cable television. She sounded quite agitated. “Everyone else is illegal!” she screamed and then hung up.
Well, I imagine that it’s quite possible that there may be people in Tennessee and other such places who still don’t know that the airplane has been invented. Otherwise, they’d know that in the last 50 years way more immigrants have arrived through Kennedy, LAX and Miami international airports than the paltry 12 million that came through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. And definitely, their mode of transportation and port of entry doesn’t make them and their descendants less American.
Read the full column at the New York Daily News.