Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor … and Eight Tiny Reindeer

By John Zmirak Published on August 3, 2017

Let’s start with the snark, before permitting ourselves any sincere heartfelt emotion, ok? The best Tweet I’ve seen this week, nay this year, appears below. It refers to the televised scuffle between CNN’s Jim Acosta, who plays a reporter on TV, and White House speechwriter and big brain Stephen Miller. (Read George Neumayr for a sober account of the exchange.)

The topic? Immigration and the Statue of Liberty. Miller gave a reasoned presentation of Trump’s new immigration plan, which while imperfect, would vastly improve our legal admission of newcomers. It serves the national interest, avoids invidious discrimination, and ends an absurd system created by Teddy Kennedy in 1965, apparently on a bar napkin after his sixth shot of Jameson’s.

In response, Acosta read a poem.

It’s a wonderful poem, actually. But it’s just a poem. You know, like “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” The words “Give me your tired, your poor,” etc. have the same legal weight in America as

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!”

And here’s where that exquisite Tweet comes in.

Bad Facts! Bad!

Miller responded by telling Acosta far more about the poem itself than Acosta learned as — pause to scoff like Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock — a B.A. student in Mass Communication at James Madison University.

And liberal Twitter erupted. It’s true, some admitted, that the poem by Emma Lazarus was not part of the original Statue of Liberty. (It’s a plaque that was put up later.) That its embrace of mass immigration had nothing whatsoever to do with the statue’s meaning. But it’s wrong for Miller to know that. You see, some said, that fact is a “favorite talking point” of the “Alt-Right” — whatever that means in this context, since nothing has ever shown that Miller has racialist views.

So while it is a fact, it’s a bad fact. The kind you’re not supposed to know. It’s up there with the suicide rates of post-op transgenders, the body parts trafficking of Planned Parenthood, the promiscuity of male homosexuals, and other occasions of Crimethink.

We just don’t need a million or so mostly unskilled workers every year. We don’t know what to do with them. There aren’t entry level jobs attractive enough to lure the urban poor away from crime or welfare.

Instead of that bad fact, the media would like to offer you some wholesome, thoroughly sanitized emotions. The aw-shucks you feel when you read that lovely poem by Emma Lazarus. The wistful sense of gratitude you experience when you think of your immigrant ancestors. You flip through those sepia photos of them, and wonder what it was like to go through life that color, in a world of black and white.

Living in Black and White

I kid, but not entirely. The world we inhabit is so radically different from that of our grandparents, it’s hard to imagine that they actually lived in color. Likewise our country has changed in crucial ways. But much of the rest of the world has stayed the same — and that’s the source of our problem with immigration.

When my distant Irish ancestors on my mother’s side left Cork, they were fleeing a hell on earth: a moonscape of dead potato plants littered with corpses, some of their mouths green from gnawing on grass for nourishment. They came in “coffin ships” to a New York City with no public welfare system, and only volunteer firefighters — who were corrupt, violent, and Irish. In fact, that describes the city, by then. William Stern of City Journal paints a lurid picture of the impact of Irish immigration on New York.

People came half-starved, illiterate, addicted to alcohol or accustomed to prostitution. The government didn’t help them. It couldn’t. They sank or swam, thrived or died.  Only the Catholic church and its institutions offered material help — at the price of moral uplift. If a young girl stayed chaste, nuns would find her a job as a maid. If a young man stayed sober, some priest would call his cousin and find him a job as a fireman. Those who strayed … were on their own. Many thousands sailed back home.

Tough Work in Hard Times

Indeed, Darwinian conditions continued among some families, namely those where “drink” was an issue. My mother’s mom gave birth eleven times (at home). Only five of them lived past age three. My grandfather was an alcoholic and, alas, a taxi driver. Not the best job/lifestyle balance, I know. But as I said, these were tougher times.

My father’s dad fled the war-torn Habsburg Empire in 1916. He hopped on a U.S. Merchant Marine ship during World War I, and offered to serve on vessels that were hunted by German U-boats. He came to Manhattan and worked the rest of his life shoveling coal into an engine on a tugboat. He could never hope to be captain, because his English was never that good. His job, today, would be illegal — it’s too unhealthy.

My dad served in World War II but scorned the G.I. Bill, seeking out at his father’s suggestion one of the only jobs that had never dried up in the Great Depression: the postal service. So dad carried mail on his back for 37 years (no carts back then). And his son got to go to Yale. When my dad went on to work as a doorman in a fancy Park Avenue building, some of my classmates actually lived there. “My dad hauls your luggage,” I liked to point out to those guilt-harried liberals. But I just thought it was cool.

We can’t live out the lovely words that Emma Lazarus wrote. They don’t apply here anymore.

That’s America, folks. Our parents were sepia or black and white. But we get to live in color. Or so we see it.

We’re Now a Middle Aged Country

But living in color, if you will, changes a lot things. Now we have workplace safety laws and minimum wages, and unions and disparate-impact class action discrimination lawsuits. And lavish welfare programs that enfold vast percentages of the population. We outsource much of our grunt work to other countries, where sepia-tinted citizens still live in black-and-white.

So we just don’t need a million or so mostly unskilled workers every year. We don’t know what to do with them. There aren’t entry level jobs attractive enough to lure the urban poor away from crime or welfare. We don’t know how to assimilate people, since we’re now ashamed of our culture. We can’t give honest answers to problems like sharia. (The only honest answer, actually, is directions to the nearest international airport.)

And so we can’t live out the lovely words that Emma Lazarus wrote. They don’t apply here anymore. We’re a grown-up, full-color country.

We’re a Role Model, Not a Destination

But much of the rest of the world still lives in the dreary shades of poverty and want. They lack the rule of law, or property rights, or decent systems of government, or cultures of entrepreneurship that transformed lands like South Korea and Hong Kong. They produce, every year, millions of unskilled and restless citizens who would like to come to America. Or for that matter, Ireland or Croatia — where my folks came from.  

But grown-up, developed, full color countries don’t need them. America used to, but now it doesn’t. That’s sad but true. If we take too many of them, we will share their homelands’ fate: bankruptcy and chaos. (Especially since so many low-skill immigrants vote for Democrats, whose platform boils down to those two words — see California.)

What we can offer the poor of the world is our good will, our trade, our prayers, and our example. We can be a light unto the nations. And that’s what the vast green statue in New York Harbor was supposed to mean in the first place.

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  • Hmmm…

    Mr. Trump should have the poem sign removed and freedom’s cry mounted there. Hey, be hung for a dime or a dollar or however that goes. They like bellering; what’s a little more. Put liberty up there. Freedom is what is at stake these days. Dems are using immigrants for a new voter base, or that was the plan, so they could soon crowd out the opposition party and essentially take over and execute their global and perverse agenda they can’t really talk about. How inconvenient. They don’t care about immigrants. It’s a voting block, the more the ….

    • Mensa Member

      >> They don’t care about immigrants.

      And conservatives do?

      Undocumented immigrants can’t vote! And other immigrants can be quite conservative. So that’s a bogus argument.

      There is a Christian, non-political, argument for “welcoming the stranger” as the bible calls them. It’s actually a major theme. Verses about helping orphans and widows also apply.

      • Zmirak

        Nonsense. As in “false statements.” Look at voting patterns of immigrants. That’s what matters. The same book of the Bible that calls for welcoming strangers also calls for burning witches. Want to make that deal? I’ll take it. Crickets….

        • Patmos

          “As in “false statements.””

          He’s good at those. He just runs through them like a machine, one after the other.

        • Linda

          Start with Matthew 25:35-40, Luke 10:25-37 and Galatians 5:14.

          • Hmmm…

            It’s called proof text, this digging around for scriptures that seem to make your point, stringing them together for emphasis, assuming one has made a “killer” argument. You’ve lifted all out of context here and failed in rightly dividing the word of truth. (Huh?! Whazzat?) It helps to know the author of them and the one who spoke the first two you have here in particular. BTW, he’s not going around with lambs on his shoulders, murmuring pious platitudes and sappy sayings, then or now. He’s preaching repentance and the Kingdom. He’s calling out Pharisees and hypocrites, knowing those who are in covenant with him from those who are not. But, you always can be if you will.

          • Richard W Comerford

            Ms Linda:

            The problem of course is that the illegal aliens are not starving refugees. They are, overwhelmingly, fit, well fed, males of military age. (See Interpol which puts this group at 85% of total).

            Many of these healthy, well fed refugees do not want to work but expect the American taxpayer (and his descendants as debt slaves to China) to pay for a work – free life style.

            Some of these illegal aliens hate America and wish to impose Sharia Law or Marxism upon U.S. citizens.

            Other illegal aliens are murderers, rapists (Yesterday an already deported illegal alien attempted to rape an 85 year old women), violent gang members, drug cartel members or carry communicable diseases.

            Meanwhile real refugees, because they are Christians, cannot find refuge in the USA and Western Europe.

            But there is a bright spot! Soon you driver’s license may be taken away, you may be required to wear a bag over your head, not appear in public unless escorted by a male family member, and your daughters will find certain parts of their bodies mutilated.

            And I do not hear anything about converting the illegal aliens to Christianity by those who quote the Bible in order to faciliate invasion.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

      • Patmos

        “There is a Christian, non-political, argument for “welcoming the
        stranger” as the bible calls them. It’s actually a major theme.”

        As individuals, not as national policy. God is pretty consistent about not mixing with other cultures. Of course I understand how a pagan like yourself would not understand that, not being Spirit filled.

      • Hmmm…

        Uh, sorry, we notice things … inconvenient … like how the Dems have fast tracked voter registration for large blocks of immigrants under Obama, especially toward the end. Oh yeah, like the group that was marked for deportation, but, oops, got signed up Democrat instead. Oh my, how did that happen? Oh well, it’s done now … These pesky records are hard to keep track of.

      • Paul

        Let us look in depth at what the Bible says about widows in 1 Timothy 5:

        “Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

        A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.”

        Any questions?

      • Richard W Comerford

        Mr. Mensa:

        You posted in part: “Undocumented immigrants can’t vote!”

        It appears that some 6-million illegal aliens (and dead citizens) voted in the last presidential election.

        And the Democrats boast that they have some 78% of the immigrants vote – legal and illegal.

        As in Europe we do not see many orphans and widows illegally entering. We do see (85% according to Interpol) vast numbers of fit, well fed men of military age.

        The Holy Bible says nothing about welcoming invaders who refuse to work, live off the citizenry and prey on the helpless.

        God bless

        Richard W Comerford

  • Paul

    Their debate was very entertaining, google “Jim Acosta vs. Stephen Miller” and find the vids about 7 minutes long. Miller basically destroyed Acosta even though Acosta wouldn’t shut up and kept digging his own grave.

    • Zmirak

      Yes, it was delightful. I’ll add a video link to the story. Thanks!

      • Paul

        I had to watch it yet again, it was a great way to kick off my day

    • Billy Chickens

      Liberals do that…talk over people. It drives me crazy. Why isn’t there a policy that they cannot do that…just get the police to escort them out or something.

  • Charles Burge

    David French at National Review had an interesting take on that episode. It’s very much worth a read.

  • Hmmm…

    After all the tired, poor and criminal elements thrust on her this decade alone, the Liberty Lady is now saying, “Give me a break!”

  • James

    The Zmiraks are here. Time to pull up the ladders.

    • Hmmm…

      It’s his article. You came here. Confused?

      • James

        You don’t seem to be familiar with the phrase “pulling up the ladder behind you.”

        Generous immigration policies in the past benefitted the author’s family, so they were good. The author does not believe that he benefits from them any more, so generous immigration policies are bad. Despite the author’s desperate attempt to find a moral or policy principle distinguishing the two, his position is based on no more than naked, shameless self-interest. His family has received much, yet he refuses to pay that generosity forward.

        3/4 of my family of my family was in this country before the Civil War, with many here before the Revolution. The last to arrive, my mother’s father’s family, immigrated from Ireland in the 1890s.

        • Hmmm…

          You don’t seen to follow simple words. If you expect negativity and have a low opinion of the author, why do you visit his article page and post on its comment board?

          • James

            He can think whatever he wants, but I am tired of him posing as more Catholic than Pope Francis.

          • Hmmm…

            Stay in your own lane, tend to your own business, don’t come around him and insto, presto! your tiredness will all go away ….
            You come here to accuse, ugly. Nobody listens to you; they just try to help you, since you obviously need it, being so warped for attention. You don’t have to be like that. Anybody around you can help, give a smile, give a ride, some attention?

          • Billy Chickens

            He is more Catholic than Pope Francis.

        • Zmirak

          It benefited America to admit my low-skill ancestors because the U.S. needed vast numbers of cheap laborers. Doesn’t need them now. It’s that simple.

          • James

            That’s funny, because I keep reading articles on conservative websites that immigration is keeping the US from demographic decline due to low birthrates.

          • Hmmm…

            low birthrates due to abortion

          • Zmirak

            Public schools are increasingly unusable, in part because of massive bilingualism and imported social pathologies; working class wages have been flat for my ENTIRE LIFETIME, inflation adjusted. Those thing suppress the birth rate. Then we FIX that through more population replacement….

          • James

            Massive bilingualism???? Really? Maybe in some areas, but not at any public school that I am familiar with.

            How much experience do you actually have with the public schools? Where are you getting your information?

            Yes, working class wages have been flat. There are plenty of theories as to why. In the same period, corporate profits have skyrocketed, women entered the workforce, and the computer revolution happened.

          • Clark Coleman

            The number of immigrants needed to forestall demographic decline is about 300,000 per year. We currently import a million a year. The RAISE Act would reduce the rate to the 500,000 to 600,000 range, with the decline in numbers focusing on the uneducated and low-skilled.

        • Hmmm…

          Democrats, liberals, those on the left are always ACCUSING … calling names and judging. It is soooo tiresome. It’s worst than that. It’s the nature of the devil. Satan is the accuser of the brethren … accusing them night and day. That’s what we’ve got these days — no message, no input, no substance — just accusing, night and day, day and night.

        • Richard W Comerford

          Mr. James.

          Please.

          Generous immigration policies in the past, which did not include government handouts, allowed intact Christian families to immigrate legally.

          But the great baby killer, Edward M. Kennedy stopped that 2 1966. Since then we have individuals, mostly healthy, well fed males of military age entering the USA often illegally and living off the already over taxed U.S. working class.

          That is not immigration. That is invasion.

          God bless

          Richard W Comerford

    • ncsugrant

      It would appear that reading comprehension is not your forte.
      The author’s ancestors did not come here to enjoy the buffet of handouts now being offered in exchange for existing in the geography of the US. Further, had they failed to work to support themselves while observing our laws and assimilating into OUR culture, they were relegated to returning to their country of origin.
      It is utterly ridiculous to assert that the US should not have immigration laws that are enforced.
      We may see an over-reaction to the past two decades of obstructing the enforcement of those laws. If we do, it will be the fault of those politicians who have actively undermined our sovereignty and the rule of law.

      • James

        What makes you think that current immigrants are here for the handouts or don’t want to assimilate or are any different from the immigrants of the past?

        • Clark Coleman

          Experience.

        • Richard W Comerford

          Mr. James:

          1. 85% of illegal aliens are fit, well fed, males of military age according to Interpol.
          2. The Western elites are not teaching the illegal aliens English or French or German etc.
          3. Illegal aliens cannot work well in a new country if you do not speak the language of business.
          4. The elites are offering massive welfare handouts to illegal aliens.
          5. There is nothing on the record anywhere that illegal aliens will give up welfare and work
          6. Illegal aliens on welfare are voting for Godless political parties.

          God bless

          Richard W Comerford

          • James

            “The Western elites are not teaching the illegal aliens English or French or German etc.”

            Why would anyone in the United States teach illegal aliens French or German?

            I think you may be confusing the United States with a different country. Like France or Germany.

          • Richard W Comerford

            Mr. James:

            The exploitation of illegal aliens, especially by the Catholic Bishops, (who receive @ $100-million/year from FEDGOV to facilitate the entry of said illegal aliens into the corrupt public school and welfare systems) is most egregious in their failure to teach the illegals the national language of business. Thus ensuring their place as a permanent, servile underclass class.

            Shame on the Catholic Church bureuacracy.

            God bless

            RIchard W Comerford

    • Richard W Comerford

      Mr. James:

      And why would you import innocents to the land of contraception, abortion, divorce, fatherless families, Detroit, the glorification of fatherless families and mandatory sodomy?

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

    • Clark Coleman

      The late Larry Auster pointed out that emotional slogans are no guide to discussion of immigration, e.g.:

      “We are a nation of immigrants.” Great, so should we allow 500,000 immigrants per year, 1 million, 2 million, 10 million, 20 million … how many? The slogan does not produce an answer. If your purpose is to defend the status quo by using emotional slogans to attack all proposals for reduction, I guess you don’t have to explain why the status quo is the best number, because you are not trying to use reason in the first place.

      Same with “pull up the ladders” and any other such appeals to emotion. It would be wrong for us to get into America and then shut the door behind us, pull up the ladder behind us, etc. Great, so should we allow 20 million immigrants a year? 2 million?

      It turns out that rational discussion must lead us choose a policy and defend the basis for that policy. Sloganeering does not require any intellectual work at all.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Look, liberals recognize that voting fraud is more difficult to pull off & a bit less efficient w/out a steady flow of low skilled & non english speaking immigrants. “Bankruptcy & chaos” is not too great a price to pay for survival – if you’re a democrat ….

    • CruisingTroll

      It’s not about voting fraud. It’s about the millions of safety net workers whose jobs depend on a steady stream of people who “need help.”

      If every illegal and anchor baby in California phase shifted to a different universe tomorrow, 1/3+ of their classrooms would be empty. 1/4 of their welfare “clients” would be gone. Roughly 50,000 inmates of California’s state and local prisons and jails would be gone. In 2014, Cali had an estimated 2.35 million illegals. It takes a whole lot of “public servants” to serve that population.

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Good point. However California is a different universe . Those “public servants” are on a mission : to explore strange new worlds , to seek out new life & new civilizations , to boldly go where no man has gone before”. Voting fraud like Nielson ratings helps insure that this “mission” is accomplished. At least until another day when the viewing audience shifts to something not so fictional & this show is canceled ….

        • CruisingTroll

          Their #1 mission is to keep the checks coming. All the rest is window dressing. They’ll say whatever they think is necessary to do so, and who knows, they may even believe some of it.

  • Jerome Horwitz

    40 comments and not one person says Jim Acosta is mentally retarded and needs to have his press creds revoked until hell freezes over?

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