(Bloomberg Online) – On my right, a Catholic nun from Ukraine, in her habit. On her right, a woman from Liberia. On my left, a couple from India.
Altogether we are 50 immigrants from 30 countries ranging alphabetically from Albania to Vietnam, gathered in a small town of historical renown: Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.
Facing a reproduction of the famed painting depicting George Washington rafting across the nearby Delaware River in 1776, we pledge to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. And with that, we’re citizens. In booklets that the government hands out, we are reminded that the U.S. has a cherished history as a welcoming country: Americans, Abraham Lincoln said in 1860, “should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.’’
The night before, news broke that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — the same agency that hosted the naturalization — was removing the phrase “nation of immigrants” from its mission statement.
Those fraternal feelings are being tested like never before, or so it seems. History tells us otherwise.
Source: Bloomberg Online