Research puts past in perspective

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My brother just the other day posted something on his Facebook account that brought pretty much the whole family to tears.

No, not an obituary, or a sad little poem about kittens; it was documentation from Ellis Island showing when my grandmother, my mother and my aunt was processed through immigration. It was found through a site libertyellisfoundation.org.

This is a piece in the puzzle of my heritage that I only had anecdotal evidence of — I knew it, only cause mommy told me. To see this in print as part of an official record is pretty exciting.

Along with her misspelled name (she was called Sarika, which the processing clerk wrote as Sarolta, which eventually became her name Charlotte), it showed her residence as Alexandria, Va., where her sponsor, who I only knew as Aunt Jo, lived.

The rest of the details are immaterial; this is just a step in the process whereby my mother became a citizen of this country.

This is my legacy, how my family came to be — and it was possible because there were rules, and those rules were followed.

When I hear about people creating ridiculous group like Occupy ICE, wanting to abolish our country’s border enforcement arm, opening up the borders to any and everything that wants in, I ask myself what rules are meant for, if they’re just going to be tossed aside for no better reason than to make a group of people feel better.

I don’t feel that this immigration stance has anything to do with helping people become citizens. I feel this is more directed toward the protesters, who want to feel like they’ve done something. I’m not even sure they want what they’re protesting for; it seems to me it’s more important to them to be seen protesting — virtue signaling for any and all to see.

My reasoning for that is if there were no ICE, open borders and a free-for-all on citizenship, the very people who protested ICE would be screaming for the government to do something about the mayhem. That is one of the problems of a socialistic approach to government — no answer to the question of “what then?”

The legacy of my family’s journey to this great country is one that I’m proud of, and one that I can share with my children, and their children, and so on. I can point to these records, and can tell about the strength of their ancestors that now flows through the veins of my children.

It’s a shame, then, that the legacy for many families began with a crime.

Laws for immigration aren’t meant to be exclusionary, they’re meant to protect everyone, including immigrants. Respect for the law also is a great lesson to pass on.

Seems a CNN reporter was banned from a White House event for asking uncomfortable questions. Rightly so, this has the media community up in arms.

Granted, the First Amendment grants a free press; it doesn’t, however, grant free rein, and certainly doesn’t guarantee that anyone calling themselves a reporter will get a response. Doesn’t work that way.

However, it should never work the way the Trump administration had it, banning media because the questions are unflattering.

Our government is representative of the people, something they tend to forget, and as such, are answerable to the people. The media, when it works like it’s supposed to, is that buffer, and it’s probably the most necessary buffer there is. Without it, there’s tyranny.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.

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