Americans, at what point in history did we forget about the significance of this quote?

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

-Emma Lazarus

It's on the Statue of Liberty and it's something that resonated for a lot of immigrants entering our country to contribute to the melting pot/salad bowl that is America. I don't think it's conditional on whether or not we share the same skin color or political philosophy. It doesn't matter what creed or lack of one a group of potential immigrants has. I think it's a beautiful symbol that we should all aspire to but have fallen short of as of late mostly due to ignorance and the fear that it breeds.

EIther we start living up to those standards or we tear it the fuck down and stop pretending that we are more morally upstanding than we really are. Hypocricy is an ugly thing regardless of what the subject is.

What are your opinions?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • well here in japan where the population of foreigners (including koreans born in japan) is less than 3%, the people including young people in their teens and 20s are against immigration because as prime minister abe stated, it's harmful to our people and our first interest is to protect our people and culture. immigration leads to rising levels of crime especially terror. we don't want immigration.

    aboriginals lived in japan before they got overtaken by hordes of people from what is now the korean peninsula and mainland china.

    this goto excuse is overused but yes, if you strongly insist on keeping immigrants out for centuries, you will not be accustomed to foreigners which breeds xenophobia. of course countries like sweden and germany were not accustomed to the vastly different cultures of the millions of people who they let in either. they didn't get used to them until they were there living together. obviously.

    western countries do not believe that they have people or cultures to protect.

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    • why should some cultures be forced to lose their culture while others are coddled and excused for their racist actions ”oh let them preserve their culture”

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    • please tell that to prime minister abe

      also, when you visit japan check out all the rural and suburban areas which are now depopulated ghost towns inhabited only by a few elderly people.

    • That's sad how the population is decreasing in Japan. I'll definitely visit the country someday 👍🏼

Most Helpful Guy

  • Like all modern societies, the United States has immigration laws.

    Having immigration laws does not betray that quote in my opinion, however I'll be the first to tell you that the way immigration is handled by the US is beyond stupid. We treat those who enter the country illegally better than we treat those who play by the rules, that's wrong on so many levels.

    Our immigration laws need to he completely revamped, becoming a legal citizen of the United States should not take as long as it does and the process itself needs to be streamlined, I strongly support well-written legislation that would do this.

    Those who have lived here illegally should be given the opportunity to do things the right way, however they should have to get at the back of the line just like everybody else. They should have to pay any income taxes they SHOULD have paid during any work they performed while here illegally plus reasonable penalties for breaking the law. They should also have to learn English and pass a citizenship test.

    Doing these things does not betray that quote, but we have to face reality which includes a rapidly rising domestic population which is already outpacing our resources among other issues.

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    • I'm not advocating open borders or anything by any means. I'm also frustrated by our immigration laws and think they need to be streamlined as well.

    • One of the biggest problems that keeps preventing reform is the path to citizenship, democrats keep pushing for all the illegal immigrants that are already here to be taken in first, which is a huge slap in the face to people who have been trying to do it right all along. As I said I'm in favor of letting these people become legal, but not at the expense of the other immigrants who have been waiting years.

      I believe a law can be written that would address this concern and at the same time speed up the process for becoming legal.

What Girls Said 7

  • That was written in another time. We can't hold ourselves to the same standard ad infinitum. Anerica was a country that needed peopled. Now it's a populous country who's citizens increasingly need the opportunities that would start to be eaten up with unchecked immigration.

    Nobody is saying take a Trump approach. Just be realistic about the country's infrastructure in THIS century.

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    • Well when it comes to population density America isn't THAT populous. I mean.. Japan has 1/3 the population of the US in a country smaller than the state of California..

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    • For sure. Thanks for having it with me.

  • Yes, that quote is on the Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island, the original immigrant documenting station. I don't believe people of any color/creed, religion etc should be discriminated against. But I also believe that immigrants entering illegally and not going through the proper documenting process should not be permitted.

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  • The moment the non white and Jews started to arrive at our shores.
    History is well documented.

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  • Agreed.

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  • We don't care about quotes now, we just listen to Donald trump bit not rlly cuz we look at he's hairline.. Oh wait he doesn't hav a hairline

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  • some people don't come here yearning to be free

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  • Uh, when we ran out of room? Urban sprawl is not exactly a good thing

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    • We haven't run out of room.. Japan has 1/3 of our population in a country smaller than the state of California. We have plenty of room. Cities will always be busy.

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    • I meant that there is no argument against climate change. Not one that is valid.

    • My mistake my mistake. I stand corrected 👍🏼

What Guys Said 19

  • My opinion is that we do need to make our country more accessible, but we still should have a law on immigration. Personally, I can't see any reason why it should take five years for an immigrant to become an American citizen (three if they serve in the military, at least as of 2002). I think it should be a two-year process tops, but shortened to one if they serve in the military.

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  • I read it's no longer outside on the Statue of Liberty but has been moved inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue. There must be a reason, of course.

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  • Are you preaching or asking a question? Emma Lazarus was born into a rich New York Jewish family and had private tutors as well as being an early Zionist. I wouldn't take her opinion or the people who inscribed her opinion as that of the average American.

    A lot of the early immigrants to this country were indentured servants and slaves. In the early days of this country the central and western portions were thinly populated and there was a lot more room for immigrants then. Of course there was the small matter a few million Indians who had to be moved so the immigrants could have their land.

    The government knew that settling the land and increasing the population would make the country bigger and stronger. The immigrants would provide hard and cheap labor and not be able to sponge off a welfare system like we have today. Things are not the same today and they were never as simple as the words above.

    Tell me, how do you reconcile being able to "breathe free" with being put in a melting pot? How can you say a political philosophy doesn't matter if someone has a philosophy or creed that is inconsistent with freedom?

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    • Why can't people breathe free amongst diversity? If anything it forces people to be more tolerant in my experience.

      Let's just be blunt: which philosophies or creeds are inconsistent with freedom in your opinion?

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    • So you are listening to some radical left-wing media that thinks that primitive tribal behavior is superior to Christianity? Does that include cannibalism? The reason that they chop people up with machetes in Cameroon is because that is a primitive tribal method of doing things in that country. Did your friends tell you that Cameroon has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. They threaten to chop the women up if they resist or scream. They sure didn't get that from Christianity did they? Do you see anyone chopping up homosexuals in the US? A whole lot of homosexuals have killed other homosexuals by infecting them with AIDS - and they knew they were infected!

      True Christianity is following the teachings of Jesus who rejected violence and said to turn the other cheek. A savage people could benefit from a little Christianity. A civilized people have to worry about too much Christianity.

    • Same can be said of Islam. The majority of Muslims are good and law abiding people. I'm just trying to expose biases here. Muslims aren't supposed to commit suicide or commit murder just like Christians but people find ways to rationalize poor behavior. Check out the movie God Loves Uganda it could really illuminate American roles in foreign terrorism. They're extremists so of course they're blinded to their own wrongdoings.

  • i am reminded of that quote every time i rush the Statue of Liberty Great Wonder building when playing Civilization V lol

    I've practically have it memorized by now.

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  • Same mentality everywhere

    Highlighted recently during the Syrian refugee crisis and many European nations turning them away. in the process, conveniently forgetting how welcomed many Europeans fleeing the Nazis during the second World war were welcomed in the same region for safety.

    Here in Australia, many were shielded by natives from PNG during the same war. With many natives purged as a consequence. Memories short, with Australia stopping the same natives seeking refuge here from crisis

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    • I've read a bit about the refugee crisis in Australia too. I have some friends in the region. Sad tale.

  • The Emma Lazarus poem was not a part of the statue that was a gift to America from France. It was added later. Also, at that time America was still a young country with an open frontier, and we've certainly taken in tens of millions of immigrants in our history. At this very moment, under current law, America's legal immigration system is the most liberal and generous in all the world. We bring in one million people every year (on autopilot) with green cards and thus a path to citizenship. No other country comes close. In addition to the one million green cards per year we bring in another 700,000 on various guest worker or student visas. One of the problems is that we've moved away from the widely-shared conception of the "melting pot" to the multi-culturalists' concept of the salad bowl. Immigrants earlier in our history were expected to learn our language and assimilate. That's no longer the case in many instances. Another problem is that the American economy over the last few decades has only been producing jobs at a rate sufficient to provide jobs for the new arrivals, and indeed almost all net new job growth is going to new arrivals. And yet our legal immigration system doesn't account for this by adjusting the number of green cards downward; that's because the one million/year is on autopilot. 94 million Americans of working age are out of the workforce. Our public schools, infrastructure and social welfare programs are under strain. We should be decreasing the number of new arrivals, and certainly not importing those whose beliefs are such that they are a threat to the country.

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    • Why can't we have a country with multiple distinct cultures and languages? I'd say regionally culture is very distinct already in America. I don't have a problem with future generations of Americans being bi or trilingual. It would make our workforce more adaptable.

  • The American spirit is built on a foundation of some beautiful pieces of literature, but unfortunately a lot of it has been exposed to B. S.

    -The 1776 Declaration of independence said: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    -The ~695,000 African slaves in 1776 America respond with: "DAFUQ?"

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  • World War One, when, despite many German citizens and a history that nearly had German as the national language, congress voted to change the name of sauerkraut to " Freedom cabbage".
    #thosewhoforgethistory...

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  • First, there wasn't a welfare state in Emma Lazarus' time. It was a Land of Opportunity, not a Land of Entitlements.

    Second, the fact is, we have had periods of mass immigration, followed by restrictive periods:
    Before 1860: floodtide
    1860-1890: civil war, reconstruction restricted (indeed, an argument was made that emancipated slaves should have priority)
    1890-1921: floodtide
    1921-1965: restricted
    Since 1965: floodtide

    After 50 years, it might be time to turn the spigot off, or at least down. The Mexican American (US citizen) unemployment rate is already well above average.

    The "melting pot" used to turn ethnic ingots into American steel (yes, the metaphor had to do with steelmaking). Today, it is looking like a crusty slagheap, with ethnic elements who no longer like to be American, and the social structure breaking like so much brittle iron.

    If we didn't have the academic poison of "multiculturalism" and again focused upon Americanism, perhaps we could keep the gates open. But alas we do.

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    • You think people have to think and act a certain way to be an American? How do you define what an American citizen should be like?

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    • @COCOCHANEL well if you go back far enough in history all countries are a land of immigrants lol. Thousands of years versus a couple hundred is a huge gap. All cultures today are fusions of previous ones. That's why I questioned how this person defines "American" culture.

    • Agree 100%. Muliculturalism only breeds hatred. You can be a different skin color all you want. But if you refuse to assimilate into American culture, you can get the fuck out

  • I would say the right-wing elitism killed it, the one that thinks emergency medical procedures are only meant to be available for the privileged who can cough up thousands of dollars from a pocket of their shirt.

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  • u know u apply to be an immigrant now? its kind of out of context... do u realize this? or did u just not care? or are u trying to hoodwink ppl? or a combination?
    obviously that was done when people came over in "bus" loads. that dont happen no more yo. u fill out a paper and u wait ur turn. u get called in line and when approved u buy ur plane ticket and fly over, or sail what ever. ur acting like bus loads of terrorists are our friends. they are not. pretty ballsy a day after brussells to be saying we need to let more of the little terrorists into our country. have u been tracking their crime record? the refugees hit the ground running in our country. they didn't wait for an invitation to start crime. didn't even wait for their "BUS" as u call it. they started crossing illegally from down below mexico and above in Canada... ya real good people, and they clearly have some backing of someone... can't be terrorists... they were tracking the terrorists in brussells u know. they couldnt find them. im willing to be u live in a major city, a target of terrorists. yet ur so quick to allow random people u have probably never met protect u from these strangers who want to stop ur way of life for no other reason than their extremist paper told them so. maybe some time u will realize ur on the wrong side. maybe too late, who knows. i know longer care about regular america citizens, important ones are taking steps to protect themselves. the world has been on fire the past 10 years and apparently no one has been paying attention, the flame is catching up.

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  • We never did forget it. We are an immigrant nation and take well over 1 million new immigrants every year which is way more then any other country. We have been doing it the longest too. Just because we don't blindly accept every migrant doesn't mean that we have no morality.

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    • I'm not advocating blind acceptance I'm just saying that people let ignorance, fear, and stereotypes blind them to actual good people.

    • That's for sure.

  • Totally agree

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  • I think most people have forgotten mostly because even if they do go to the Statue of Liberty, they have gotten in the habit of not reading anything, not even a simple sign saying which door is the entrance and which is the exit.

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  • As good as it sounds on paper, I believe that too much variety leads to more separation, more unclear expectations of the people and thus, more chaos.

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  • That only applies to special Anglo-Saxon people we want in.

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  • Agreed

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  • We live up to vague quotes on a statue? Words mean different things to different people. If you could meet me half way with your translation I would better understand I could give you a more precise opinion.

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  • Before that was ever written and it has always reflected a minority opinion.

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    • Why do you say that?

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    • Republicans like skilled, highly paid immigrants like technologists because they vote Republican.

    • For sure but that's a minority of immigrants no?

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