Many immigrants came to America the 'old-fashioned' way, through Ellis Island [Letter]

Editor:

I am the son of a Greek immigrant and Italian mother who was a second generation Sicilian. My father came to America among the 518,000 Greeks between 1892 and 1954. My mother’s parents were among the 4.6 million Italians who came between 1820 and 1931. Her parents came to Ellis Island like my father did, but his story is unique. Like his father, and two brothers who preceded him, he was only 14 when he landed at Ellis Island in 1915 accompanied by his uncle.

Every person over the age of 12 wanting entry to America had to have some money because the authorities felt if you had cash, you might not steal to survive. You had to be healthy, or else they could send you back for something as minor as pink eye. You had to have a family sponsor already in the U.S. and prospects for employment. Your application for entry was processed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and, if you passed all the requirements, you entered the country legally. It took him until 1929 to earn his U.S. citizenship. A proud day for a kid from a small Greek mountain top village. He learned English, and was a successful businessman his whole life, employing others and raising a family. A true patriot, who was turned down for military service in 1941 because he was too old.

He would not recognize our porous border problems today. He would feel little empathy for those who disrespect our laws and use coached phony statements to claim asylum. Entering illegally has nothing to do with immigration but everything to do with criminality. Doing so disrespects the millions of true immigrants who overcame great hardships of personal courage and effort to arrive here legally.

MS-13 and the Mexican Cartel are a corruptive force behind the Latin invasion using our weak border enforcement and broken immigration policies to flood our country with drugs, disease and people of few skills or abilities. A border agent said recently, many children (70 percent unaccompanied: Source-ICE) and adults from these poor Latin countries have never seen a flush toilet and know little about physical hygiene. In 1915 most would be turned back from where they came.

Liberals want open borders, Conservatives want a wall. America needs the concept of Ellis Island again. Those who say Trump supporters are like Nazis know nothing of history.

My father came willingly, legally and proved he was worthy to be a part of America’s promise. Real Nazis ripped helpless women, children and the old from their homelands, sent them to concentration camps, stripped them naked and murdered them by the millions in gas chambers before burning their bodies. Healthy men became slave laborers or died in the same camps, starved beyond recognition. Liberals like to distort reality when it serves their agenda. Maybe they should visit the restored Ellis Island to see how over 12 million “aliens” became U.S. citizens — legally.

Anthony Lambros

Fallston

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