Deborah’s family immigration story: little has changed

Deborah MunozBy Deborah Bornstein Munoz

Gallup came out with a new poll June 27 (see More in U.S. Would Decrease Immigration Than Increase) in which they asked:

In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased, or decreased?

The conclusion was that more in the U.S. would decrease immigration than increase it. Support for increasing immigration is up, yet more would still curb it.

It sounds as if little has changed since the 1890s when my great-grandparents from Lithuania faced this (see Countries and Culture: Lithuanian Americans by Mark A. Granquist):

“Lithuanian immigrants were seen by settled Anglo-Americans as part of the ‘immigration problem’ of the late nineteenth century: the poverty and illiteracy of many of the new arrivals, their Eastern European language and culture, and their devotion to Roman Catholicism [and Judaism–my insert] put them at a distinct disadvantage in a country where scores of immigrant groups were competing for jobs, housing, and a better life — the so-called ‘American Dream.’ Because Lithuanians often took low-paying, unskilled laboring positions, they were not considered as ‘desirable’ as other immigrants. In addition, their involvement in the U.S. labor movement at the turn of the twentieth century led to even more discrimination and resentment from a frightened and suspicious American public.

“Throughout the twentieth century, however, Lithuanian Americans began to climb up the economic ladder and gain an important place in their local communities. This mobility allowed them to enter the American mainstream. Members of the post-1945 immigration surge—with their fierce opposition to Russian communism and their middle-class professionalism—have adjusted smoothly and rapidly to the American way of life.”

Deborah Munoz 2My Great-Aunt Sadie (on left) with other family members at Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Maine.

Deborah Munoz 3Passover, 1960. My Grandmother Pearl is in the left corner and I always miss her so much, especially on holidays. I’m seated at the table on the right surrounded by family members.

—–
Deborah Bornstein Munoz is a Republican activist who resides in Prince William County, Virginia. She is Vice President of a commercial construction company. Deborah’s family came to the United States from Lithuania in the 1890s as Ashkenazi Jews fled Eastern Europe.

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One thought on “Deborah’s family immigration story: little has changed

  1. […] (Children may define Republican insensitivity). Guest poster Deborah Munoz also addressed it (Deborah’s family immigration story: Little has changed). Both Daniel and Deborah’s articles are reposted […]

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