Our national quarrel over immigration that was reignited during Donald Trump’s campaign is actually older than this nation. Yet, there has been little substantive debate since his inauguration as the dictates two weeks into his administration showed.
His first dictate could not stand up to the rule of law or the Constitution. So he tried again March 6 with a little softer approach that still offended a majority of Americans, judges, and state attorneys’ general.
The nation would have been better served if President Trump would have waited a day and had sat quietly in the College of St. Scholastica’s Mitchell Auditorium March 7 prior to his second dictate. He would have gotten an historical and social justice perspective on immigration from guest lecturer Aviva Chomsky that would have served us better.
Chomsky did not, however, lay the blame on Trump for where he had arrived on the immigration question
“It’s not like we had a generous immigration policy that Trump was trying to displace,” Chomsky told a gathering of over 100 people.
She said we need to radically change the way we see our history otherwise we end up with incorrect assumptions that permeate the way we think.
And so we end up with the mess that is our national quarrel on immigration.
Chomsky is a professor of history and coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts. She was born into a family of scholars who included her father, linguist Noam Chomsky. She worked for the United Farm Workers in 1976 and 1977, an experience that sparked her interest in migrant workers, labor history, and the effect of global economic forces on individuals…
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