Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Kom to Amerika !

As you know, many people have been protesting our national governments most recent attempt to deal with illegal immigration. Sadly, too many of the young people who are protesting these proposed laws are alienating people by waving the flag of Mexico, carrying signs written in Spanish, shouting to the cameras "Viva La Raza!" and ditching school to participate in these protest marches.

On my father's side of my family, I am third generation Polish ancestry. (My Mother's side of the family has been in the America's since about 1630.) My fraternal great-grandparents immigrated to this country about 1890. One of them, Marczel Kuczynski, left the part of Poland under the dictatorship of the Tsar of Russia. He claimed he left Poland to avoid "killing people". You see, at that time, young men of his social class (the small Polish middle class), were expected to serve in the Army of the Tsar when they turned 18. At that time, one of the things the soldiers of the Tsar did, were the polgrams, the random terrorization and killing of Jews. Marczel claimed he didn't want to be a "kozzack", those who were in the forefront in the Tsar's polgrams. So, from sources unknown, he scraped up the money to immigrate to the United States. He settled in Chicago, and became a naturalized US citizen. He worked as a janitor and laborer in various factories in Chicago. They lived around other immigrants (Poles, Lithuanians, Hungarian, Irish)in the Chicago neighborhood called "Bridgetown", not far from today's Midway Airport. He married a girl from Poland and they had some children. My great-grandma, Maryanna died at age 36, probably from TB. His son's went to the local city schools, but when they became teens, they were expected to work and bring their money home to Papa. My grandfather, Stanislaus, finally decided to leave Chicago in 1917, at age 20. He took the train to St Louis and joined the US Army. He did have a skill that his company commander could use, he could type. Not many men could type in 1917. So he was a company clerk. They trained, then set out for an embarkment camp in Massachusetts. While there in Massachusetts, Stanislaus met a girl named Josephine who worked in a shoe factory. She'd worked in the shoe factory since she was about ten years old, never attending school past third grade. Her father, Tomaz Morus had also immigrated from Poland, I don't know which part of Poland he came from, the Russian part, the German part or the Austrian part. But he settled in Massachusetts, got a job at a shoe factory, married a Polish immigrant girl named Kristina Macijewska, and they had a number of children, mostly girls.

Anyhow, after Stanislaus was discharged from the US Army in 1919, he and Josephine married in Massachusetts. They moved to Chicago, then New York City, to Dorchester (Boston), to Chicago, and eventually to Phoenix. Stanislaus had a hard time keeping a job, he was sick much of the time with a lung ailment he picked up while in the Army. He also smoked at least two packs of cigarettes a day. Of course back then, if you missed too much work, you were fired. They lived poorly. But their children went to school. Every one of the five children graduated from high school. Their eldest daughter earned her LLD from the University of Chicago. Another daughter earned two master's degrees. Their oldest son would probably gone to college, but WWII came along and instead of attending college, he was in the Army Air Corp. The plane he was flying to drop paratroopers over the Cherbourg Peninsula of Normandy on the night of June 5-6, 1944 was shot down. He survived being shot down, but ended up in various German POW camps. After the war, he married almost as soon as he set foot in the US, began a family and just didn't have time to go to the university. But all four of his daughters graduated from college and hold professional positions. Stanislaus and Josephine's youngest son, my Dad, went off to work to take care of his family every day. He never really attended college, but earned credentials for his technological field (electronics). But three of his children are college graduates. This branch of the family tree isn't Polish, We're Americans, and we're Americans who are proud of our ethnic heritage.

Anyhow, I don't know if my great-grandparents immigrated here legally or not. They didn't "take" from those in this country who work hard; they joined them in the shoe factories of Massachusetts and the factories of Chicago, and became part of this country. And, the children and grandchildren of many of yesterday's immigrates did too. Undoubtedly, the children and grandchildren of many of today's immigrants will become part of this country too. I hope. What I see online, on TV and in the newspapers is making me wonder about where lies the loyalties of many of these young people. I doubt many of them have ever been to the small villages that were the home of their parents or grandparents. I won't even get into it here, about the fact that many do not seem to understand that the proposed laws are about illegal immigration, not Hispanics as a group or about legal immigrants. IF anything, they are going to cause problems for those who are here legally and perhaps bring about some unwanted attention from government authorities that they own families might not appreciate. Anyhow....

Today, as you know, there are legal limits for immigrants from all countries of the world. But our government seems to have a problem in enforcing our immigration laws today. And many, many people are breaking our laws to come to the United States. I don't blame most of them for coming to this country. Like my great-grandparents, there is nothing in their 'home country' for them. This country is still a "land of opportunity" for people. But I do have an issue with people, whether here legally or illegally, obeying our laws. Laws are a necessary part of our existence to ensure some level of civility. Break the law, and bad things happen. To some people, seeing businesses advertise in Spanish is a bad thing. Seeing the changes that are happening to the US is a bad thing. Seeing many people living in your town who are not "like you" is a bad thing. It is bad to watch the cost of health care keep going up and up and up, in part due to those people who must be medically treated at our hospitals and whom have no insurance, be they living in the US legally or illegally. Personally, I welcome anyone who wants to come here to work, contribute and join our great nation. But our nation will not remain great if too many keep taking and taking and not joining our people. To me, this is the real issue that must be delt with. Are they coming here to join with us, or just take from us ? IF they are here to join us, then lets continue to welcome them and help them become part of our great nation. But it they are here for other reasons, no; send them back to where they came from and keep them from returning.

Thanks for reading my blog. As always, you comments are welcome!