VT Digger: Commentary: Immigrants, Refugees, Asylum Seekers And The Myths Of Migration

When I was a child, I thought everyone was a first-generation American like me. I couldn’t believe it when friends said their parents and grandparents were born here. All of my maternal and paternal family – parents, aunts, uncles and their parents – emigrated to the United States and Canada to flee persecution as Jews in Russia. That history is, in part, why stories of refugees and immigrants move me mightily, as they did in the recent book, “The New Odyssey: The Story of the 21st Century Refugee Crisis,” by Patrick Kingsley.

It’s been widely said that unless we are Native American, we are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants here in the U.S. What isn’t emphasized enough perhaps is the crucial role immigration has played in the story of America.

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About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…