If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

July Interviews

7/1 Lena Gregory, Scone Cold Killer
7/8 Jessica Baker, Murder on the Flying Scotsman
7/15 TG Wolff, Driving Reign
7/22 Leslie Budewitz, The Solace of Bay Leaves
7/29 Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets

Saturday Guest Bloggers

7/11 Mark Dressler
7/18 James McCrone

WWK Bloggers:

7/4 Valerie Burns
7/25 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

The History of Immigrants to America

 When Donald Trump recently announced he was running for president, many people, including me, couldn’t believe what Donald Trump said about immigrants from Mexico. “They’re bringing in drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.” Of course, you know the backlash he suffered from his comments – Univision and NBC said they would not televise the Miss USA pageant, which he partly owns. Businesses like Macy’s and others refused to sell his line of clothing anymore.

As much as his words offended me and many other people, there are those who agree with him. Anti-immigration has long been a part of American politics. In fact, I heard his poll numbers rose slightly, and he may get a place on the Republican debate panel which has to limit its numbers since so many Republicans are running for President in 2016.

Immigration has always been a problem in our country. Benjamin Franklin worried that too many German immigrants would swamp America’s British culture. John Adams wrote “A free government and the Roman Catholic religion can never exist together in any nation or country.” Catholic churches and convents were burned in Boston and Philadelphia. Sound familiar?  Only today it is black churches in the south.

In the 19th century when Irish were suffering a famine from the potato blight and immigrated to the United States, they were looked on with suspicion because they were Catholics in this largely Protestant country at that time. They were also considered drunks. The nativist American or “Know-Nothing” party had amazing election victories in 1854 in Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and New England, especially Massachusetts, where they won every statewide office including the governorship and both houses in the state legislature. What was their platform?  It was an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant ticket.

Later when the Italian immigrants arrived in the late 19th century they were even more unwelcome, as well as those from anywhere in eastern and southern Europe. At the turn of the last century, the intolerance of Jews from Poland and Russia was even worse. The Ku KluxKlan? They not only went after the blacks, but also Catholics and Jews.

Somewhere around 1920, s state department office listed the 120,000 Jews who had entered the country as “twisted, unassimilable, filthy, and un-American.” One would hope in today’s world such prejudice would no longer be common, but today those same earlier fears are about immigrants from Latin America and Asia.

Many people worry immigrants are taking jobs away, costing our country money, but contrary to popular myth, immigrants do not push Americans out of jobs. They tend to fill jobs that Americans cannot or will not fill, mostly at either the high or low ends of the job market. They’re found in high-skilled fields like medicine, physics and computer science, or in lower-skilled jobs such as those found in hotels, restaurants, domestic service, light manufacturing, and, of course, working in the fields or chicken processing plants.

Immigration is an integral part of the American experiment. We are a nation of immigrants. Each wave of new immigrants has kept our country demographically young, enriched our culture. (Think pizza, tacos, stir fry and Celtic music to name just a few things.) And immigration has added to our productive capacity as a nation, enhancing our influence in the world.

It has also given the United States an economic edge in the world economy because immigrants bring innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit to the U.S. economy. Immigrants also raise demand for goods as well as the supply. And they are not a drain on government finances. A National Academy of Science study found that the typical immigrant and his or her offspring will pay a net $80,000 more in taxes during their lifetimes than they collect in government services. For immigrants with college degrees, the net fiscal return is $198,000. Since the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, it’s difficult for newcomers to collect welfare so immigrant use of welfare has declined along with overall welfare rolls.

Yes, we need to control our borders, but we shouldn’t turn our backs on those who come here to live the American Dream.

I Googled American Immigration and immigrants who made a difference and I found too many to list them here. Many were singers, actors, musicians, artists, doctors or scientists. And, of course, one name will always stand out and that’s Albert Einstein, a Jewish immigrant.

When you think about it, aren’t we all immigrants or descended from immigrants except for the Native Americans?

* The above information largely came from an article by Mark Shields, columnist with www.creators.com and a regular columnist in my local newspaper. Also from a commentary “Immigrants have enriched American culture and enhanced our influence in the world” by Daniel Griswold, that appeared in Insight on Feb. 18, 2002.

What have immigrants contributed to our culture that you appreciate?

What country or countries did your family immigrate from?


Warren Bull said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warren Bull said...

My Irish ancestors lived in this country when some want ads for jobs said they would hire "Any color but Irish" and when some parks had signs "No Dogs or Irish Permitted."

Shari Randall said...

On my dad's side it's the United Nations (French Canadian, English, Scots, plus native American) and on my mom's side I'm all Italian (which is why I have a big, Italian mama in me that wants to feed everyone!)

Anonymous said...

My ancestors were Irish, English, and who knows what else? At one time they were from somewhere else while I hold the advantage of calling myself American, they worked had and were persecuted. They must have been strong because... I am here. Donald Trump's words were thoughtless and ill-informed. EVERYTHING he said is sadly also true of homegrown Americans. He is rich but NOT presidential quality. Laura Byrnes

Grace Topping said...

Thank you, Gloria, for your well-timed article. Our house is like the United Nations. My mother's side was English-Scots, my father's side was Italian (right off the boat). I'm married to an Englishman. Anytime I find myself becoming less generous about immigration, I think of my grandparents getting off that boat and how hard they worked to become Americans.

KM Rockwood said...

At one point when I was working in a large state prison, I was assigned to assist inmates filling out census forms (some of them couldn't read well enough to make sense of the questions; some were just confused by the whole process.)

When we came to the questions about race & ethnics, one guy had uniquely appropriate answers.

Race: Human

Ethnic: American

Kara Cerise said...

We certainly are a nation of immigrants! I don't know much about my biological ancestors because I was adopted, but my DNA test showed that I am related to almost everyone on the planet.

I cringed and was sad when I heard Trump's comment because my niece is 1/2 Mexican. However, she made light of it and went about the business of making the world a better place by signing up to be a medical volunteer in Haiti over her Christmas vacation.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, my grandmother on my mother's side was English from her father and Scotch/Irish from her mother. I don't know if her great-grandparents were married here or in the old country. Anyway, the Irish did suffer.

Shari, what a lovely and interesting mix. I love the Italian in you. :-)

Laura, I agree with you.

Grace, we should all think back to that unless we're 100% Native American.

KM, if only everyone thought as simplistic and wisely as that young man.

Kara, that makes you a very unique and special person. They always say mixed-breeds are better than thoroughbreds - at least in the animal world and we are mammals. Your niece sounds like a really special person.