While It Still Says Welcome

Stumbling Off My Soapbox

“. . . But let us never forget that one of the finest things about our country is that it does not force its people into a narrow mold of conformity. America is a rich mosaic of many cultures and traditions, strong in its diversity. Each new immigrant has added another piece to the mosaic of American life—a fresh perspective and a fresh appreciation of what it means to be American.”

—Richard Nixon, from a speech dedicating the American Museum of Immigration, quoted on a poster at the U.S. Homeland Security Building in Charlotte, North Carolina

Approaching Homeland Security, my hands tremble unexpectedly. My husband tries to reassure me that there is no reason to worry, but my eyes grow wet, nonetheless. Ten minutes early for an 8:50 A.M. appointment, we stand behind several families outside the entrance. An immigration attorney hurries up the stairs behind us and greets his…

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