Opinion

Caravan to a Forgotten Promise

I have a tough time accepting what is happening these days. President Donald Trump seems to be conducting a massive disinformation campaign. A propaganda war against the very people he is supposed to be leading. Yes, there is yet another caravan of immigrants heading this way. They are asylum seekers, not illegal immigrants. To dismiss them outright is un-American. Yes, some probably don’t deserve to get in. But what about the rest? Shouldn’t we be trying to find ways to help them? Isn’t that what we stand for? How can our president suggest that the Democrats put them up to this and get away with it? What have we become if we dismiss them before they even get here? Where would I be if the same mindset existed when my Italian and Irish grandparents came here 100-plus years ago? I likely would not have been born.

Immigrants approaching Ellis Island, New York. (Courtesy: Library of Congress)

When given a chance to improve their lives, nearly everyone tries to do so and usually succeeds. Thanks to the efforts of my grand-parents and their children, I became only the second person in both families to earn a bachelor’s degree. If not for them, I would not become a science teacher and inspire several young men and women to become doctors today. I would not inspire several young men and women to pursue careers in physics and chemistry, earning PhDs along the way. I would not inspire young Navy Aviation Boatswain mates to invest in college programs and become officers leading the current generation of sailors. I would not become an Intelligence Officer within DoD and DHS. We would not know which facilities to bomb in the first Gulf War of 1991 to wipe out Saddam’s nuke, chem and bio weapons programs.

There would be no objection to the scandalous drive to invade Iraq in 2003 to find WMDs none of us could truthfully say were left. We would not capture Abu Faraj al Libi, number 3 in al-Qaeda, in 2005. Several homegrown terrorists would not be arrested before committing heinous crimes here in the United States. The city of Washington, DC would waste untold millions preparing for a terrorist attack that wasn’t coming in 2012.

Several young high school students might have committed suicide, if not for the counseling provided them by my daughter. She is the first person in both families to earn a master’s degree. Untold millions of dollars would not be earned by clients, if not for the financial advice of my two other daughters. Hundreds of young boys and girls would not experience the joy of playing soccer, if not for my son.

This horrible world that our president scares us from is wholly contrary to the very world that most of us came from.  We are ALL immigrants (except for Major John White-Deer, who I worked with at an Iraq invasion-planning conference in 2002). According to Trump and those that support him, the motto on the Statue of Liberty should read…

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!  But only if you are European…”

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Denny Ross

Dennis Ross is a retired Senior Intelligence Analyst with over 26 years experience with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. He specialized in Middle East weapons of mass destruction programs and homegrown violent extremism. Ross was the recipient of numerous accolades to include the Director of Central Intelligence, National Medal of Achievement.

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