Leon Krauze at PostGlobal

Leon Krauze

Mexico

Leon Krauze is a Mexican blogger and a founder of letraslibres.com. Close.

Leon Krauze

Mexico

Leon Krauze is a Mexican blogger and a founder of letraslibres.com. more »

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Dear Candidates: Visit Ellis Island

The Question: The U.S. starts to choose a president this week. If you could send the candidates one message, what would it be?


I have been following the growing anti-immigrant rhetoric in both political parties and some of the American media. As a Mexican who has studied and lived in the United States and who admires the country, I find the whole thing not only sad but deeply unworthy of America’s history. The United States has an obligation to the world and to itself of finding ways to be both politically imaginative and humane. The nativist and xenophobic tone that has transformed the immigration issue into borderline racism forgets the way America was forged. The United States is one of the few countries on Earth which can pride itself on its diverse social fabric. To walk the streets of America today is to witness, firsthand, how opportunity and social mobility work: languages, flavors and, yes, skin tones, merge in admirable harmony. That’s the way it’s always been. To listen to the likes of Tom Tancredo is sickening and confounding to anyone who has taken the time to seriously study American history. That is why, as the primaries begin, I would like to invite the presidential candidates to a tour of Ellis Island. A ride on the ferry costs only eight dollars (six for seniors).

And a quick note. I am not ignoring the role of the Mexican government on immigration. My country’s leadership has failed in two crucial regards: acknowledging the importance of border security in the post-9/11 world, and working harder to improve conditions in rural Mexico. But that is another matter entirely.

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» Concerned | Leon, how many of the immigrants who came through Ellis Island came illegally? Their names are on the walls because they registered when th...
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