Kristen Mareè Cleary
Immigrants: But which ones?
Since the beginning of records in Ellis Island since1892, America has been known for attracting immigrants from all over the world. Individuals travel from far and long just to step foot into the “land of opportunities.” In the 1800’s immigration was not something hated by the government but with certain limits. Government officials have kept laws in place that restricted and allowed certain immigrants to come into the United States. However, some people have conflicting feelings about immigration and are less accepting. In the poem “Ellis Island” by Joseph Bruchac and the interview of Ann Coulter on Lou Dobbs Tonight present their passionate views on the ideas around immigration.
In the late 1890’s, America was seen as the land where opportunities were limitless. America was rich with diversity. However, not everybody was accepting of the idea that people from other countries wanted to migrate to America. Some chose to accept it solely because they come from a family with immigrant roots. Joseph Bruchac proudly mentions in his poem “Ellis Island” his multicultural heritage. However, towards the ending of the poem, Bruchac gives way to his to his conflicting feelings between his roots and what America should be. The poem begins with
“Beyond the red bricks of Ellis Island.
Where two Slovac children.
who became my grandparents
waited the longs days of quarantine”. (Bruchac, 1-4).
Here Bruchac talks about his ancestors and the journey they endured to become immigrants in the United States. He continues to mention his connections his ancestors. Towards the end of the poem, Bruchac’s attitude towards immigrants changes. The stanza “Yet only the one part of my blood loves that memory. / Another voice speaks/ of native lands...” (Bruchac, 18-20) demonstrates that Bruchac may be proud to be multicultural and is proud of the journey his ancestors...
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