We the People
Immigrants are to America what atoms are to everything. They’re the building blocks. The essential elements. From the Pilgrims to the Poles, the 16th century Spanish to the 1960s Hispanic, America as we know it today would not exist without immigrants.
Here to highlight this fact is We the People, a series of six watercolors that places immigrants into famous American paintings. Featuring the groups most often maligned in today’s immigration debates, We the People reminds us that all immigrants, regardless of race or religion, are no different than the pioneers and Puritans who came before them seeking opportunity and refuge.
Of course, individuals still need to be vetted with an eye to security. And, we need to do a better job of creating opportunity for those who feel their futures are harmed by immigration. But blanket blockades and discrimination aren’t useful. Not only do they ignore the fact that those once considered “different”—the Irish, the Italians, and more— have become key to the fabric and fame of America, but they tarnish Washington’s golden vision for our nation:
“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions…” -George Washington.
It’s when we welcome people from all nations and religions that our country grows stronger, richer, and more vibrant. It’s how we have the corner stores where we buy our milk, the food that fills our supermarkets, and the innovations that give our country glory. And it’s how all of us, save for Native Americans, came to be here on this soil, breathing this air, and living in this place we call home.
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