While reading through both the Tribune and other papers, I’ve seen the influx of immigrant children at the border described as an "invasion." I’ve seen pictures of Sean Hannity patrolling the border with a machine gun, protecting us from all the "criminals" that are allegedly crossing the border. I’ve seen Bill O’Reilly call for harsher treatment of these immigrants, fleeing violence in Central America.
This is déjà vu for anyone who has studied American history, specifically the 1840s. Nativists back then responded to the influx of starving Irish, fleeing the Great Famine, in the same way as Hannity and the protesters in Murrieta have responded to these immigrants. The nativists rioted and warned that the Irish were all low-life criminals. It is true that the influx of unemployed Irish immigrants caused crime to increase along the East Coast. However, how many of us would really want to go back in time and turn away millions of starving families in order to prevent a temporary spike in crime?
As someone with Irish heritage, I implore men like Hannity and O’Reilly, who share my heritage, to reconsider their harsh tone when dealing with these immigrants.
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