The Los Angeles neighborhood I grew up in was a mixed jumble of nationalities, religions, dialects, and varying skin tones. To label it a melting pot is an understatement. It was the United Nations of East L A. Mostly working class blue collar folks all with several things in common; register to vote, educate the kids, and work towards retirement.
The Hispanics go back several generations. Even before statehood. Mostly Mexicans and Native Americans. Mixed in with Russian and some Asian. So here they came. After California statehood came more Russians, Armenian, middle easterners, Chinese, Japanese, Polynesian, Filipino, Korean, Central American, German, Italian, French, British, Catholics, Jews, Lutheran, protestants, Eastern Orthodox, Buddhist, New Yorkers, Ohioans, Texans, and Arkies and Okies. And yet, even more.
They all came to find job and opportunity. They all came to make sure their children have a better early life than themselves. Work hard, live modestly, save money, buy a house, and support their neighbors. The American Dream was their common goal.
Today a new generation of immigrants is knocking at our borders and shores. Immigrants who are attempting to escape threats on their lives and others just wanting to earn a decent living. People willing to work hard in order to feed their families and find education for their children. You see them almost everywhere on roofs tacking down shingles in the midday sun. Pruning, clipping, mowing, and grooming our landscape. Laying bricks, applying stucco to walls, and pouring concrete for a foundation. Many in the farm fields picking fruit and vegetables for your evening salads and your breakfast creations. Others work against time to ready hospital and hotel rooms for new visitors. And generally laboring diligently with jobs most of us just don’t want. You might call it entry level America. A fresh beginning for many. Our ancestors came this way. So can the new generation immigrant. Welcome, work hard, and take care of your family. God bless immigrants and God bless us all. Amen.