Fitzgerald: For immigrant families, the American Dream’s script comes in English
Sunday, August 06, 2017
They say we should pick our battles carefully, that we don’t have to go to every fight we’re invited to, but some annoyances just can’t be ignored, as CNN reporter Jim Acosta reminded us in his overbearing confrontation with White House adviser Stephen Miller.
Immigration used to be the essence of the American Dream. Indeed, we made it our national motto: “E pluribus unum,” or “Out of many, one.”
But that notion has taken quite a pounding from revisionists, activists and political opportunists who’ve turned immigration into an explosive issue.
Acosta, asking if the White House “was trying to change what it means to be an immigrant,” smugly reminded Miller the other day the Statue of Liberty “doesn’t say anything about speaking English.”
Maybe that’s because it never needed to be said.
There’s a wonderful memory here of a neighbor, Ostilio Mastrobattista, known to all as Gus, who came to America by way of Ellis Island, starting out from the hills of Lenola, halfway between Rome and Naples.
Gus was a gifted baker for Dorothy Muriel, Sunshine Biscuit and First National Stores before finally opening his own shop on Tremont Street, just a few blocks away from Mission Church in Roxbury.