Peter Schramm, another immigrant, and a scholar and friend (who passed away not long ago), often told the story of his family’s escape from Hungary after the failed 1958 uprising. “We are going to America,” Peter’s father told him.
“Why America?” Peter prodded.
“Because, son. We were born Americans but in the wrong place.”
Today the conversation about immigration is so toxic in part because we poisonously disagree about what it means to be an American. Thanks to the identity politics of the Left and the Right, immigrants are increasingly cast either as imported victims ready-made to join the Coalition of the Oppressed or invading “takers,” “rapists,” and even “animals.” If White House adviser Stephen Miller has his way, the children of immigrants would be seen as a terrorism threat, which might explain why the Trump administration is snatching babies from their mothers at the border.