Treasure Island

Aliya Deri

Immigration Policy

Why not
eliminate the outsiders?
and get this country
back the way it used to be?

True, it may be difficult-
there's a lot of them,
with their foreign ways
and their foreign foods
and their foreign faces
trying to corrupt our life,
our children.

But they've been coming fast
and hard
for a long time!
We've been more than generous,
but their welcome's long outstayed-

Crossing our borders like roaches by land or
like sardines by boat,
crying: 'A new land! a place to be free! '
But this land's not new anymore, but old,
with our people and our ways.

So let's do more than
close these borders-
let's throw out the outsiders:
(the Mexicans, the Asians,
the Eastern Europeans-
the Jews and Chinese,
the Irish and Puritans...)

and leave, perhaps,
a young brave hunting
in the land that
(if you want to argue)
has been, and always will be,

Submitted: Thursday, July 05, 2007
Edited: Saturday, March 19, 2011
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  • Aliya Deri (9/11/2008 2:09:00 AM)

    Unfortunately, a lot of people misread this poem. (Though it's not really clear where I was going with it, I must admit.) The poem is sarcastic, because it points out that America WAS a melting pot of cultures from the very moment the Mayflower landed. (The poem lists the Puritans among its 'immigrants' to be thrown out.) Essentially, I was trying to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the arguments you may hear from many anti-immigration pundits.

    At the end of the poem, I point out that the only people left due to this 'immigration policy' would be Native Americans (the 'young brave hunting') who are the only true 'natives' of this continent.

    I am not anti-immigration in any way. Though I myself was born in America, much of my family has come here from other parts of the world and I myself have been told to 'go back' to various countries. I have the highest respect for anyone and everyone who comes here to make a better life, whether they're rich or poor. Everyone in America came from somewhere else. That was precisely the point I was trying to make.

    Thank you for pointing out that the poem was not clear. I hope other readers will read this comment and not jump to the logical conclusions about my political viewpoint. (Report) Reply

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