Saturday, January 28, 2017


Green Cards

America has always been hard on refugees.

We were Polish refugees who waited for 6 years while America decided if it would take in any of the 12 million displaced people left behind by the German carnage of WWII.

Finally the USA agree to take in 275,000 of us.

That's right, 275,000.

We were the lucky ones.  We came here.

The unlucky ones went back to their home countries, now controlled by the Russians. My uncle went back. After 3 years in a German concentration camp, he was taken to a Russian one in Siberia. He died there.

When we arrived, we applied for Green Cards and got them.

Here's what the Green Card was:

"The green card serves as proof that its holder, a lawful permanent resident (LPR), has been officially granted immigration benefits, which include permission to reside and take employment in the United States."

The Green Card made us feel that we were safe, that America was our home, and that eventually we would be full citizens after we followed the procedure toward citizenship.

Trump's consideration of a ban on Green Card holders shocks me.

I know what this ban would mean.

It tells you again that you are a mother and a father and a child without a home.


Here is a link to a youtube video of my reading a poem about what it was like to come to America as a refugee after living for years in a refugee camp.  The poem is from my book Echoes of Tattered Tongues.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, John. Pity the poor immigrant. My father was born in Leadwood Missouri in 1914 and after the Leadbelt Riot of 1917 the family made it back to Poland. That's a long story. But the 1920's anti-immigrant law passed by Congress - the Alien and Sedition Act but my memory is hazy. This meant my grandmother could not return to the U.S. and my father essentially grew up fatherless with serious repercussions for him as a teen returning finally in November 1929 with his mother and younger sisters. Quotas had been lifted and so they came at one of the most terrible turns of fate - the worldwide depression! He'd lost the green springs of Missouri which he roamed as a toddler before hate drove him out and then the village and farm life of Modliborzyce, to Detroit and horrible conditions for workers. My father ended up with a local gangster element and was involved in petty unarmed robberies and spent ten years at Jackson State Prison. You can imagine what this must have done to him. His one solace was reading and the warden opened the prison library to my father where he read his way out. Books he taught me were a way out!!! Lady Liberty is doing more than weeping today. She is bereft in her grief at the horror unfolding in Washington! Resist!!! Christina Pacosz

Squirl said...

This is so beyond sad. I'm embarrassed to be in a country with so much to offer and our government is unwilling to offer it. And innocents die because of this.


John Guzlowski said...

Thank you both for your comments.

Christina, your remarks remind me that terrible things have happened in this country and that strong people helped to stop them. I think we need that kind of courage again.