By Lestine Hutchens Mayor for the Town of Elkin
September 13, 2013
My forebear Abraham Wilds walked off a ship from England, and ended up in Kent County, Delaware where he married Mary.
He fathered Abraham who ended up in North Carolina after being wounded in the Revolutionary War. My husband, David’s forebears, John and Polly Strangeman Hutchens, came from North Hampshire, England, in the late 1600’s. As far as I know no one checked them into America. Both families ended up in the foothills of North Carolina and had tough beginnings. I think looking back on family history gives a better prospective into how we become Americans. Our beginnings are almost all the same: our ancestors were in a difficult place, and America offered hope of a new start. We can all be proud and say we were here first, but really we were not the first, Europeans fled here to escape there.
It is time to come to a realization that the sign on the Statue of Liberty which says, “Give me your tired, your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, I lift my hand beside the golden door” wasn’t just for us, but for all who need a second chance.
Our country has been enriched by the mix of our people and every single one has added to its success. Right now our economy would suffer a huge problem if all the people who are in our country without proper documentation would somehow be magically transported out.
Always the last group of immigrants takes the jobs that no one else wants. The railroads and highways were built on the backs of the Irish, Italian, and Chinese immigrants. As in the past, children were brought here by their parents and are now adults; they are hiding from every law enforcement agency and working, some paying taxes, and trying for the American Dream. They are landscapers, they are road builders, they are business owners, they are seasonal workers, and they are dreamers for a better life.
It is time for a bi partisan change that will allow a path for these Americans to be citizens, and to have an orderly path for others, to strengthen the borders, to make the path through legitimate entryways, and to stop the flow of illegal drugs though those same unguarded borders. It is time to reform the bureaucratic paper drowning legal immigration process, and to issue legitimate temporary working permits. Please support Federal legislation that will bring a sensible approach to our now overwhelming problem.
I have joined with a group of Mayors from all over the United States, both parties, large and small towns, to say for us on the home front, something logical and healing must be done and soon.