ALPERN AT LARGE--In my last CityWatch piece, I raised the questions surrounding whether we have the Courage to truly, really, meaningfully help Labor. That means the courage to protect Dreamers, and to protect native-born Americans, and to protect the Rules, Laws, and Constitution of the United States.
To NOT mention that we ALL have Dreams is the worst kind of Sin of Omission.
So it bears repeating one more time: Do we have the Courage of our convictions to protect ALL those who pursue the American Dream of financial independence, self-made wealth, and individual pursuit of happiness? In other words, Labor (both white- and blue-collar)?
Do we have the Courage to stand tall for the rights of children whose entire lives have been in the United States, know no other language than English, and whose beloved flag has always remained that of Old Glory?
But do we have the Courage to stand tall for the rights of native-born (be they white, black, Latino, and Asian...it makes no difference) taxpaying citizens who have paid for the education, health and welfare of those brought here illegally, or do we acknowledge that native-born Dreamers also have rights, and dreams, and needs?
Do we have the Courage to confront those who knowingly broke the law, despite the desperation and hope they had for their families, and separate their law-breaking from the innocence of their minor children?
Do we have the Courage to ask ourselves how each child brought here illegally, who received a public education of K-12 instruction cost the taxpayers over $100,000 each, had the net effect of diverting precious resources of lower income, native-born black and Latino youths?
Do we have the Courage to confront so-called, Republican, rule-of-law legislators who are more beholden to Chambers of Commerce (and their desire to lower wages in order to increase profits) then they are the needs of native-born and immigrant (both legal and illegal) to achieve a Living Wage and the American Dream?
Do we have the Courage to confront so-called, Democratic, "pro-labor" legislators who are more beholden to the same corporate interests and gaining new Democratic voters than they are the needs of loyal Americans of all colors who needed representation and policies to ensure them good jobs with benefits?
Do we have the Courage to confront nations like Mexico and China who have used our generous immigration policies (and lack of enforcement) to hurt American citizens...including those granted amnesty in the 1980's?
By extension, do we have the Courage to confront American legislators who never held true to the amnesty-associated, and promised, and legislated, enforcement of immigration law in the 1980's that could have prevented our current conundrum?
We have many Dreamers who violated no rules. Some of them were brought here illegally, and others are either native-born or brought here legally, but their Dreams are all equally important.
The United States is supposed to be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Are we Free enough and Brave enough to ask ALL parties to contribute to the current and ongoing resolution of this decades-old, festering issue of illegal immigration?
Labor Day is but a week old...but yet again, we must ask ourselves: DO WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO HELP LABOR, AND PRESERVE THE AMERICAN DREAM?
Or shall we just continue the Sin of Omission, ignore the Dreams of many worthy Americans (including those brought here illegally), and continue to let this division fester and aggravate the lives of all those living in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)