The Land of Promise


By Siva Jonnada

I was walking through the Children’s section of the Morris County Library and came across a series of books shown in the photo.

Considering how immigration has become such a hot and difficult topic as of late, it’s always important to remember that almost all of us came from somewhere else. We are all proud to be American and all that it means to us, but we can also be proud of our ancestral heritage. There are many reasons why our ancestors (or we) left the motherland, but they all came to America for what she promised. It’s hard to believe that there are those amongst us who don’t realize this. When they hear news that thousands of people pass through our borders seeking asylum, they ask why!  Oddly, they never seem to wonder why their own family came here. They only want to make it much more difficult for others to follow. I find this thinking unacceptable.

America was, is and will always be the land of promise for many of us who are here -- and for many who will follow. Eventually (and I hope someday soon), we will overcome these lost years and bring back the spirit of promise. We will accept those who wish to make this land their home and are more than willing to contribute to its greatness.

This was how the United States grew into a great nation -- and how it continues to grow. In New Jersey alone, people speaking hundreds of different languages have come here from all across the globe. They have contributed greatly to our economic vitality and strong social fabric.  Their presence really shouldn’t bother anyone, and need I remind you that immigration has been happening in America since its beginning.

The old-timers will always look askance at the newcomers, but the newcomers will keep coming.  Benjamin Franklin had complained about the large number of Germans settling in Pennsylvania and wondered if they’ll ever learn to speak English and be a part of this great experiment. Guess what! They did, and their descendants are still among the most hardest working people.

Many followed, and they too did much the same. My own family arrived in the United States more than 50 years ago. We’re a part of this country, and no one will be able to convince us otherwise.

I still believe in the promise that is America, and I will continue to strive to fulfill that promise. These lost years will be overcome, and it starts when we remember that promise and continue to pass it on to the next generation.

Siva Jonnada is a member of Morris Township Democratic Committee and is the Democratic district representative for the township’s District 14. The viewpoint expressed in this blog post is not necessarily an official position of the Morris Township Democratic Committee.