With so many stories in the press leading people to fear the plight of immigrants, Fr. Richard G. Malloy, SJ, penned a thoughtful Op-Ed article for the Scranton Times-Tribune that speaks to the sheer importance of immigrants not just in the Scranton area, but throughout the country.
Here is a short excerpt from Fr. Malloy's article entitled Embrace Immigration as Price of Progress:
When I moved north from Philadelphia in 2010, I was surprised at how many in my circles did not know that the University of Scranton was a Jesuit school. But I was even more shocked at the comments of my Latino and African-American friends: “Father, that’s a rough place for us up there. I’d be afraid to visit.” Another said, “Do you think my little girl would be safe in Scranton?” These folks see the area around Temple University in North Philadelphia as a safer place for their children than the lush green lands of the Lackawanna Valley. That’s a big problem.
We need to realize that immigrants built this valley. Around 1900, this was one of the most diverse and immigrant-friendly places in the nation. It included German, Irish, Polish, Italian and Slavic peoples who poured in and pulled coal from the ground and powered the industrial growth of our country in the 20th century. No smart or sane people built walls to keep them out. In Scranton, the “Know-Nothings” NINA (No Irish Need Apply) signs of the 1840s and 1850s disappeared faster than beer on St. Patrick’s Day. The “Know-Nothings” also hated Catholics and other minorities of their day. But we’re still here and they’re long gone.
Click here to read the full article on the Times-Tribune's website.