Immigrants

Posted on Mar 20, 2017

Mario Cuomo, governor of the State of New York from 1983 -1994, father of Andrew Cuomo, the present governor of New York, and Chris Cuomo, co-anchor for ABC’s 20/20, told the story of his parents coming to America from Italy with nothing.  His father came first and got a job digging ditches in New York City, he saved and was finally able to bring his wife.  When telling the story Mario fantasized a conversation that might have occurred between his mother and the immigration official on Ellis Island.  “What assets are you bringing to America?”  “I have nothing.”  “Do you have any family here?”  “My husband is already here. He is a trench engineer.”  “A ditch digger!”  “Yes.”  “What do you expect to find in America?”  “My husband, a safe place to raise children, freedom, and before I die for my son to be the governor of the State of New York!”   (In 1988 and 1994 Mario Cuomo was considered to be the front runner for the democratic nomination for president.  He chose not to run.) 
 
“I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” *  Where else but America?
 
Often we fantasize about being immigrants going to heaven.  Folklore has us being questioned by Saint Peter.  “What assets are you bringing to heaven?” “A repentant heart.”  “Do you have any family here?”  “Jesus is my brother and God is my Father.” “What do you expect to find in heaven?”  “My family, a safe place for my children, freedom and never dying.”  “Welcome home!”
 
“I go to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there you may be also.”   John 14.
 
*Emma Lazarus

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