11 Dec '14


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Open letter to the GOP

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Dear Uncle

Open letter to the GOP

Dear Elephant, it s me Otukunana Yaw Berko beckoning at your trunk. Back home in Ghana where I hail from, I was pro-conservative and voted thrice for the conservative party there, which incidentally also has the elephant as its symbol. So naturally when I moved here, I thought I should fit into the conservative party in the US. Unfortunately, that transition has not been smooth, to say the least. It seems that there are different shades of conservatism, some of which sometimes bother on plain lunacy!! Permit me to explain.

I have had issues with your some of your party rhetoric from climate change through war on poor people and the penchant to resort to war as a panacea to your foreign policy agenda. If you had been in power, the US would have been at war with 3 different countries by now. But my real issue with your agenda is that on immigration. Your current stance on immigration is diametrically opposed to the very foundations on which this nation was built on.

It must be stated that all immigration has been illegal from the inception of these United States of America. From the day the Mayflower landed on the east coast to the illegal and forcible movement of Indians from their lands to areas west of the Mississippi, all immigration has been ilegal. Granted that your forefathers built this country with the massive help of slavery into one of the most developed nations in the world, I still insist that no one, absolutely no one has the moral right to talk about immigration, legal or otherwise, except for native Americans and African Americans.

I have listened to most of your party leaders on various news channel particularly Fox News and the assertion that most immigrants will rely on government assistance and thus add to the budget deficit is palpably false. Every first generation immigrant seeks better economic fortunes for his family here in the United States and back home. That is why most immigrants work two to three jobs. All they are seeking is opportunity to come out of the shadows and have access to better work and better pay. I as a first generation immigrant can’t work hard enough. I feel like I came to the American dream late and need to work harder to achieve that dream and make life better for my folks back home.

I have also heard some of your folks lament about loss of power, both political and economic with legalisation of illegal immigrants. That again has no basis. In fact, there is ample evidence and experiment in this world to allay your unfounded fears. In South Africa, whites make up only 10% of the population, but still own 80% of the wealth some 20 years after apartheid. Even in so-called independent countries like Ghana, visit the golf clubs and country clubs and see who are wearing white polos and khakis with designer golf sets? The wealth in such countries is concentrated in the hands of white expatriates and hence they are the ones that frequent all the fancy restaurants like Shangri-La, La Chaumiere, and Ryan’s Irish pub. Rest assured your descendants will enjoy economic and political power for the next 400 years!!

Have you ever wondered why there are places in the United States named San Jose, Los Alamos, San Antonio, and Los Angeles? Did you ever know that Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and California were under one Spanish colony? Have you ever wondered that maybe, just maybe people that come across the border are coming to visit their long lost relatives?

And then again, you are always prone to proposing emotional solutions to practical problems. Statistic shows that most illegal immigrants come to this country with tourist visas and overstay rather than come across the border, and yet you want to build a wall to deface the surface of the earth. A rational solution would have been to ask for enforcement of work permit. But your ally, chamber of commerce vehemently opposes such: how else are you going to get access to cheap labour that will pick your strawberries and oranges, to the extent that you can get such produce for pennies in the middle of winter!!

The United States was built on immigration. Once upon a time the Italians came. The Irish also came. The Jews came. Now is the turn for other ‘unfamiliar’ people to come and you are crying wolf!!!!

Please be rest assured that for as long as there are jobs that Americans simply wont do for pennies, there will always be immigration. As long as there are jobs that Americans cannot do, space and computer technology, there will always be immigration. As long as American physicians are unwilling to leave the comfort of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago to practice in underserved and rural areas there will be immigration. As long as US consulars continue to issue tourist visas, there will be illegal immigrants. You show me a tall wall and I will you show a taller ladder. It cannot be overemphasized that America’s strength and uniqueness lies in its immigration policies. So please pass the damn comprehension immigration reform on your desk now!!

Your nephew,

Otukunana Yaw Berko, great grandson of Opanin Yaw Berko, rich farmer from Kwahu Pepease.

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