By Tony Farkas
Saturday was my mother’s birthday. She passed in 2012, but I still think of her daily, and part of the reason for that actually is spurred on by current events.
What I most think about is her journey through this life, the steps she took to become my mother and ultimately the American citizen and woman of distinction she became.
Near the end of World War II, my mother, along with her sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, gathered together to run from the approaching Russian troops, who by all accounts, were not nice. There were reports of rapes, murders and all manner of atrocities perpetuated on the people of every country they rolled through.
Boarding a train with other refugees headed to Germany (which sadly was allied with Hungary at the time), they would frequently stop and run into the woods because of Allied bombers flying overhead (my grandmother had to do this suffering a gunshot wound to her foot).
They eventually made it to Germany, and even were there during the final bombings.
In the mid-1950s, the family traveled to the U.S. as displaced persons. They went through Ellis Island, where the officials ended up renaming her because they couldn’t process her Hungarian name, so Sarika became Charlotte.
She lived with her sponsor for a while, and then later ended up in Detroit, where she graduated high school, married her high school sweetheart, and then embarked on the next leg of her American Dream.
I never heard her badmouth this country, instead, she extolled its virtues, even when her heritage had an affect on my father’s career — he was turned down for a spot as security for Air Force One because my mother was from Hungary, which was at the time behind the Iron Curtain.
Her journey took her through family, school where she obtained her doctorate, becoming the first-ever civilian to run a department on an Air Force base, and ultimately a private practice helping others.
This all comes up in light of the untenable situation at the Texas border. Recent events have shown refugees (and who knows what else) flooding the country unchecked. Government officials are at each other’s throats as to what to do, and only the Texas government wants to stop the madness.
The pearl-clutching nannies who are all about saving everybody claim that these immigrants are only seeking a better life than the ones in their home country. They’re escaping warfare, oppression and horrible living condition, and we need to be their salvation, no holds barred.
Yet, where was this outpouring of love before? The horrors my people were escaping were no different from the immigrants seeking asylum now, yet my forebears went through the process and followed the law.
Those that manage to gain entry also begin taking from the U.S. taxpayer through social programs while at the same time decrying the United States. Anyone doing that in the 1950s would have been sent back to their mother country. So what’s different now?
That answer falls into the realm of will — the will of our “leaders” to do what’s right and follow the law. Our current leaders are the problem in this scenario, and since not enforcing the law is equivalent to aiding and abetting the illegal enterprise, then these “leaders” must face consequences as well.