“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
— Emma Lazarus —
Since immigration is one of the topics at the forefront of politics nowadays, it seems fitting to share an excerpt from one of the world’s most renowned poems on immigrants.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of Emma Lazarus’ poem, The New Colossus, engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, here in the United States of America. Did you know most countries allow people to acquire birthright citizenship through one of two ways: Jus Soli and Jus Sanguinis?
Jus Soli is Latin for “right of the soil” and refers to a person’s right to be a citizen of the country in which they are born. For example, if you’re born on USA soil, you’re automatically a USA citizen, regardless of where your parents are from.
Jus Sanguinis is Latin for “right of the blood” and refers to a person’s right to inherit their parent’s citizenship. For example, Canadian law states any person born to a Canadian citizen parent is automatically a Canadian citizen.
It’s always been fascinating to me how we can easily define and label ourselves as belonging to this or that country, but we tend to miss the glaring detail that we all have a birthright to live on this earth.
Today, with the select few in power deciding for all of us our birthrights, I wonder, what happens now? Are we not all tired and yearning to be free?