“Sorry Friedrich, but you bring no obvious skills (you plan to be a barber) and you don’t speak English. You will have to go back to Germany.”
But, that’s not what they said in 1885 when he arrived on our shores at the age of 16 with no particular language or other skills. And, it is not what the immigration authorities said, again, when Friedrich left the United States to return to Germany because his wife was homesick. Germany rejected his return, and he again re-entered the United States. (And, just think how different history would have been had Germany let him back. Damn!)
And now, Drumpf’s grandson, Donald, wants to cut annual U.S. immigration tallies by 50%, accepting only those well educated and highly skilled, and who speak English.
How amazing that a grandchild of unskilled immigrants who spoke no English, could know so little about the role immigrants have and continue to play in America and how essential they are to the lifeblood of this country. No country on the planet is more defined by the extraordinary mix of people and skills (and no skills) from around the world who have all come here as part of the American experiment.
Mr. Trump spent many years claiming his ancestors were Swedish, and only finally admitting that they were German. Like many immigrants Friedrich Drumpf, also in an effort to fit into a melting pot, changed his name to one he thought sounded more American.
Whatever his grandfather did, whatever his father did, Donald J. Trump learned nothing from his ancestors. In fact, he is quickly proving that he has learned almost nothing from anyone or any institution in the past.