Climbing My Family Tree, Part 11C

Immigrant Rev. John McLeish

This past week Wartburg College Professor of History, Terrence J. Lindell, contacted me through my WordPress account. While conducting research for a course he teaches on the gold rush of 1849, Professor Lindell discovered four letters my three times great-grandfather Rev. John McLeish wrote while on his trip from Melrose, Massachusetts to the gold mines outside Sacramento, California in 1849. Professor Lindell was kind enough to share the letters with me. Continue reading


Senator Merkley on DREAMers

This week I got an email from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. I want to share it with you.

Dear Alan,

Right now, the futures of 800,000 young DREAMers are hanging by a thread, waiting for Congress to step up and do the right thing. I am calling for immediate action on the DREAM Act to ensure these young leaders can keep contributing to the nation they love.

Today I met Juan from Salem. He loses his job tomorrow because his DACA permit is expiring.     Continue reading

Enrique’s Journey

I’ve been reading Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario. If you would like to check out her website, click HERE.

Enrique's Journey

The book is the story of a boy’s dangerous trek through central America to reunite with his mother in the United States. Nazario relates the true facts as she experienced them herself. She knows what he experienced first-hand, as she took the same journey, re-tracing his path, step by step, and putting herself in grave danger along the way. Continue reading

Julia Ioffe: Modern Day American Refugee

Julia Ioffe is an American journalist who covers national security and foreign policy topics for The Atlantic.

On January 29, 2017, she published an article entitled, “This is What It’s Like to Come to the United States as a Refugee.”

Julia Ioffe

The piece is a first-person essay that brings to light the very personal emotions Ioffe faced as a refugee immigrant to this nation, immigrating here from the Soviet Union. Her words slice through political policy and help us understand the heart-wrenching feelings refugees endure. Continue reading

Don’t Reject Immigrants; We Need Them, They Enrich Us

During an American Naturalization Ceremony in 1984, the keynote speaker gave the following speech:

“Fifty million immigrants came to this country in the last 200 years. Some of the most recent have crawled over walls and under barbed wire and through mine fields, and some of them risked their lives in makeshift boats.

“And all of them have added to the sum total of what your new country is. They gave us their traditions. They gave us their words. They enlivened the national life with new ideas and new blood…

“We don’t reject them. We need them. They enrich us.”

Who was this progressive sympathizer who so strongly supported immigration and naturalization?

Naturalization Ceremony

Continue reading

Origins of White Supremacy

Last month I came across a YouTube video entitled, Understanding White Supremacy (And How to Defeat It). It is an interesting post that runs just over three minutes. You can get to it by clicking HERE.

Origins of White Supremacy

The piece was published on September 12, 2017, and has garnered just over 1,000 views. It was posted by acttv, which states on the site: “Do more than watch. Your home for progressive, action-oriented video from a grassroots, social-media community.” Continue reading