White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on border crossers:
But they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They're overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don't speak English; obviously that's a big thing. ... They don't integrate well; they don't have skills.
Deep dive tk, but here is the 1910 census showing Kelly's great-grandfather Giuseppe Pedalino and his second wife Concetta. (Kelly's great-grandma died in 1898.)— Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) May 11, 2018
He was a wagon driver.
She was illiterate and could not speak English 10 years after arrival.#resistancegenealogy pic.twitter.com/N9AfuLNvb1
Ronald Reagan, October 28, 1985
Between 1892 and 1954, nearly 17 million immigrants to the New World passed through the Ellis Island checkpoint. Most immigrants moved through the checkpoint in a few hours to begin their new lives in America and freedom. And I like to picture the scene as a boatload of immigrants leaving Ellis Island for New York, they pass Miss Liberty and crowd the rails to gaze. Someone on board knows English, he reads and translates the inscription that the statue bears, words that have proclaimed the meaning of America for millions of immigrants, for shiploads of returning soldiers in two great wars, for every family that has ever visited that glorious statue. And those words: "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-tost, to me. I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door." Well, many of those immigrants remain at the rails until Miss Liberty is lost in the fog. It would be no surprise if some shed tears of joy.