One hundred years ago, my grandparents left eastern Europe to take a chance in making it in America. They were poor, spoke no English, had little formal education and were probably not seen as particularly desirable immigrants.
They worked hard and started small businesses, a laundry and a candy store. Their sons fought in WWII and then they, our parents, got mostly blue-collar jobs. They, in turn worked hard, made sure we studied hard and we all got college educations.
Now, three and four (and beginning five!) generations into our American Story, we are teachers, social workers, engineers, counselors, and business people, working to improve our country and our communities.
Our family story has been repeated millions of times over. It may be your story, too.
All because America saw the value of allowing a large, diverse influx of people who were willing to work hard for the American Dream. The value of continuing that diversity is as true today as it was 100 years ago.