Migrants and refugees detained at JFK Airport, which is named after a passionate defender of immigration

As I write, migrants and refugees from around the world seeking a respite, refuge, or home in the United States are being detained at JFK Airport. An airport named after a man who, whatever his many failings and faults (I’m no enthusiast or subscriber to the Kennedy mystique), was passionate on the subject of immigration and the migration of peoples. Kennedy was a sharp critic of the country’s immigration restrictions and was, I believe, one of the inspirations, after his assassination, for the 1965 immigration reform bill, which Ted Kennedy pushed hard on the Senate floor.

Right now, there is a growing contingent of protesters at JFK; if you can, join them in Terminal 4.

In the meantime

We are the descendants of 40 million people who left other countries, other familiar scenes, to come here to the United States to build a new life, to make a new opportunity for themselves and their children. I think it is not a burden, but a privilege to have the chance in 1963 to share that great concept which they felt so deeply among all of our people, to make this really, as it was for them, a new world, a new world for us, and, indeed, for all those who look to us.


  1. Dennis Brasky January 28, 2017 at 3:28 pm | #

    The Left and its constituent parts – Blacks, Latinos, LGBT, women, labor, environmentalists, civil libertarians – must join together to form defense squads of mosques. “An injury to one is an injury to all!”

  2. Rich Puchalsky January 28, 2017 at 5:24 pm | #

    Symbolism about JFK aside, people are being detained at all airports. And it’s not restricted to migrants and refugees: it seems to be anyone with nationality, including dual nationality, from one of those seven countries. Including a British MP.

    An old poem

  3. Ben Hellmann January 29, 2017 at 1:29 am | #

    Thank you for continuing to post here. I have been off Facebook for two years, and as much as I like the monthly digest idea, it’s nice to have your thoughts available as they come.

  4. Rich Puchalsky January 29, 2017 at 2:41 pm | #

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