Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press

We Are All Immigrants

John Derby Headshot
Times Publisher John Derby

I wonder what my grandfather would have thought as he came from Ireland in 1875.

He did not land at Ellis Island because he was sponsored.

He in turn sponsored all of his 10 brothers and his father who they say died of home sickness.

Ireland had no food. The English had food, but they would not share it with the Irish because they hated each other.

The reason they gave went, way back. It seemed some Irish Lord called the Queen of England a whore, and so the English took offense and sent an army to Ireland to make things right.

Then the Catholics and the Protestents got into the mix. The bombings didn’t help.

By the time I went to Ireland in 1982 to straighten things out, everyone had forgotten what they were fighting about. In fact, when you asked them what they were fighting about, they would answer: “What fighting, there’s no problem.”

“Well having machine guns at the entrance of the town, seems to be a problem to me,” I answered.

Now my people were Protestant and one grand ancestor was said to be the Mayor of Cookstown Ireland in the north. He was what they called an Orangeman so when I celebrate St Patricks Day with the green, I am really on the wrong side of the fence, so to speak.

But when I went to Ireland, I found out my ancestor was not the mayor, but the head of the Town Council. “Same difference” one would say.

All the Derbys left Ireland but one branch, as there was just not enough food to survive. The Derbys immigrated to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

So now I am wondering what would have happened if those countries had of said, “No, we don’t want a Derby. They are trouble makers.”

Where would we all be now?

Somehow our country has to make room for newcomers. We can not shut our doors. However, there needs to be a better plan. And they can’t just come to this country and be free loaders.

Oftentimes we take in people who come to work and turn them into free loaders. It is our own fault.

I do not have the answer. I am only two generations from being an immigrant myself.

All of us are immigrants except the Native Americans, and look at what we did to them.

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