A Mother’s Day tribute to a refugee mother

75 years ago my  children’s mother arrived on the last refugee ship from Europe in New York City, after fleeing for 18 months.  Her parents, herself and brother and sister were barred by a quota – not very different from a quota now proposed.

That quota, then as now, limited people from certain countries, supposedly, regardless of religious faith.  But meant to reduce immigration of Catholics and Jews from Poland where they represented majorities seeking freedom.

At the last moment, the family received a special visa exception.  Two years later they went to Canada for a few hours, and came back as immigrants or citizenship – since the quota from Poland had now opened – and their families left behind in Europe perished.

Two of her two sons, born in freedom, committed their careers two public service.  Her oldest, a West Point graduate, Special Forces Lt. Col. and senior staffer for Sen. Mike Rounds; her youngest a Commissioner of the US Federal Communications Commission, as well as director of the Rural Utilities Service.  Two US SD US Senators, of different parties told me that they were the most effective and committed members of their staff.

Who might be those gifted servants of America, never to be born, because their mother was not permitted to enter this promised land of freedom.