The Girl in the Blue Dress: An Immigration Story

The person in charge of the mid-morning chapel at Atlantic Union College announced that the student speaker that day was originally from Yugoslavia, and her topic was “From Communism to Christ.” I was intrigued. From the wings strode a very pretty woman in a dark blue dress. I sat up straight, leaned forward, and put down the magazine I usually brought to stave off boredom. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Thanks for posting the Myths about immigration. Won’t make any difference though to those choose or make it sound that way…of course they will say only the illegals do those things! The only persons I would consider having the right to talk about what ‘immigrants’ have done to the country are the original peoples of this country.They were here for thousand of years before the attempts to eliminate them.

North America is filled with stories like this. Mine is eerily similar, although I was a bit younger when we emigrated from Sweden to Long Island, NY. It was also my uncle who sponsored us, and it took us five years rather than twenty, for the process, involving reviewing documents (of which we had very few, having escaped Estonia surreptitiously) , -( in a fishing boat across the Baltic Sea to Sweden). Sweden was very gracious and truly prepared to accept war refugees. Shortly after having been processed, we were shipped to Sweden’s third largest city, Malmo, and my folks were given jobs at a textile mill, with housing provided by the factory, expressly for the immigrants that filled the city.

Sweden is a lovely country and many made their homes there; but, we were determined to cross yet another sea. My uncle had emigrated before the war and joined the US Merchant Marines; and my aunt escaped by way of England to Canada,

My path also led to AUC and passed the Statue of Liberty in the harbour, just a few years earlier than Ann’s, where I met Lilya Vinglas (now Wagner), another Estonian girl with a similar story to tell. Hers is available in a book she later wrote, - one of a number.

Just to point out, there are very few people in this world who wouldn’t stand in line to be granted permission to come to “Amerika” for the freedom and opportunity available here; but they are sidelined by the throngs who elbow their way in. It took this girl’s family 20 years to qualify for a reason - that reason being that in those days it was deemed important to also safeguard the citizens already here from diseases and nefarious powers who don’t have our best interest at heart.

Thank you Kim, for sharing your wife’s story…it touches our hearts and speaks volumes against the misinformation being commonly spread these days.

I recently heard a speaker at a U.S. Small Business Administration luncheon describe the dire straits we will be in if we don’t do better at getting immigrants into the country because of the low unemployment rate. There are presently 1.6 jobs for every applicant.

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I think that Ezekiel said it best when he wrote that the inhospitality of Sodom and Gomorrah was what destroyed the cities. It had everything to do with their hatred of foreigners in their cities. And the gay bashing stories of Genesis that the haters bring up, was simply their way of dehumanizing those who dared enter their cities. Had absolutely nothing to do with sex. We do a lot of the same today but we do it by building walls and stretching barb wire across rivers and putting children in cages. But…I think God has made the point well, that we are all immigrants, and we all want to move to a better place…our eternal home.


Thanks for the beautiful immigration story…we as Adventist Christians live much more intimately with immigration than most Americans. This is a blessing.

It is a pretty typical story, true, except that Ann’s family had it much better in Yugoslavia than many, many others who come. My son’s mother in law fled for her life after a brother was gunned down in El Salvador. The comment about those who “elbow their way in” shows the ideological closing of the mind to the reality that the USA is 99% immigrant, with only our small, hard pressed indigenous population exempt.

Godly immigration policy is going to be very complex, there’s no way around it, but it’s my faith that Jesus will empower us to fulfill His great commission to show compassion to the stranger and the oppressed that this country can improve dramatically in our checkered, often shameful history of rejecting the refugees of the world.

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My comment about people “elbowing” into the country is a criticism of the lack of process for dealing with the immigration. If the present situation at the southern border is acceptable, then why have a border at all. Borders are present for the protection of those who live within those borders. Do we not have responsibility to people who have made the country their home -and they did that because of what the country offers - safety and opportunity. If the same forces that have driven people to leave their own countries are allowed to enter as well, doesn’t that destroy the very reason people are flocking here? This doesn’t even address the health issues that are not dealt with.

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“If the same forces that have driven people to leave their own countries are allowed to enter as well, doesn’t that destroy the very reason people are flocking here?”

Who said they were being let in, sounds like political rhetoric!

“This doesn’t even address the health issues that are not dealt with.”

Whose health issues are you talking about?

What planet are you living on. Do you honestly think all the Peruvians, Nicaraguans, etc. are vaccinating their kids against polio, chickenpox, whooping cough, TB etc. before giving them over to their handlers and on the train north? Was CDC on hand giving out covid shots as they came out of the Rio Grand? As it is, Polio is returning as are other childhood diseases.

How else?
And why wouldn’t they come since they can?
I’m not blaming the people streamng into the country. It’s the US government dropping the ball. The big question is, why?

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You do realize that certain diseases were on the rise again, not because. of immigration but because many Americans have fallen into the trap of being anti-vaccine, long before covid. Immigrants are an easy political target, but the data is not there that back up the vilification.

“If the same forces that have driven people to leave their own countries are allowed to enter…
Sounds like a not so subtle suggestion that the ‘badies’ are being let in willy-nilly with out checks.

… Now you’ve got it.

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I’ll ask again…proof or more political rhetoric?

Once again, I totally disagree with you. What a sickening statement. The whole concept of borders is a human construct. Where you or anyone else on this planet shot out of the womb didn’t give you any more right to be here than anyone else. Go back and read the end of Matthew 25 and read it over until it sinks in. If you don’t see that God loves everyone and how we treat everyone, regardless of where they were born, is not just what God wants, but what He will insist on in the judgment. Then you might find yourself surrounded by a lot of goats. I was born in the USA, but it doesn’t make me even the slightest bit more intitled than any poor person who is fleeing across the border to get away from the drug-lords or some poor Central American farmer who’s crops no longer feed his family because we gas guzzling intitled planet destroyers have turned their farms into deserts because we’ve polluted away their very existence. We have caused much of this because this country is the buyer of those drug-lord’s drugs and this country is one of the main countries that has destroyed this planet. If you don’t think that’s so, just read Revelation 11:18. That last little sentence says it all. Have a wonderful day.

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What this country needs is a vaccination against hatred, racism and the stench of self-righteousness displayed in the above comments. Most of the undocumented people I meet are far less selfish, much harder working, more caring and honest than the bulk of whites, which I am often ashamed to say I am one. I really don’t know how you can rationalize you comments with the words of Jesus. I know I should not judge, but I think your words betray you more than my judgment. Trust me, your MAGA hat will not get you into heaven.

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It always comes down to political brainwashing with you guys. Yours not mine. I don’t have a MAGA hat.

Do you think we’re doing these “undocumented” farmers any good by letting them loose on the streets of San Fransisco or NY, to languish on the streets of these “sanctuary cities”. How many are living in your house?

Speaking of your house, why do you lock it at night, or any time. You lock it because you think it makes you safe to go to sleep without just anybody walking in and setting up camp in your living room, or worse. The country you live in is your home. You owe it to your children to keep them safe and healthy. That is your first responsibility. If you can’t open up your doors and let anybody who wants to come in, then you have nothing more to say on the subject.

There are ways to help those who are escaping poverty and seeking asylum, but there has to be a way to do that without destroying your own country, opening it up to the drug cartels and the drugs that are destroying a whole generation. You want proof of the calamity at he border and in this country, get your head out of the sand and look around.

BTW - Racism is always a last resort when there is no reasonable answer. I wouldn’t care if the border was overrun by snow white Vikings. My reaction would be the same.

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[quote="Sirje, post:16, top ouoted Jesus…I would be worried about the end game.

Who do you think shipped these immigrants to these cities? It certainly doesn’t make sense. They didn’t even want to go there. They came to work, to feed their families. The people coming across the border are willing do to the hard work that you and I are not. They are the hardest working people in our country. And the “progress” that we keep pointing to is replacing humans with computers. Just try to talk to a human being about anything on the phone without spending a half hour going through a phone tree. This crazy country of ours keeps shipping human jobs offshore rather than employing them here at home. We keep replacing jobs with automated machines. Humans are going to replace themselves when AI when it hits its full stride. If you’ve ever seen the cartoon Wall-E you will see where we are headed. If time were to go on, we would become these hugely overweight blobs that don’t move or do anything and that are waited on hand a foot by machines. And these people who come across our boarders are the only ones who actually do the back breaking work that puts the food on your table. I saw a piece a few months ago where they interviewed a farmer in the Salinas Valley who said he tried to hire unemployed white people to work in his fields, and they had all quit by noon. Too darn lazy to actually do the work that these immigrants are more than willing to do. They are what will save this country, not the ones that will ruin it. The traitorous ones wearing the red hats are the intitled ones who think that they make the country run…but they are kidding themselves. Our system is so upside down when you consider that a CEO of a large company makes more in one minute that one of his laborers makes in a whole month, should give you perspective as to how badly we have destroyed the American Dream. But you keep ragging on immigrants, I’m sure it will make you feel better.

I wish you could know how entirely wrong you are. I agree technology is taking over the world and I do believe we haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to machines faking over the work force.

I’m an immigrant myself (not to brag) and I saw my dad cry for the first time, after we had arrived in this country, living in one room under the eaves of my uncle’s house. It would be the second time in his life that he had to learn a new language and a new job to earn a living; and the enormity of the situation hit him when he had to clean the underbrush of someone’s property as his first job, and coming down with poison ivy because he didn’t recognize it as being poisonous. He gradually became a plumber, following this guy on the job as a “gopher”. He learned to do the job and 25 years later retired with a pension.

My mom went to work as well, sewing labels on back of some cheap shirts in a sweat shop on Long Island, while I became a “latch-key kid” spending summer vacations at the local air-conditioned movie theater. My folks never owned their own home, graduating to an apartment over the local 5-10 cent store. We did end up renting the bottom floor of a large house, where the owner permitted my mom to have a small garden. That was her last home since she succumbed to cancer at the age of fifty. Their big accomplishment was to give me a college education, while they had had a sixth-grade European education themselves. In the meantime they had both learned two languages and two new cultures as they escaped from the Soviet occupation of their homeland, Estonia.

I’m sure there are needy families making their way across the southern border, looking or asylum from the same kind autocracies. Among those freedom-loving families are all manner trouble makers. The Mexican cartels are managing the traffic on the border and hoards of single young men with Adidas footwear and throw-away cell phones are crossing the border being transported all over the country to do what… They could be very nice “young men” who are going send their hard-earned income to mom and pop back home, but we can’t be sure of that since Fentynal is flooding the country and is making someone rich as our kids are dying daily. My point is, we can’t know who or what is coming in while the border remains non-existent. For whatever reason, the Federal government can’t be bothered to find out.

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I’m honestly glad you and your family made it to this country…but I think that painting these poor folk at the border all with the same brush is just plain wrong. There are some bad ones that get through, no doubt. We need more border patrol officers but that is hard to get funding for. Of all people, the Republican congressman don’t want to pay for it. Theye’d rather keep supplying the red meat to throw to their immigrant haters. We wasted billions on a wall when that money could have been better spent processing these people and weeding out the bad ones. Most are coming across simply out of survival. And we really do need the unskilled laborers. Look it up, we are hurting for workers who will do the back breaking harvesting of our crops.

According to a report I read a couple of weeks ago, this administration has seized almost 4 times the drugs as the previous administration. And no, that isn’t because a wall, which is a joke, stopped it.

We will simply have to disagree. Just remember, these are all human beings. They are all God’s children.


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