Immigrants Who aren’t Supposed to be in the Room

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore Hamilton
and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a
forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence,
impoverished, in squalor,
grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

With these words, the Tony-award winning Broadway play, Hamilton, opens, as the privileged Founding Father “trust-fund babies” of their time wonder how a street rat can out-write, out-produce and out-think them. And yet, the musical based on Alexander Hamilton’s life is really a story of the trials and tribulations faced by many first-generation immigrants, then and today, regardless of their importance in sustaining and maintaining the nation. Toward the end of Act 1 as Lafayette and Hamilton ride toward victory at Yorktown — and by extension the Revolutionary War — buried in the rap, are the words “Immigrants: We get the job done.”

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