I don’t think I’ve struggled with something that I’ve written quite like I have with this article.
Partially because it brought back so many good memories of relatives and friends, and partially because the essence of America is that we are a nation of immigrants.
Legal Immigrants. Immigrants who came here to be Americans.
America is a concept. It’s the shining city on the hill where with hard work and determination, anyone can make it. The concept that is America was the single greatest magnet to those wanting better the world over.
It is who we are. Those who went to Fourth of July Parades as children know this.
America is also a country, with borders.
I know why some of my relatives came here. I was told by my great grandfather Palidino that he would have never be able to own a flower shop in Italy, but in Newburgh, NY he could. That shop supported three generations of the family.
Next to the flower shop was a building with three apartments. My uncle, my grandparents and great grandparents all lived there. When the flower shop was busy (usually weddings or funerals), everyone pulled together. My Dad would drive an hour to be there and help. It was beyond expected, it just was.
My mothers side of the family were farmers, and in the mid 18th century pulled up their roots in Switzerland and the Netherlands and came to the colonies.
In all cases, they became citizens. There was no option to return. There were no calls to “the old country”. There was no way to “send money home”. You were all in. You were here. You leaned the common language. You became American. That was the goal.
I have had blood relatives in every conflict from the Revolutionary War through World War II and Vietnam. Individually, and as a family, they served and served proudly. A distant relative even achieved the Medal of Honor.
The expectation was that you would and should work hard and do the best that you can. Your allegiance was part of the price of the opportunity.
You had your heritage. It was obvious from the neighborhood you lived in. The food you ate. Some of the traditions you observed. In many cases the church or synagogue you attended. But first and foremost, you were an American.
That was true of my immigrant ancestors, and the European and Irish waves of immigrants from the 1850’s through the 1930’s.
Many forget that Congress passed a literacy requirement in 1917 to curb the influx of low skilled immigrants. I think they had a lot of wisdom that has been lost in the ensuing century.
Immigration has ebbed and flowed over the past 180 years, beginning in earnest in 1850.
The immigrants huddled in communities while they mastered their new country and the language, in many cases aided by organizations and churches that they trusted. There was no doubt about their children, though. They were to be Americans. There was that common thread. In my parents house, Thanksgiving was turkey, dressing, and pasta.
The basics were God and Country, and you revered both.
You didn’t break the law. That would bring shame on your family.
Fast foward to the last 30 years. More government involvement. Special interest groups pulling for and against certain nationalities.
The consensus from the left that “being here illegally is OK”
An immigration lottery? Here, sign up for the best of American welfare, and if you win the lottery, chain migration will bring in everyone you know.
You don’t need to learn the language. We can watch TV from “home” on the satellite.
You can send checks back to the old country.
If you don’t like the place, you can trash it, and the worst that can happen is you will be deported, maybe.
So we end up with Illegals that have broken the law to get here, demonstrating from jump that they have no respect for the law. Then they “game” the system producing large numbers of “anchor babies” and pursue chain migration bringing in every distant relative despite the fact that they themselves are illegal, all in the pursuit of “getting something without working for it”.
Illegals see the middle class as stupid for working hard and paying taxes.
“We should not deport an illegal immigrant until they do something illegal”- Nancy Pelosi.
I did a double take on that one, too.
If you’re willing to break the laws of the country you wish to enter, what won’t you do?
Which sets the stage for DACA. “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”. Translated this means, pregnant women getting across the border just in time to give birth.
Break the law, get the biggest gift ever, and the opportunity to bring your extended family with you, and they will be immediately eligible (make that immediately ENTITLED) to a host of benefits. Then, their parents will likely send a considerable chunk of their tax free earnings back to relatives in Mexico.
The woman who wrote the following came up with quite an analogy:
I have a couple of friends who immigrated from Iran. They came as students, and became citizens. One is wrapping up a successful career in business, the other is a physician. Their children are, you guessed it, Americans.
I know two different couples from Russia. They are proud citizens, pursuing the American dream, legally. They jumped through the hoops, many of which were needless and excessive, and earned their citizenship.
If they could, why couldn’t the parents of the DACA recipients? Why do they get special treatment because their parents violated the law. Why should we not deport people who broke our laws until they do something “illegal”, like violating the sanctity of our borders and laws was not enough.
There are pictures of DACA students burning our flag. Many have been debunked, but others are factual. We want these people to be part of our country? What lessons have they learned? What are we teaching them as a society?
Will they endeavor to be a little better? Or will they just jump the border one more time, or take from someone who belongs here, because they know that with their numbers is strength… especially if a left leaning politician thinks she can get you to vote their way in the future.
The entire issue is not about immigration, but it is about re-making America in a form that many of us find abhorrent.
I am for LEGAL immigration. Not chain immigration. Not immigration lottery. Legal immigration. By the book, without political influence one way or the other.
The “Dreamers” are not after the American Dream. They are after something else, and it’s not consistent with the goals that we have as a people.
The “Dreamers” are not who we are as Americans.
So, it’s time for the difficult decisions. Send them “home” (back where they are citizens), or provide them a path? How will we know if they truly want to join us and pursue our common goals. Those things that make us unique and uniquely productive among the people of the world.
I don’t think we can depend on our politicians to find a satisfactory solution, too many are attorneys, and they don’t seem to understand the term “illegal immigrant”.
Categories: Immigration Policy