Monday, May 01, 2006

Day Without Immigrants

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

I received this in an email today, and I must admit, it makes sense to me. I haven't been too sure of my feelings regarding the "Day Without Immigrants" but this quote from President Theodore Roosevelt kind of firmed up my thoughts this evening. If there were in reality to be such a day, most of us would not have gone into work today, as most of us are here from immigrants. My family on my father's side immigrated here from Germany in the early 1800's, and my mom's side immigrated here from Acadia Canada, arriving there from France. Much pride was given to becoming a United States citizen and the work that it took to accomplish it according to family lore. My own father in law became a naturalized citizen from New Brunswick, Canada, and was proud of his enlistment in the United States Army in 1946.

Do I think that those who are not natural born citizens here deserve less than those that are???? NO! Do I think that because you have come here by cutting red tape and squeaking by that you deserve the same rights as those who are here legally??? NO! I am sorry that the wheels of becoming a citizen of this great country turn so slow, but I do believe in following the rules. Should we make it easier to become a citizen? Maybe yes, but probably no. I agree with President Roosevelt in that once you decide to become a citizen, you owe your allegiance to this country first and foremost. If you cannot do that, then think twice. Maybe the loops and turns are in place to give you that chance to make sure this is what you really want. Did I notice a difference in my town that had a huge march today??? No, all it did was make me think that for those who are living here illegally need to do what they can to turn things in the direction they want to move in. Become a legal US citizen with the rights and privileges that go along with that honor. Receive your educations, vote in our elections, make the changes that are necessary to make this a better country to be part of. Hell if you want, run for office and make the changes yourself. But if you're not interested in doing it legally, then leave until you are ready to make a change.