Tuesday, July 2, 2002

What do you think of this?

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made
up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the
Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated
the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.
Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr.
Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of
immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all 20 areas
of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and
stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get
down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to
uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times.
They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households
and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new
life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate
into one culture.
Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to
protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had
brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their
children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along
side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France
and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought
about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans
fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending
the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no
one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German
American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans.
And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those
immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag
and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to
their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly
knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one
red, white and blue bowl.
And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same
rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a
different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a
guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not
what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who
landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all
the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a
land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better
life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example
by those waving foreign country flags.
And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I
wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

Answer on What do you think of this?

It's a great point... but at least credit Rosemary LaBonte for writing it.