Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Immigration Protests

I thought that protests were supposed to be about change.

So how come all the protests around the world this week are protests against change. In France kids are protesting trying to maintain the status quo. France has an unemployment rate over 10% and they want to keep it that way.

In America there are hundreds of thousands of people marching and protesting in the streets trying to maintain the current status of America’s immigration laws. The House and Senate this week are debating changes to our immigration policy. Just the thought that the current laws may be enforced or maybe changed has outraged the illegal immigrant population and their supporters in this country.

I have been trying to sort out the words to describe my feelings on this subject for several days now. Then this morning I saw this picture on Michelle Malkin’s Blog.

Mexican Flag Flying Over American Flag

Suddenly I wasn’t that interested in writing a well thought out, organized treatise on immigration. I was pissed off. I was sickened. This picture got my attention, which is what I’m sure the perpetrators of this act wanted. They wanted to get our attention and to make a point.

Well they succeeded. But not in the way I’m sure they intended. Until this morning I have been a staunch advocate of securing our borders. I have always wanted to see the tide of illegal immigration stopped. But when it came to dealing with the illegals that were already here I was conflicted. I was not opposed to some sort of amnesty program if they would take the proper steps to become American citizens.

I have been uncomfortable for years when I would go to Los Angeles or Orange County and see huge neighborhoods that seemed like they were trying to recreate Mexico here in America. There are areas where you can drive for blocks and if you can’t read Spanish you will only be able to read the street signs. I have walked into shops where I could not communicate with the person behind the counter because no one in the store could speak English. I actually had one clerk who spoke just enough English to me to tell me that if I couldn’t speak his language I should shop somewhere else. Which wasn’t really a problem, after all you can buy a Pepsi and a snickers bar almost anywhere. I wondered as I walked out of that shop if one of the signs on the door that I couldn’t read said “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Spanish, No Service.”

I have been skeptical of how stubbornly the Mexican immigrants (legal or illegal) here hold onto their national heritage. But I was always willing to give them the doubt as long as they put the interests of the United States first. Well that has changed.

I'm 5th generation American. My 1st generation American ancestors were Norwegian immigrants who did not sneak into the United States. They left their native country to legally make America their home. They settled the untamed Dakota Territories, they filed land grants and became farmers, they worked in shops in town and they stayed home and raised the next generation. While they struggled themselves, they made sure that their children learned to speak English. My maternal Grandmother (the third generation) was very proud of being full-blooded Norwegian yet she could not speak more than about 10 words of Norwegian. She could read even less. Her brother would say a table blessing in Norwegian but we are pretty sure most of it was just Norwegian sounding gibberish that he made up. Five generations later we are still proud of our Norwegian heritage. My home includes family heirlooms that reflect our Norwegian heritage. We still have our names (Kari, Karen, Ole, Karl, etc), our holiday customs and the jokes and stories told by our previous generations. My immigrant ancestors did not come here and expect America to be just like Norway. They were looking for something better. They were willing to take great risks to find it. They were willing to work hard to make sure that their life here would be better than the one they left in Norway. They did not come here to be Norwegian-Americans. They came here to be Citizens of the United States, you know – Americans!

So today we have an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in America. They tell us that they come here to make opportunities for themselves. They come to work. They come to have an opportunity to better their lives. Well that’s just great. Welcome to America. Now, fill out your paperwork, learn at least enough English to be able to speak the Oath of Naturalization. Get a job, pay your taxes, vote, teach your kids why you left Mexico, start acting like an American and insist that your children do so also.

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."


If you have a grievance, write a letter, write an e-mail, write a blog, call someone, tell someone, run for office, put up signs, get on television or march in a protest. But do these things as Americans. You will not convince your fellow Americans to come over to your way of thinking by disrespecting our Country and our Flag. Waving a Mexican flag will not make your point. Unless your point is that you don’t belong here. This is America. Your Mexican flag belongs on the wall in your home or handed down to your grandchildren as a reminder of where you came from. It should not be flying on a pole in public view. This is America, not Mexico. If you want to run that Mexican flag up a flagpole then head south until you pass a United States border patrol agent who thanks you for visiting America. Once you pass him, you can proudly run that flag up any and every pole you can find.

Michelle Malkin also had on her blog a picture of young girl being shouted at for carrying an American Flag at one of the immigration protests. She also included a quote from the young lady.

“My heart is with the Mexican flag and Mexico but I’m standing on American ground and I’m Mexican-American” - Michelle Marquez


Michelle Marquez – Congratulation for having the guts to carry that American Flag to that protest and the brains to know that carrying a Mexican flag would not have furthered your cause. But I have three questions for you. Why do you call yourself Mexican-American? Do you have dual citizenship? Finally if your heart is truly with the Mexican Flag and Mexico then what the hell are you doing in the United States? If Mexico is where your heart is then go live in Mexico.

I can’t find a better way to end this tirade than with a quote by Teddy Roosevelt from 1907:

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 man's becoming in very fact 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, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...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.


Thanks to Rob Port for the quote.

So if you want to immigrate to America come ready to become an American. If you plan on being a hyphenated American we don’t want you. If you are already here and insist on being a hyphenated American then we can’t afford to trust you or let you stay – start packing. You’re either an American or you are something else and if you chose the something else then it is time for you to go home.

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More Immigration Protests

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

BRAVO!!!!!

You need to get this posted in your citys news paper, opinion forum?? and get others to take notice.

Looks like many just mouth the words when taking the oath and have no idea what its saying..why?? CUZ THEY CANT READ ENGLISH!!

Anonymous said...

How dare you hang a american flag upside dow like that. We have men dieing for your freedom and this is how you repay them. What you have done is disrespect every soldier in U.S. history and for that I do not forgive. Men like you don't deserve to live in this country and if I had it my way you wouldn't.


On behalf of
U.S.M.C.
"Thou who shed blood with me shall forever be my brother"