Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm Proud to be American

We watched Invictus this weekend.  It got me thinking about a few things.  First, American Football is for pussies.  Rugby uses no pads and is practically an all out brawl versus the ballet that is Monday Night Football.  Second, I'm really glad I've been paying attention to the FIFA World Cup stadiums in South Africa.  It was actually really helpful in following the locations of this movie.  Third, and the point of my post today, was National Unity and Pride in Country Mandela created in South Africa.  

I get people who want to live and work in a foreign country.  I understand why people would want to come over here.  I can see why people would want to become citizens of our nation.  I've even considered living abroad on several occasions.  I met my wife right after she returned from living in Germany during her last two years of college.  So obviously she does too.  But as it stands, I'd never give up my citizenship.  I love being an American.

I am not about to discuss the Arizona laws of late.  I am not going to tell immigrants to go home.  I am not that kind of person.  America was built upon influxes of people from foreign countries.  America IS a melting pot.  We are a better nation for it too.  The influence of other cultures and ideas working together has created a nation that is diverse AND united.  I do want to talk about illegal immigration though. I might offend some people with the rest of this post.  If you're highly sensitive to the immigration topic, please read my final line before you go too much further.

I live in Texas.  Over half my friends and coworkers are of Hispanic decent.  The rest of us are a mixture of everything else.  That's the face of this state too.   And that's the way it should be too.  Texas is on the border of Mexico.  Immigrants have many points of entry in to the country.  International Airports and the two GIGANTIC borders to the North and South. 

People in the country illegally doesn't mean they shouldn't be here.  It means they aren't supposed to be here with out proper paperwork.  America welcomes people to immigrate into this country.  But just like my birth certificate, you need something that says you can be here.  You don't have to become a citizen.  Just have a work visa.  Just have a study visa.  Hell, just have a visitor's visa.  If I go anywhere else in the world, I have to get a visa to be there.  You know that little stamp you get in your passport when you go through customs?  That's a visa.  A visitors visa, but a visa none the less.

I could rant about how people just need to follow the rules, but that's obviously a moot point and one that holds no weight to folks who are already breaking them.  But I'd like to appeal to fellow Americans' pride in their nationality.

Like I said, I'm proud to be an American.  I assume you are too even if, like me, you don't have the American flag draped on your shoulders as you sing Star Spangled Banner whilst Bald Eagles circle the Statue of Liberty replica you've installed in your front lawn. 

So here's my problem.  If we just ignore the issue or if we make a sweeping decision to make all illegals currently in the country nationalized citizens, what are we really saying?  To me basically we're saying it means NOTHING to be American.  My birth certificate might as well be a receipt or bill from the hospital.  Those who have chosen to immigrate to this country and become naturalized citizens did it all for naught.

I was born in this great country.  My ancestors (some only two generations ago) proudly became Americans.  Millions of people might as well be nomads.  A few of my Hispanic friends have argued that I'll never know what it's like to have to prove your citizenship.  They are right.  I'm white and frankly the thought that I might be Canadian here illegally is less likely to be on an INS/DHS officers mind  than if my friends are Mexicans here illegally.  I think they should be more upset by the whole thing than anyone.  Especially those who have become citizens.  They've got something that they've worked for and appreciate.  Someone else is trying to mooch it for nothing.  

To my fellow Americans this is the time to be Patriotic.  Is being an American worth so little that we should LITERALLY just give it away for free?  

If I have offended you with this post, please take a moment to consider what I'm actually saying.  I don't think everyone should be kicked out.  I simply think people should appreciate what the USA has to offer and acknowledge that it is worth SOMETHING.

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