Saturday, February 16, 2008

Immigration policy should not betray our legal immigrant ancestors

The first thing immigrants saw as they sailed in the early 1900's to Ellis Island was The Statue of Liberty and etched into her base is the poem “The New Colossus”:

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The nostalgic days of immigration based on the same notion as when my parents disembarked in New York in 1907 and 1922 from their homes in Italy are long past. Those coming here illegally simply do not have the same spirit of wanting to be Americans as those who came here legally during the earlier immigration boom.

We need to change the etching on Lady Liberty’s base to “Send us your people who believe America is great and want to become one of us”.

I am not against immigration. After all, I would not be able to write these words if it were not for our country’s belief in the value of immigration. The problem is that we are not smart about it. We don’t want to speak out and have certain expectations, because if we do, it’s not “politically correct” -- and if you’re a politician, it’s tantamount to suicide.

Recently at a campaign stop, Hillary Clinton was in the home of a Hispanic family and the husband was explaining their problem that his wife was illegal. Hillary Clinton stopped him and said, “No woman is illegal.”

Yes, the time-consuming process of immigration is difficult, but I can tell you that I and others would disagree with Hillary Clinton. Let me be clear: both of my parents spoke English, didn’t have and never had a criminal record, they worked, paid taxes and contributed to society. They also went through the process legally. We need to face facts and need to realize that the immigration policies of the 1900’s aren't the same as in today's politically correct climate; the former policies simply can't apply anymore because it is not fair to legal immigrants when too many of us, especially those in government, want to extend citizenship to people who haven’t respected our laws and did not come here because they want to become Americans. We need to make it less difficult and more welcoming for immigrants like those a century ago who want to obey our laws and become true Americans, not hyphenated Americans. Our country will lose the spirit of patriotism if this goes unchecked and not corrected.

This situation has become silly in the extreme...

I read a story that was purported to have been on the news in Miami recently. A man called DirecTV for a technician to come out and fix his satellite dish. He is American and speaks English. The operator at DirecTV asked him if he needed an English-speaking tech?

The man answered “Yes, this is America; after all, don’t you mean to ask me if I need a Spanish-speaking tech?”

No, they told him, they had only Spanish-speaking techs in his area, and nobody who spoke English was available.

We can continue to allow massive “politically correct” immigration to continue and watch as our financial resources disappear or we can get smart. If you don’t believe me or think I am exaggerating, look at some of the statistics below which come from sources I believe are correct and you will realize where so much of our hard-earned taxes goes.

  • $11-22 billion per year is spent by states on welfare to illegal aliens
  • $2.5 billion per year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens
  • $12 billion per year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally or of parents who are here illegally
  • $3 million per DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens
  • $1.9 billion per year could be spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC and free school lunches for illegal aliens

Certainly we all can understand the humanitarian aspect of these expenditures but I can only hope you will agree with me that we should not accept complacency, or worse, about illegal immigration and try to elect people to public office who will not betray our legal immigrant ancestors.

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