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Thursday, November 02, 2006

SUBJECT: Immigration...

Ok... oddly enough the subject of immigration has been brought up a lot lately to me. At work, at home, and oddly enough via the internet too. So a part of me feels urged to actually bring this up in a blog... to be frank about it, to be honest about it.

Now no one can say I don't know what it is to be an immigrant -I was one.

No one can say I'm racist -I'm the leading minority where I live. Literally... I'm the ONLY minority here.

No one can say I've forgotten my roots -I still remember where I was born. I still remember coming to this country. I still remember my language. And I visit the place of my birth often and will actually do so this upcoming December as well.

So to say I'm a hypocrite is a bit beyond my limits of toleration.

So let me tell everyone, once and for all, my views on "immigration".

First off, I have no problems with immigration. If it's done legally. Key word here is "legally" as in following the rules and guidelines blah blah blah blah blah.

I was an immigrant. My entire family came to the United States from the Philippines. We were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity. But I tell you what, there are people out there, who wait for as long as 5-10 years to be given the chance to actually migrate to the United States. Then they come here and they appreciate it more. They work hard for what they want. They didn't try to just take it by illegal means.

Granted my family already knew the English language, but when the immigrants on Ellis Island came here in the early 1900's that's what their first priority was. To learn the language.

Those immigrants who passed through Ellis Island came here to make the U.S. their new home. They didn't try to wave their old home flags or demand that the U.S. acknowledge it. They didn't demand translations. They had kids who fought in wars. They became Americans.

If any American citizen decided to move to another country or travel abroad, do they expect everyone to know the English language??? I don't think so. They either have to hire a translator (which a lot of people can't afford to do) or they LEARN THE LANGUAGE.

No one can say that if you learn another language you're forgetting your roots. That's total BS. Learning other languages only enhances your skills and actually opens up more opportunities for you. I was taught two different languages from the day I was born, and growing up I came to learn more... but I never forgot what my first two were... so if anyone says I've forgotten my roots they are sorely mistaken.

Secondly, most immigrants come here to work. Yeah, yeah, a lot of illegals have come here to work too, but because they came here illegally, it's kinda makes it difficult for them to find work now doesn't it? So what do they end up doing? Oh yes, getting help... Through what? Oh right that thing most everyone deals with every April... -taxes. Sure, if you can get away with it, it's cheaper employment, but that only costs you on state taxes and takes away opportunity from the people who have a right to it.

I'm not against immigration folks. Before I became a citizen of this beautiful country, I had already come to realize that when immigrants come here legally, it makes it easier on everyone in general. Their primary agendas usually are: 1.) If you don't know the language already, learn it, 2.) find a place to live, 3.) find a job to pay for that place you now live in.

My encounters with illegal immigrants while in California however were not always fortunate. Witnessing an accident where the other guy had no insurance or even a liscense for that matter, being a part of a hiring process at a job fair where I was there to witness someone getting interviewed who had no clue about the English language and refused to talk unless someone translated and then finding out that he wasn't even elligible to work because he had no I.D. and no social security but he demanded the job anyway, and parents who interrupted my elementary school classes so they could randomly drop their kids off without first enrolling the students, and then not being able to understand English when the teacher tried to tell them they had to be enrolled first. So many of them expected rights and privileges without effort.

I know what it was to come to a new country and experience major culture shock. I know what it was to speak a different language at school than at home. But my parents and even my grandparents (albeit with an accent) know the English language. I respect the immigrants who came here legally following all the regulations and who not only learned the English language but actually made the United States their home away from home. They wanted to be Americans with American rights and privileges and WORKED for it.

So give me your tired and your poor and your huddled masses... just do it right.

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