Friday, April 28, 2006

You have the freedom to leave

This whole set of events around illegal immigration is ridiculous. I am absolutely livid over this.

I am an immigrant. My parents are immigrants. I have family and friends which are immigrants. We all came here legally. We played by the rules. We learned English and became part of American melting pot. At the same time, we did not lose our ethnic heritage, traditions or languages. What’s the problem with doing it right? I’m sorry if people can’t just simply come here when they feel like it. I am annoyed with people who feel that rules don’t apply to them. I have no issue with immigrants and immigration in general. But there are rules, laws and policies on immigration. We are supposed to be a country run by the rule of law. Do we need to change some of our immigration laws? Sure.

There are plenty of folks here illegally and they are trying to influence our laws and leaders. In a few days we’ll have protests and boycotts. Look folks, if you don’t like it here leave. You’re not here legally anyway and we will find some way to live without you.

You will also hear the rhetoric that many illegals aliens are upstanding productive parts of our society. Great, I have no doubt that is true. But at the same time, so what? You want a medal? That is the absolute minimum our society expects of people. The fact of the matter is, they still broke the law. I am a productive member of society. I work, pay my taxes, I obey the laws. But if I drive 74 MPH in a 45 MPH zone I have broken the law and if I get caught, I pay the penalty.

Some guy in the UK just released a Spanish version of the US National Anthem. Look, the US National Anthem is in English and should be sung in English. End of story. Any alteration is simply an insult to all citizens and legal residents of this country. Here in Arizona we have places where Spanish is the primary language of education. Immigrants need to learn English, that’s what we speak here. Most other folks I know who have emigrated, were immersed in English. You know how many times I’ve done business with a company and can’t communicate with the workers because they can’t speak English? Too many. So I’m faced with having to try and communicate in Spanish (which I do well enough).

For that matter, what is up with voting ballots printed in both English and Spanish? Let me put this in perspective. To vote, you need to be a Citizen. To become a Citizen (which I did myself), you need to show proficiency for a few things including the ability to speak/read/write English. There are exceptions but the ballots and a good many things nowadays cater to what should be the exception. I don’t remember seeing ballots in Italian or Polish or German. And there are A LOT of folks who emigrated from those countries.

For me this is not a racist or ethnocentrist issue. Unfortunately, it becomes a “race” discussion. It’s not a race issue. While there are illegal aliens from other parts of the world, the vast majority are Hispanics. So what- it’s still illegal and many times dangerous for many of those folks trying to find a better way in life. If we had a bunch of Canadians, French, Germans or Poles coming here illegally, most people would have the same issue with it.

So, illegal aliens go ahead and protest and/or boycott. Lose a day of pay or burn a vacation day if you get one. The rest of us will go about our normal business. This country affords people many rights and freedoms which you are getting – including protesting. If you don’t like our rules, laws or anything else regarding this country, you also have the freedom to leave. Adios.