Immigration needs to happen legally

By By Tiara Fuller

By Tiara Fuller

Celebrating the Fourth of July last week made me think about how important this country is to me.

Patriotism has been passed down from generation to generation since my first American immigrant ancestor sold almost everything he had to get enough money to send his brothers and sisters over on the Mayflower. They felt the same as all immigrants who have come to America and instilled a sense of love, appreciation and respect for their new country in their families.

America represented freedom, a land of opportunity and a safe haven from the oppression and suffering — whether monetary or religious — experienced in their home countries. America still holds that promise for immigrants today.

Increasingly, though, instead of the gratitude and loyalty former immigrants showed to America, we find immigrants taking America for granted.

Millions of illegal aliens swarm over our borders every year. The infiltration of illegal aliens is different from past immigrations, though.

Historically, immigrants were prepared to forsake home and country for the opportunity of a better life for themselves and their posterity in America. My ancestors didn’t teach their children their native languages because they wanted them to assimilate as best they could into the culture here and become American.

I don’t advocate turning one’s back on one’s heritage — in fact, I wish my family members had retained some of their traditions and native languages. I do, however, advocate altering one’s life to incorporate the culture of the country you wish to be a part of.

It is fine to have family traditions, but they shouldn’t be associated directly with another country. I understand getting the family together to celebrate, but why do we have Cinco de Mayo parades in America? Mexicans can celebrate Cinco de Mayo all they want, and I completely support them being proud of their country. But it is ridiculous for America to celebrate some other country’s independence. Mexicans’ continuing to celebrate Cinco de Mayo while living in America shows disloyalty and disrespect to the country they are taking advantage of.

Illegal aliens want all the privileges and opportunity that America offers, but personally don’t want to contribute to society. They feel no loyalty toward our country.

I was enraged when I saw a photo taken at Montecello High School in California during the rallies for the immigration bill President Bush has been trying to force through Congress. The image was of students raising the Mexican flag on their school flagpole. That made me upset, but what really inflamed me was that they strung the American flag up underneath it, upside down!

That disgusting display was not the only offensive deed carried out. At rallies across the nation, illegal aliens, resident aliens and their supporters were waving Mexican flags while simultaneously demanding a path to citizenship!

They should have been waving an American flag and displaying the reverence to it that it deserves. The flag is a symbol of our country — a symbol of the amazing sacrifice and hard work our forefathers went through to create and preserve this great nation.

To see the flag treated with such disrespect is incredibly insulting. Immigrants today, especially illegal aliens, fail to appreciate the high price paid for the country they are exploiting.

Members of the rallies were quoted as saying they demanded a path to citizenship — that they deserved the same benefits offered to everyone else here. The truth is they don’t deserve anything when they make a mockery of our laws and disparage our country. No one deserves anything in life unless they are willing to work for it. There are countless people waiting in lines to be let into this country and be able to make a better life for themselves and to give back to America.

I am not a selfish person. I know that America is an incredibly wealthy country and I am more than happy to share what we have. I do not oppose immigration. I oppose illegal immigration, which robs individuals trying to obey the laws from being able to get accepted into America.

My mom recently had some friends become naturalized U.S. citizens. I would recommend that everyone try to go to a citizenship ceremony. The gratitude future citizens demonstrate is astonishing when contrasted with the attitudes displayed by so many others. They have to go through an arduous process, after which they take an oath vowing to renounce allegiance to other countries, support the Constitution and serve in the armed forces if called upon to do so, among other things.

Immigrants are more than welcome to come legally to America as long as they are willing to relinquish the ties to their former country and assimilate into our culture, showing gratitude to the country to which they are indebted for the opportunities they enjoy.

[email protected]