Thursday, April 30, 2009

Old Immigrants vs. New Immigrants

Although I do agree with this letter because I live in an area where I see this daily, OF COURSE it's not everyone. That's obvious. When I see the marches that go in the streets of America holding their own country flag and having their demands, that's when I think, "Wow, this letter does have some merit". There can be an ungratefulness. Just like how other people can be grouped together and have a stereotype, doesn't mean this letter is true about every single new immigrant. I thought I should clarify for those who might get offended easily and think this letter was written specifically about them. :)

Dear Editor:
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and otherports of entry.
Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States , people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany , Italy , France , and Japan . None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan .. They were defending the United States of America as one people.
When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German- American or the Irish-American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
And here we are in 2009 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges, only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a bet! ter life I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.
And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty , it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.


Loretta said...

I concur with this completely. When my Mother lived in Paris, she learned to speak French fluently, and she adopted their customs. I know I would do the same if I lived in another country, and I'm sure I would actually enjoy that process. It's partially done out of respect for the new land you live in, and it's people ~ a way of assimilating and showing gratitudel for your new home. I don't understand why there are many here now who don't have that same outlook, especially if they come from lands where liberties are not allowed as they are here. I love the Statue of Liberty and all that she stands for. God Bless America!

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Yes and no.

Often, the immigrants had their culture STRIPPED from them. Try speaking German publicly during World War II. My husband's family used to speak German, but it became the language Grandma would use so that none of the kids knew what she was saying when she wanted a private conversation LOL.

Today's immigrant does not have to give up his language to be American. I think that's ok if he tries to learn English, too. I don't feel threatened by Spanish-speaking businesses, etc. but I dislike my GOVERNMENT changing to accomodate this.

I've seen people fly Irish flags at festivals and the like but I have never seen, say, Irish-Americans protesting something and flying the flag. Maybe that's too fine a difference for the newcomers to get... or maybe not.

The more I think about it, though, the more I feel threatened by ISLAMIC immigration. Hey, my kids could learn Spanish about as easily as Arabic... but... let's not.

PS I appreciate seeing you tackle some of these topics. I can talk about something besides poopy diapers sometimes and work my brain! Hugs.

Amber said...

While this obviously doesn't apply to all immigrants today, it does apply to the vast majority. I understand respecting the country your ancestors were from and honoring your heritage. However, if you move to a new country it's because you see it offers you a better life. Show that country respect by learning the language and honoring it's flag. Also, don't take the free handouts the government gives then turn around and insult that same government. No country is perfect, but the US is a land of opportunity. Love it or leave it.