I attended the naturalization of a family member last week. I cannot begin to explain the feelings it brought up in my mind. It was so thrilling to see the family members and pride of all those who were naturalized. I was among those families, I knew their joy was as great as ours to see a person who came from another land become a citizen of the United States of America.
And then it came to me to feel sorry for those who are in this country as an illegal alien. They are missing a lot by doing it that way. They are missing the joy; they will never know the pride I saw in those people who were naturalized. And it is of our doing, they have been told and encouraged to come knowing they will probably get by with it. But they will be looking over their shoulders for the immigration officers, and the border patrol, and the employers who can and will exploit them because they are illegal.
I am in no way condoning their actions nor asking for amnesty. We must control our borders, it is in critical disarray and we do not know what will come to us in the way of diseases, felonies, thefts and even murders because of the mass of people being let into the interior of the country by our own government. (assisted by the Mexican government and the drug cartels.)
I have been pondering this in my mind since the naturalization service. Today I read Sarah Hoyt’s blog I was born American and she completely confirms what I imagined the new citizens to be feeling.
“Yes, I was born in another country of foreign parents who would no more become American than fly unassisted, but I figure that was an accident of circumstance. What really matters is that I was an American in my heart. I just had to get here and become one in truth. (And that, by itself, is an American attitude.)”
[…]In Portugal I felt strange because I believed in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I believed in this, in fact:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Still do. Those beliefs make me American.
Indeed they do, Sarah, indeed they do, and welcome to our world all you naturalized citizens who did it the legal way, who filled out the forms, who waited their turn. You are the ones we need.