Coming to America

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Those words are inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

The United States has long been a beacon to those who seek freedom. From the first colonists who sought refuge from religious prosecution to the American Revolution which was primarily fought for economic reasons(taxation without representation) to today's millions of Hispanics who seek to enjoy the economic strength of our country.

Throughout the history of the United States, waves of immigrants have sought the safety and liberty on our shores. From the Irish, to the , to the Italians to and to Jews, all fled their home countries either because of famine, economic hardships, or the very real threats of death because of their religion.

Many of those immigrants came legally but I'm sure that was quite a few who didn't. Most family histories in the US involve that aunt, uncle or cousin who snuck in.

The proposed legislation to grant illegal immigrants amnesty so they may to enjoy the benefits of living in our great country is not new. President Reagan did the same in the 1980's.

Where I live, we have a large population of Vietnamese. Like all new immigrants they initially faced discrimination and resentment. But they have now interwoven their unique culture with the one that had existed previously. So now we have a unique society that blends in Slovak, French, Vietnamese, African, and Southern culture.

The tide of Hispanics coming from Mexico, Honduras, and other Central and South American countries seems overwhelming. But part of their culture has already crept into ours. We celebrate Cinque De Mayo. We love Mexican food, salsa music and dancing.

The one thing I did not like seeing in those rallies held throughout the country was the disrespect shown to the American flag. The US is always changing and each new wave of immigrants lends it's history to our great country. And that is what makes me so upset at seeing images of the Mexican flag flying on the same pole as the US flag. It is wrong. We are not Mexico. We are the United States. One lesson that was learned by all the other waves of immigrants coming to the US: we are American first and our ethnicity is second.


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