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An open letter to non-Americans in this country

With the recent wave of protests for changing our immigration laws, there has been a great deal of conflation of all aliens within the United States. That's wrong -- they are not a monolithic group. Of the literally millions of non-Americans in our country, here for numerous reasons, and to lump all of them together under one big label is sheer intellectual laziness.

I've been doing some thinking, and I believe I've managed to cover nearly all of them.

To those who come to America for tourism: I say welcome. We have a shorter history than many nations, not even two and a half centuries, but we have made the most of those years. We have many fascinating people and places, and we hope you enjoy your stay.

To those who come to America for study:
I say welcome. You do us a great compliment, and hope we can learn from you as you learn from our schools. In many parts of the world, an American degree is considered a sign of distinction, and I hope you earn that and use it well.

To those who come to America to work legally: I say thank you. Despite the silliness of some of our people (including a vastly disproportionate number at the above-mentioned colleges and universities), you affirm that America is still "the land of opportunity," and you prove on a daily basis your willingness to work hard, work within the system, and do what you need to do to succeed. You are often a challenge to our own workers, but the kind of challenge that makes us want to do better.

To those who come to America to become citizens: I say thank you. You pay us the highest compliment you can, by saying that you wish to be one of us. It is not an easy process, to seek to renounce one's own citizenship and seek to become an American, but it should not be easy. It is one of the biggest decisions one can make in one's life. However, I think I can safely say that of all the nations in the world, America puts the fewest burdens to becoming a citizen.

I also envy you, a little. You will always cherish your citizenship a bit more dearly than I appreciate mine. You will be able to point with pride at that certificate and say "I earned that," while I and many of my fellow native-born citizens simply take it for granted. You will be able to remember the day you won it, while we simply take it for granted as something we've had since birth. I freely welcome you and embrace you as brothers and sisters, but I never forget that you chose and worked for what we share. It's similar to how I think of adopted children; they should never doubt if they were truly wanted, or were an "accident;" their parents had to put a hell of a lot more work into having them than most birth parents. That which we work for we value far more than that which we are freely given.

And finally, to those who are here illegally, through either false pretenses, refusing to leave as originally promised, or simply sneaking across the border: I say leave. I don't care in the least about what benefits I might allegedly enjoy from your presence. Nor do I recognize any innate "right" to come to the United States by any means you choose. As I said above, no nation in the world has as open policies as we do to come here, both temporarily and permanently. If those rules are not lax enough to suit you, feel free to work towards changing them. But do not flout them and then demand forgiveness. Do not insult my nation by ignoring our laws, and then seek the benefit of the law.

The recent waves of protests have done yeoman's work at muddling the issue. To them, all who have come to the United States are equal, regardless of the means they arrived. That is a gross insult to those who respected the system, followed the rules, did the paperwork, waited in line, and showed respect for our nation and our laws from the very first. To lump those exceptionally worthy people in with those who lied on their "tourist" or "student" visas, those who refused to leave when they agreed to, or simply broke into this nation is one of the crassest political acts I have ever witnessed (and as someone who lives next door to Massachusetts, the state that gave the country Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry, that's saying a LOT). It must not be allowed to stand unchallenged. Those people being lumped in with the illegal aliens are far better than that. They are some of the finest people our nation can claim, and should not be so insulted.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference An open letter to non-Americans in this country:

» bRight & Early linked with First Cup 04.11.06

» YOU KNOW I'M RIGHT linked with Immigration?

» Digital Shlepnick linked with An open letter from an excellent writer

» Church and State linked with Are We God, Or Are We Endowed

» Mainstream Iowan linked with A Few Thoughts On Immigration

» The Glittering Eye linked with Pet Peeve #1: Wishful Thinking

Comments (32)

I agree with your assesstme... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

I agree with your assesstment of the situation, and especially the suggestion to the illegal aliens in our country. If they don't leave, go round them up and get them back to their origin.
The next open letter should to our elected representatives. First, seal and protect our borders, secondly, enforce current immigration laws. This would eventually find most illegal aliens here and get them out of this country. If they want to come back, do it legally.
I really don't like this political posturing during an election year.

Unfortunatlty it now seems ... (Below threshold)
Radical Centrist:

Unfortunatlty it now seems that essentialy the ruling class has deemed American citizenship irrelevant. Illeagals are now getting drivers licenses, opening up bank accounts, getting mortgages, being allowed to vote in certain elections, having day laborer centers built with taxpayers money, etc.. It now seems that the ruling class has deemed that America does not have the right to define and defend it's borders from massive migrations of people into the United States. It now seems that the ruling elites have deemed it the responsibility of the United States to employ, educate, offer medical services and incarcerate Mexico's surplus population. And
finally, it seems that the ruling class has deemed
that Mexicans are to have more of a say in how we
run our nation than do the Ameican people. How else can you have poll after poll saying one thing, i.e. we want a crack down on illeagal immigration, and the politicians doing exactly the oppisite.


Well said .. and I agree ;)... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Well said .. and I agree ;)

Eneils made an EXCELLENT su... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Eneils made an EXCELLENT suggestion: An open letter to the Administration and the Republican Congress concerning the present open-borders policy. (No, leave the Dems out of it. They don't matter and you'll muddy The Message!) I think if the language used is JUST vigorous enough to piss off the overt Blogs for Bush crowd it may get the White House's attention. If it's ignored, ratchet up! It won't be ignored by the net and SOMEBODY's going to do it anyway: out of conviction or for business reasons! (You do realize the Republicans are being chased by a landslide? Wetbacks HERE demonstrating THROUGH SUBURBS!)

since most of these "immigr... (Below threshold)
david:

since most of these "immigrants" are living here, working, and raping our system ILLEGALY, doesn't that make yesterdays demonstrations ILLEGAL? also, i still don't understand how in the hell they have the gaul to insert themselves as the "backbone of our society"!

Please, for God's sake, JT,... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Please, for God's sake, JT, read these things before you post 'em. This is just embarrassing.

Truly amazing irony here. ... (Below threshold)
Tango:

Truly amazing irony here. Where's the logic? You have cheated, lied and cajoled your way into this country and then want to be "legitimized" by an act of congress. How organized these demonstrations have been; veiled intimidation. Add a new law, fine, but it still comes down to enforcement.

Well done, Jay! At this po... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Well done, Jay! At this point it's important that we draw a sharp distinction between legal and illegal immigration. There are people who are trying to muddy the waters by tying the two issues together, and in the long run that approach cannot possibly lead to anything useful. (Then again, most of the people who are doing that don't really want the problem solved.)

I will contend that one reason that *some* illegals do what they do is because the legal immigration process is so screwed up. Someone who goes through the process legally, and doesn't already have a sponsor or a family member legally in the U.S. (or sometimes even if they do) will wait years for a green card. We need to get rid of the stupid draft lottery and institute a first-come-first-served system. We also need to put more people on to the task of processing the forms and doing the background checks.

I'm completely in favor of securing our borders. I'm also in favor of making our legal immigration process work as smoothly as possible, and minimizing the pain for the people who are willing to go through the process and do things the right way.

Here's MY open letter to th... (Below threshold)
Sceptimus Smith:

Here's MY open letter to the millions of marching illegal aliens with balls outsized only by your utter GALL and audacity - you're RACISTS. Pure and simple. You are advocating SPECIAL treatment for illegal Hispanic aliens - meanwhile, the tens/hundreds of thousands of folks unlucky enough to NOT share our borders wallow in the red tape and bureaucracy that all other immigrants had to suffer through to come here legally. In other words, they played by the rules you apparently think don't apply to you. You're NOT special - worse still, the fact that you would organize and march illegally in a racist protest in my country while wrapping yourself in the Mexican flag and flaunting our laws makes average Americans less inclined to support your "cause," not more.

No, no se puede...y si, Ud. es criminal...

SWS

You seem make it sou... (Below threshold)


You seem make it sound as if people rush to America because they have great love for it. That isn't the case, people go there because they are un-able to find jobs in their own country. The reason they aren't able to find jobs are because they have been exploited by external forces.
Imagine the negative effect it will have on Americans if immigrants who are supposedly illegal told to leave. Will you'll actually start doing what those people do for you?
You all should thank them for helping you out, instead you'll are bringing laws which will force them away.

If our elected officials bo... (Below threshold)
Wovoka:

If our elected officials bow to the outrageous demands of the Illegal marchers, Pandora's box will have been opened.
We must lean on the Government officials EN MASS!
This looks more like a conspiracy than a group of rag tag Mexicans.

Wovoka, You said the "C" wo... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Wovoka, You said the "C" word! It's an open secret from the folks who brought us WWII and the UN: http://www.cfr.org/publication.html?id=7914

This immigration c... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


This immigration crap is just that,you want
to come here fine,... you come in the front door
and wait like all other folks...That not to
your liking,stay the hell out...Your visa
runs out,renew or go home,SPEAK,READ,WRITE
ENGLISH,dont like that,GO HOME..Do not come
here and try to change our Religon,our
holidays(ie)Christmas,Easter ect,ect........
I guess it all comes down to the the point
you don't come into my house and piss on the
floor and expect me to say welcome!!!and for
you Muslim Unity, you folks sell America short,
it was done before the illegals and it can
be done that way again...So there you have it,
you don't like it, we don't need you!!!

Holy moly! YOU NAILED IT!<... (Below threshold)
Skippy:

Holy moly! YOU NAILED IT!

Thats the most intelligent, well written piece I have read to date regarding this mess. You have represented my opinions and expressed them far better than I ever could. I commend your insight!


Thank you, this should be required reading for all.

The reason they a... (Below threshold)
MikeB:


The reason they aren't able to find jobs
[in their own country] are because they have been exploited by external forces.

Care to describe how this works ?

- MikeB

"Imagine the negative effec... (Below threshold)
Sceptimus Smith:

"Imagine the negative effect it will have on Americans if immigrants who are supposedly illegal told to leave. Will you'll actually start doing what those people do for you?"

Muslim, I'd be happy to answer this question, as it seems to confuse so many people...if a magic wand were waved and all illegals were no longer employed in the US, you want to know what would happen? Employers would have to RAISE wages to hire replacement legal workers, or they'd go out of business. And frankly, if an American businessman can't afford to hire legal workers, he shouldn't be in business in the first place.

SWS

'I also envy you, a little.... (Below threshold)
LJD:

'I also envy you, a little. You will always cherish your citizenship a bit more dearly than I appreciate mine.'

You assume much...

This isn't about better wor... (Below threshold)
LJD:

This isn't about better work for immigrants, the backbone of our economy, or freedom. This is about free-loading.

Where else can you invade a counrty, make an income without paying taxes, receive services such as medical care and education without paying for them, all without fear of any repercussions whatsoever? AMERICA!

Wonder why so many come from countries that supposedly 'hate' us? They're raping us blind.

I went to Toys R' Us the ot... (Below threshold)
snowballs:

I went to Toys R' Us the other day to buy a Monopoly game. When I got home to have a look at it, the damn thing was in Spanish! The title was actually "Monopoly", so I didn't think to check the rest of the box.

Well done Jay Tea.

This has to be taken one st... (Below threshold)
lakestate:

This has to be taken one step at a time. Nothing can be done until we secure our borders first. The illegals are doing, sort of the same thing, Sadam did in the long run up to the war (hid his WMDs.) The illegals are pouring across the border while Congress (once again) drags its feet.
After the borders are secure, then we can concentrate on rounding up the illegals and ship them back where they came from. In the mean time, the American people have to make it crystal clear to the President and Congress that we do not want a guest worker, or amnesty program. If you break the law - you should be made to pay... period! If we stand together and vote these nim-rods out of office - they'll get the message... as will the new Congressmen and women.

Very well done, Jay! What a... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Very well done, Jay! What a great post!

And to those who sat on the... (Below threshold)
Dave A.:

And to those who sat on their butts when they should have been catching and deporting those who are here illegally: I say DO YOUR JOB! (That means you, Congress and the Executive Branch).

And once again, Well Said!<... (Below threshold)
Nell E:

And once again, Well Said!

We are not racists nor xenophobes. We welcome immigrants who respectfully come as millions before them came, politely and peaceably, and with gratitude for being allowed a chance to share our country with us. We appreciate and respect the law. We don't appreciate those with contempt for our laws, our borders, and our style of government. Why should we bestow unearned citizenship on those who don't want it except so they can vote that we give them more?
Why does living closer give you any more rights than an Aids orphan from Africa, a refugee from Darfur, a Jew from France, or a poverty stricken Cambodian? All are welcome--to get in line.

As someone who lives nex... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

As someone who lives next door to Massashusettes..that wouldn't be New Hampshire would it, Jay? And to Nell as well,
does that mean that if Massachusettes non-American illegals emulated the the law abiding and American 'style of government 'as practised in New Hampshire and by the Republican National Committee in DC, they would then be welcomed?. ....I suppose, on reflection, this is a cheap shot at New Hampshire and the much trumpeted Republican respect for 'one's right to vote,' as guaranteed by citizenship, but it does seem seems a shame the sanctimony that we are so much better than Massachusettes and their crass political acts, and the vitrol lavished on illegals who don't respect our fundamental laws, should be seen in perspective by the behavior of those who have had the good fortune to exercise democractic rights...a little more noblesse oblige.. might be a better example to illegals and those from Massachusettes, than by continually lecturing them on being such foul balls..

TO THOSE WHO CAME INVOLUNTA... (Below threshold)

TO THOSE WHO CAME INVOLUNTARILY IN BOATS I SAY:

Thanks for picking our cotton so that we wouldn't have to, thanks for giving us jazz, and the joy of watching some beautiful athletes-Jordan,Ali,Mays-, thanks for helping us to live up to the mantra of our constitution and our christianity by allowing us to give you equal rights,thanks for watching our children, and cleaning our elders s**t when no one else would, thanks for cleaning our offices at night,thanks for your beautiful voices, and your funny jokes, thanks for your dances, and your exotic women-Halle,Janet, Naomi- And finally, thanks for making me glad I am white and not your black ass. Now go back to Africa.

Steve:1) It's MASSAC... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Steve:
1) It's MASSACHUSETTS, not MASSACHUSETTES.

B) I've repeatedly covered that story, and every single time I've condemned it in the harshest possible terms. I also questioned why the hell the RNC is paying for the dirtbag's defense, and urged readers who are actual registered Republicans (unlike me) to ask their party's leaders pointed questions. (Do a search of the site for "phone jamming.") It's a black mark on the state, and I'm as angry as anyone about it.

III) The connection to the Bush campaign is tenuous at best. Oh, no, the NE GOP coordinator called the GOP president's people several times on election day, when a Republican senatorial candidate was in a very tight race! A candidate who, while a Congressman, had bumped off an embarassing incumbent GOP (sometimes) Senator!

J.

Steve:We are being... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

Steve:

We are being lectured by the same people who slash tires on vans before they pick up people to vote, who vandalize campaign offices, and who have the dead as one of their biggest voting constituencies. Please!

field-negro:

Please put your sheet back on and go back to your cross burning. We don't need your rascist ignorance here.

field-negro:I clic... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

field-negro:

I clicked on your link and suddenly realized that you may be black and were attempting to speak as Jay.

So instead, I say:

Please put your bowtie back on and go back to Farrakan. We don't need your rascist ignorance here. (Racism cuts both ways and you seem to be a black rascist.)

Good reading.The p... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Good reading.

The problem is you still think the politicians work for you.
They really work for those that pay them (big business).
What big busines wants (low wages), big business gets.

OK, Repubs obviously have r... (Below threshold)

OK, Repubs obviously have reading comprehension problems. It's called sarcasm, and unless I wonder in the bizzaro world of some Dave Chappelle skit, I doubt seriously that the Klan will accept me.

By the way, I happen to like bowties.

To those who come here to t... (Below threshold)
Omni:

To those who come here to take jobs away from Americans

http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20060410-123506-1297r.htm

a polite blog isn't the place to put what I have to say...

Actually, it is very DIFFIC... (Below threshold)
Haole:

Actually, it is very DIFFICULT to come to America legally. It's much easier, for instance, to immigrate to Canada. And to come to America, it involves LOTS of moolah. Please get your facts straight before spouting off with such arrogance next time. Thanks.
P.S. You also might want to take the time to consider what is written at the base of our Statue of Liberty, too. Maybe YOU should "work within the system" to have those words amended if they bother you so. Adios! (I bet that farewell irked ya, didn't it? lol)




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