Freedom Folks

Monday, April 24, 2006

Response to President Bush on Illegal Immigration

The president had some things to say about illegal immigration today (although he doesn't call it that!). Read the transcript of his address in Orange County here.

My letter to President Bush goes a little something like this:

Dear President Bush:

Earlier today, during an address in Orange County, California, you said the following:

“…we are a nation of immigrants, that we have had a grand tradition in this country of welcoming people into our society. And ours is a society that is able to take the newly arrived, and they become equally American. I believe that immigration has helped reinvigorate the soul of America. I know that when somebody comes to our country because he or she has a dream and is willing to work hard for that dream, it makes America a better place.”

I am in complete agreement with these words that you spoke, Mr. President. Unfortunately, you stole their power with more talk of alleged border enforcement, guest worker programs to fill “jobs Americans won’t do,” and rewarding those who have shown their disrespect for this country by breaking our laws with the privilege of U.S. citizenship.

We do have a “grand tradition in this country of welcoming people into our society.” People who come here lawfully. People who do not break our laws every day when they get up to go to a job that should rightfully be held by an American or a legal immigrant being paid a living wage. People who do not, after breaking our laws, take to the streets of our cities to demand rights that belong to citizens.

We do have ”a society that is able to take the newly arrived, and they become equally American.” When they do, indeed, become American. People who demand government services in a language other than English are not becoming American. People who fly another country’s flag over an upside-down Old Glory are not becoming American. People who take the oath of U.S. citizenship, but vote in and pay allegiance to another country are not becoming American.

“I believe that immigration has helped reinvigorate the soul of America.” Me too! LEGAL immigration. Those who have come here ILLEGALLY spit on every immigrant who has waited in line, sacrificed, fought for and earned the freedoms we enjoy in this great country. Immigration has, indeed, helped reinvigorate the soul of America. Where else in the world do people of every color, race and creed come together with a shared set of values, dreams, and opportunities? That IS the soul of this country, and it can only be diminished by eroding the rule of law that is the foundation of this great society. The only thing that illegal immigration reinvigorates is the bottom line of businesses that have become addicted to cheap labor at the expense of the poorest Americans.

“I know that when somebody comes to our country because he or she has a dream and is willing to work hard for that dream, it makes America a better place.” Only if that person respects and abides by our laws in the pursuit of that dream. Are we or are we not a sovereign nation? Who gets to decide our immigration policy – us, or those who would swell our population illegally then demand legalization, citizenship, and all the benefits that legal immigrants must earn?

I am saddened, disappointed, and angered every time you speak on immigration, Mr. President. You refuse to make any real and meaningful distinction between those who come here illegally and those who respect our laws. As a matter of fact, you heap praise on the lawbreakers while vilifying the patriots who have the guts to stand up and note that the government is not doing the ultimate job it is supposed to be doing: representing the American people.

Your insistence on doing the right thing, even when it was unpopular, was one of the main reasons you got my vote. Twice.

I implore you to do the right thing, now. Please don’t continue to turn your back on the American people while opening your arms to those whose first act on American soil was to break our laws. We deserve much better than that from the man we elected to guard and further our best interests.

We deserve a country where laws are enforced, and politicians listen to the citizenry. We deserve a country where Americans are treated with decency and respect. We deserve our America back.

We’re pretty decent folks ourselves, and generous, too. We like to share all the bounties of our great country with people from all corners of the globe. We just want to have a say in who gets to come, and how many, before we welcome them with open arms.

Is that too much to ask?
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