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I’m not anti-immigration. I’m not a bigot. I don’t believe I am better because my parents got here before somebody else’s did. That said, I am an American and this is my only country. I don’t have another to go back to. Just this one, whatever it becomes.
That is not bigoted, selfish, racist or nationalist. It simply is.
America is my home and my homeland. In my home, I have a lock on my front door to keep out uninvited intruders and a doorbell that I use to screen potential entrants.
I didn’t put it there because I hate people of any particular color or creed. I don’t screen people based on their race or place of national origin. I put a lock on my door to protect from intruders, and I screen entrants to my home according to my chosen living environment.
If a crack-head rang my doorbell and asked if he could use my bathroom to smoke some cocaine, I would refuse him entry because a) I don’t want to risk my family’s safety and b) I don’t permit drug abuse within my chosen living environment.
Imagine all of the local crack-heads getting together and marching up and down my street demanding I let them use my bathroom and it will convey some of the sense of outrage I felt watching the immigration demonstrations over this past week.
In a 1919 letter to the American Defense Society, former president Teddy Roosevelt wrote:
In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American.
There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.
The demonstrators marching against immigration reform weren’t marching under Old Glory. They were marching under the various flags of their respective homelands. They were shouting anti-American slogans. They were threatening economic boycotts with an aim toward damaging America. It was as if the organizers took Roosevelt’s definition of an American immigrant point by point and turned each on its head.
There are, by some estimates, more than 11 million illegal aliens now residing in America. Those opposing immigration reform claim that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are honest, hard-working people.
So what is wrong with registering them and weeding out the minority who aren’t? Who would oppose that? What is wrong with expecting immigrants to assimilate into America, embracing our customs, our language and our history?
It has become fashionable to use the word “bigot” as a weapon to skewer anybody who dares to favor the right of America to put a lock on her own front door and screen potential entrants in order to preserve America’s chosen living environment.
But I notice that the sales of front-door locks haven’t gone down.