Dear Potential Immigrant:
Now that you’ve decided to make your way to these treasured shores, ostensibly in search of freedom and the opportunity to build a better life, there are some things you need to know. I’d like to assume that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services filled you in on them, but I’m going to tell you myself anyway just to be sure.
First, the United States of America was founded, although not directly on the Bible itself, at least on biblical values. You do not have to believe as I believe to live here in my good graces, but you do have to abide by the biblical worldview governing ethical behavior, upon which all Western civilization, ultimately, is based.
The primary biblical value underlying all others is telling the truth. I don’t know you personally or even which part of the world you are from, but if you think some sort of “holy deception” is permissible when filling out your paperwork, forget it. As we see it, lying is lying, and frankly we don’t care what your culture thinks. If you get caught breaking our laws or betraying our country, you’re out of here. Period.
So, then, let’s go over some of the principles our first two centuries of immigrants intuitively understood and that many of today’s immigrants, for some reason, apparently do not. I don’t mean to insult you by belaboring the obvious, but better too much clarity now than a big surprise for both of us down the road.
You cannot own people here. This includes domestic servants and family members. You cannot beat or mutilate your children. You cannot force, threaten, or sell them into arranged marriages. You cannot keep adult relatives from marrying the people they choose, getting jobs, or moving out of your house. You cannot hold your employees captive, beat or rape them, or refuse to pay agreed-upon wages. It took us 200 years to get rid of institutionalized slavery, and we are not about to reinstate it because one of your holy men thinks it’s acceptable behavior.
You cannot kill people here. Not your wife. Not your children. Not your grandchildren. Not people who question your honor or hurt your feelings. Not people who quit your religion. Not people of other faiths or ethnicities whom you regard as apes, pigs, monkeys, or dogs.
You cannot take over our lawful institutions and subvert them to you own purposes. If you are a communist and want to overthrow our government, we don’t want you. We have enough of our own, so try Cuba or China. If you are a Nazi sympathizer we don’t want you either; a Middle Eastern country may be more to your liking anyway. If you are coming here to convert us to any ideology that abrogates our dignity or freedom, don’t even get off the plane. We don’t care what it says in your holy book; we are not here for you to colonize.
You need to ask questions before you accept employment. If your belief system requires a special place to bathe your feet or time off to pray at work, tell your employer before you hire on. If you are going to refuse to work next to a person of the opposite sex or refuse to perform some required function of the job, your interview is the time to make this plain. Come to think of it, before you leave your country of origin would be even better. It would also give you more time to find an employer willing to make special accommodations, not an easy sell in these times of strong competition and 10 percent unemployment. Just remember that U.S. companies are under no obligation to adapt to your newfound needs after hiring has taken place.
You get only one wife. If that’s not enough, it’s called bigamy – and you would be subject to state laws regarding that particular felony. Some states also have laws against cohabitation, which is the legal definition of what you would be doing. Also, please note that the rest of us do not intend to support any surplus “spouses” with our tax money through entitlement programs.
You alone are responsible for your actions. The devil does not “make” you do anything. If you get in trouble for punching your neighbor, it’s because you’re violent, not because you’re poor. If you get caught cheating on your taxes, it’s because you’re a crook, not because the auditor hates you.
A woman’s outfit or hairstyle does not “make” you rape her. Maybe your mommy never told you this, but keep your hands off other people. The vast majority of men in most cultures – America’s included – manage this successfully all the time. So if you find yourself standing in front of a judge someday explaining that you just “couldn’t” control yourself, don’t be too surprised if he doesn’t buy your story.
Still want to come here after knowing these things? As you may have heard, right now we are full up. If, however, someday we manage to elect a government with the intestinal fortitude to find and deport an estimated 10-20 million illegal intruders and overstayers, and if we determine that the loyalty and skills you have to offer could benefit our already great nation, then there might be a place for you here.
How fulfilling it would be for you to know we really mean it, when you finally hear those magical words, “Welcome to America!”
Marylou Barry is a Christian Zionist with a special interest in the Middle East. She is also the author of a series of children’s books. Visit her blog at Marylou’s America and her bookstore at House With The Light Books.