Many years back I worked at an investment bank, and at the time it seemed as though we were upgrading our computers almost constantly. Due to that, we were hiring a huge number of IT people. One of those people was a Pakistani immigrant who I struck up a few conversations with. His English was a little broken, but he was a good guy who worked hard and we developed a friendship.
He would tell me about how he had been going through the legal immigration process and how he was almost finished with it. He often talked about how excited he was to become a citizen.
Then one day he came to work and showed me the U.S. passport he had finally received which for him, meant he was officially a U.S. citizen. He came to work and had a bounce in his step, and when he told the story to me again while holding his passport, he started to get choked up. It was at that moment I realized how much legal citizenship here can mean to someone. For him, it was a dream come true, and he was eager to make the most of it.
As I thought about that story recently it made me realize why illegal immigration is such dangerous thing. When you get something illegally, you have no respect for it. You waste it. You squander it. You have no motivation to protect it.
It’s just like a squatter who sets up inside of an abandon house. They don’t fix the house up or maintain it. They damage all the walls and leave trash everywhere. If that same person were paying their own hard earned money for a place to live, they would treat it much differently.
And it’s the same with citizenship to this country. If you get it without any effort, and by breaking the law in the first place to get it, you have no respect for it. It means nothing to you. And we can already see evidence of that. Stories about illegal immigrants committing crimes and having no respect for the country they are in are far too common. The reason for this is because they didn’t have to work for it, so they could care less about their newly adopted country.
Contrast that with a legal immigrant who becomes a citizen. They put in a huge amount of effort and time going through the process. This process makes it worth something, it gives it value to that person. And that value is what makes the person want to protect what he has achieved. They want to contribute to this country, and they don’t want to see others harm it, either from the outside or from the inside.
You have to search pretty far to find an immigrant who went through the process to become a legal citizen who then bad-mouths America. They may have their disagreements with certain policies as we all do, and have the right to do so. But they will almost never be anti-American or claim “America was never great”.
And this fact speaks volumes.
Sadly, modern progressive ideology has deemed such talk “xenophobic” when just a few years ago politicians like Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton made public statements echoing the notion that illegal immigration is damaging to American society and should not be encouraged or tolerated.
So while all of this may seem like common sense to most people, common sense is something we are sadly lacking when it comes to immigration policy these days. The bottom line is that when you take away the work it takes to become a citizen, you take away its value. And when you take away its value, people lose respect for what it means to become an American citizen.
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