Several years back, while the last Immigration Reform pandering exercise was in full force, I was blessed with the wisdom of a man named George—a father and grandfather 15 years my senior—who had immigrated to the United States with his family in 1960 from a divided Germany. His family’s story, both their successes and failures is a true testament to the value of strict U.S. immigration laws and a valuable lesson of the paramount importance of immigrant assimilation. This is the short version of his family’s immigration story.
After years of waiting for permission to immigrate to the United States and participate in American life, George, George’s father (a WWII veteran who served with the German Luftwaffe), mother, brother and sister were granted permission to travel to America and begin the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. Before this permission was granted, George’s father had to prove that he had the means to support his family (a legal job), a place to live and the family sponsor had to guarantee George’s families financial support—for every member of George’s family—throughout the time it would take all of them to qualify to become a U.S. citizen. You see back then, non-citizens were not allowed to live off the American social welfare state like they are allowed to do today. Back then a U.S. citizen in good standing, not the taxpayer, had to promise to shoulder the burden of supporting the family they elected to sponsor while that family earned the opportunity to become U.S citizens.
After years of F.B.I./ immigration investigations, background checks, observing the law, and compliance with a long list of tasks our government used to require—things like English language proficiency and a proven knowledge of U.S. history and civics—George’s family was granted the opportunity to take the U.S. oath of citizenship; formally pledging their allegiance and loyalty to the United States of America and renouncing their loyalties to and citizenship of their former country of origin.
On the day George’s family took their oaths, they were sat down by immigration agents and woodshedded—so to speak—on the consequences that would be brought to bear on the entire family if any of them ran afoul of any U.S. laws during their 5 year mandatory probation period. George’s family was reminded that any criminal infractions or questionable associations by any family members could result in the entire family being deported back to their country of origin. Remember they had to renounce their former citizenship when they took their U.S. citizenship oaths.
In addition, George’s parents were told that they would not be entitled to any U.S. government financial assistance for that very same 5 year probation period and that all their children would be required to attend school and advance academically. In addition, periodic progress checks of the probationary American family would be performed by U.S. immigration agents and all family members were to attend required status meetings at immigrations request. Any infraction, however minor, could and mostly likely would result in the entire family’s citizenship being revoked and all would be deported.
Quite a contrast to today’s U.S. immigration policies and entitlement smorgasbord the taxpayer funds for illegal immigrants, wouldn’t you agree? Yet our elected officials, the very same people who have over decades watered down the significance and necessity of a citizen candidate’s loyalty, assimilation into the American culture, and mandatory self-sufficiency are now scrambling to find ways to make it even easier to exploit U.S. citizenship by illegal aliens, not more difficult.
The numbers of illegal aliens who will be granted unearned U.S. citizenship—if Immigration Reform legislation passes— that are currently living off of the American taxpayer are staggering. Costs to our nation’s government (both state and federal) have been estimated at over $150 billion dollars annually for social services rendered to non-citizens. And the American taxpayer is expected to believe that these costs will melt away if illegals are given a path to U.S. citizenship?
It also bears mentioning that each “would be” U.S. citizen will continue to possess citizenship in their country of origin as most countries in the world (with the exception of the U.S.) now recognize dual citizenship. Now consider that our laws do not exclude anyone from holding office in our state legislatures as well as the U.S. House of Representatives who possess dual citizenship and proposed Immigration Reform/Amnesty takes on a whole new significance. Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger, the dual citizenship holding former Governor of California? It’s frightening to think how many of our elected representatives currently share loyalty with another country especially when you consider the volume of Islamists that have come to our nation over the past ten years. And this is considered sound U.S. immigration policy?
After hearing George’s story and doing a little research to verify his assertions, I have come to the conclusion that former U.S. immigration law worked just fine. What idiot or idiots decided it needed reshaping, and why, is what America should be discussing not Amnesty. What specifically was wrong with our former laws—immigration laws and policies—that took a former enemy of America and transformed him and his family into loyal, productive, and committed generations of English-speaking Americans? Perhaps somebody should ask Senators McCain and Graham about that?