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Be an American

By Jeff Manley


In my entire life I have only written one letter to the editor. This will be my second, because I feel so strongly about the issue of legal immigration.

There is not an American alive today whose family tree does not include an "immigrant". My family tree stretches back to Ireland, England, Hungary and Germany. When my great grandparents landed in America at Ellis Island, they had to do what was expected at the time to become an American citizen. That is all I expect of any immigrant, be they Irish, Hispanic, Hungarian or Italian. All I expect is for them to do what my family members did-immigrate legally.

Teddy Roosevelt said it best in 1903: "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 person's becoming in every facet 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...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."

I do not think it gets any plainer than that. If you are going to be an American, be an American and become an American legally or go home. Honor your personal heritage, but become an American through and through.

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