A Patriotic Stand On Immigration
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A Patriotic Stand On Immigration

Pride for our country and the people who roam it.

A Patriotic Stand On Immigration

I am an American. Four words dripping with so much pride.

To be able to say "I am an American" is something that should never be taken lightly. It's a blessing to be able to live in a country that is flowing with more freedom, justice and opportunity than the land flowing with milk and honey. More often than not, I think natural born citizens lose sight of the privilege that it is to say "I am an American."

The honor embedded in this sentence is so great that many people are willing to risk everything to be able to taste these four sweet words on their lips. Being born into citizenship, it's easy to take the American way of life for granted, but so many others make countless risks in order to be in our shoes.

Let's take a quick history detour back to the days of Ellis Island. Swarms of immigrants would come from all over the world with various reasons as to why they wished to stake a claim in America. On the island, immigrants would be put through intense investigation. If not considered properly equipped to be an American citizen, several immigrants faced the possibility of deportation. It was a scary risk, but as for the reason anyone takes a risk, they did it with the hope of gaining something greater.

Greater was America - but greater wasn't just handed to them.

Very similar to today, immigration brought about skepticism. No one wanted the gene pool of America to be tainted by diseases or mental stupidity. After all, a country is only as strong and powerful as its citizens. So like puppies in a pound, immigrants were chosen carefully.

Ellis Island was in operation for 60 years. For 60 years, immigrants either saw it as the start to their new lives or the destroyer of their dreams. No matter how one perceived it, Ellis Island was America's first swing at bat with the ethics of immigration.

Today, immigration ethics is still a hot topic. I'm not going to lie and say I am up to date on every immigration issue that exists today. In fact, I'll be brutally honest with you and say I know very little about its current policies. However, one thing I do know is that for as much as we make immigration out to be a notorious thing, it is one of the greatest "problems" a country could ever hope to endure.

We may emphasize the complications associated with immigration, such as urban sprawl, taxpayer burdens, and wage depreciation, but these cons are good issues to have because it means as Americans, we are doing something right.

It means our ideals and missions are something so desirable that immigrants are willing to leave all else behind. Instead of beating ourselves up over staying true to a proper immigration quota, or biting our nails to the bud over what to do with the current undocumented immigrants, we should be applauding ourselves for being a country that embodies principles so attractive that many are willing to make substantial sacrifices in order to be partakers in the American dream.

Americans shouldn't want immigrants' first impression of America to be one that focuses on eugenics and judgmental assumptions, but rather that of hope and empathy. One that encourages their efforts and their dreams, willingly offering them the chance to one day join hands in saying, "I am an American."

Chuck Palahniuk, author of "Fight Club," said, "The truth is, immigrants tend to be more American than the people who were born here." I see a lot of validity in this statement. After all, natural born American citizens tend to make rash judgments on immigrants, when in all actuality immigrants probably understand American ideals more than Americans do since they had to tirelessly fight for them rather than be handed them on a silver platter.

In their audacious, bold and daring efforts to be partakers in the American dream, they take countless risks - risks that gain them so much valor that it would be an honor to include them when we conclude the final notes of the "Star-Spangled Banner," "...home of the brave."

For as political and touchy of a subject as this matter is, I hope we can all take a step back and rediscover the patriotism embedded in immigration. After all, without immigration, several of America's ideals would be lies.

A melting pot of cultures, a pursuit of happiness, equality, justice... the list goes on and on, but every American can trace their roots back to immigration, and that alone should make us stand a little taller as a people founded on success and hard work.

I am an American. You may be an American. You may be a legal or illegal immigrant. But no matter who you are, if you're reading this, just know that to be an American is an honor. Our stories don't stop here - rather, they begin here. All thanks to the rich cultural past that immigration has brought to America.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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