As the immigration debate rages in this country a lot of our leaders, from the President on down, have taken to using this statement: "We are a nation of immigrants."
That is absolutely right. Outside of the fraction of America's population who are descendants of native Americans, we are all the progeny of people who came here from other countries. When we talk about immigration issues we should remember that. America has always been a place where people from the rest of the world could come to find freedom and opportunity. I, for one, think that is something America should remain.
That being said, I think it is important for us to remember what an immigrant is and what an immigrant is not. Here is the definition of "immigrant" according to the American Heritage Dictionary:
im·mi·grant (ĭm'ĭ-grənt) n.
1. A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.
Got that? An immigrant is a person who leaves another country to settle permanently in another. An immigrant is not someone who moves to one country to work and then sends all of his/her wealth back home to the old country. Nor is an immigrant one who moves to a new country and then tries to make that new country like his/her old country.
I think it is wonderful that so many people from Mexico and other places in the world want to come and live/work in America. What a testament to our freedom and our way of life. That being said, I think the people who come here to live/work should become Americans, and the only way they can do that is by working through our legal immigration system. I'm even in favor of making that legal immigration system easier to get through through. Heck, I'm in favor of expanding it so that more legal immigrants can get through. But what I will never, ever be in favor of is granting amnesty to people who don't have enough respect for our rule of law to move to his country legally. These people are not immigrants, they are criminals who are looking to take advantage of this country's good nature.
They should be sent back. They aren't interested in being Americans, they're interested in bending this country's prosperity to their will.
Very well put Rob.