Sunset News: Immigrants.

"We know we belong to the land and the land we belong to is grand"

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


From: 'David LaBonte'
My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor
of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I
decided to 'print' it myself by sending it out on
the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined.
Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in
Orange County Register:

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how
this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one,
suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because
the people now in question aren't being treated the
same as those who passed through
Ellis Island and other
ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to
people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not
willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer.
Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of
to come to the
United States, people had to get off a ship
and stand in a long line in
New York and be documented .
Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss
the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and
support their new country in good and bad times. They made
learning English a primary rule in their new American
households and some even changed their names to blend in
with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their
children a new life and did everything in their power to
help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing
was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor
laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and
craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a
future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke
out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come
straight over from
Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of
these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about
what country their parents had come from. They were
Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of
Japan. They were defending the United States of America as
one people.

When we liberated
France, no one in those villages were
looking for the French-American or the German American or
the Irish American. The people of
France saw only
Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one
country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought
about picking up another country's flag and waving it to
represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to
their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These
immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They
stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.!

And here we are in 2008 with a new kind of immigrant who
wants the same rights and privileges, only they want to
achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one
that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being
faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's
not what being an American is all about. I believe that the
immigrants who landed on
Ellis Island in the early
1900's deserve better than that for all the toil , hard
work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a
land that has become a beacon for those legally searching
for a better life I think they would be appalled that
they are being used as an example by those waving foreign
country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of
Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are
voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start
talking about dismantling the UNITED STATES just yet.

(Signed) Rosemary LaBonte

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