The immigrant’s responsibility

Sean Martin and Sean Martin

Those of you who think the U.S. government and its citizenry have forgotten our immigrant heritage, or have the most horrific immigration laws, you need to simply look at other nations to see the truth. There is a nation out there that has an immigration policy that is more brutal than the one the United States uses: Mexico. Ah yes, the same Mexico that criticizes us and gives us grief when we try and crackdown on illegal aliens. Don’t believe me? Look at their constitution and see what it says about immigrants. If you read it right, immigration law is in the Mexican Constitution and, unlike the United States Constitution, hundreds of offices and job are out of bounds for foreigners in Mexico.

Want to be a Supreme Court Justice, military officer, airline crew or merely an elected representative? Think again. Mexico prohibits these jobs specifically in the writing of articles 32, 33, 55, 91, 95 and prohibits even more through federal law. Applying for the same job as a Mexican citizen? Kiss that job goodbye since Mexican citizens have priority over you since you are an immigrant. Have trouble speaking Spanish properly? Too bad for you since all business is done in their national language, and forget about being able to use welfare programs or food stamps, those are reserved for Mexican citizens only. Another little funny thing is you can be expelled without any legal proceedings if the government deems that your removal is necessary. Looks like we have a pretty fair setup for immigrants here considering the difficult conditions that immigrants faced when looking at history which we have not forgotten.

My point is that we are not the country that forgot its history; it is quite on the contrary. I acknowledge it and hold others to the same standards as my immigrant ancestors. I actually have two uncles who both are immigrants that came to this country the legal way (since it’s a long way to swim from Egypt and Australia and they couldn’t dig a deep enough tunnel). They have followed all the rules and did not ask for handouts or special concessions: They waited years to become citizens and paid lots of money and passed tests to do so.

On my mother’s side, my ancestors came from Ireland, which is one of the more heavily persecuted groups in American and European history, and Italy. They did not expect to have the world cater to every single problem they had – they learned how to assimilate into the American culture. They didn’t complain about not voting because of their lack of citizenship. They took and passed the tests. They learned English since schools did not teach in Italian, they learned to support themselves when rampant discrimination against the Italians and the Irish went unchecked due to the non-existence of government oversight. They did not fly the flags of their homelands to protest policy since they obviously left Italy and Ireland for a pretty big reason.

Believe it or not, they persevered and I am only a third generation American on my mother’s side because they worked hard and did not expect things to change overnight. They realized that Rome was not built in a day and that meant becoming part of a society and country does not happen magically or overnight.