I am the first American born person in my family. That is a badge of honor I carry with me as part of my identity.
These days it is also a reminder, in the current political climate that I am a child of immigrants.
Why did my family chose to come to this country? For the same reason everyone comes–America is the best country in the world!
It does not matter what country my parents are from but it is important to note that the United States did not have to accept them and it did.
The United States took in my family because my family did it right.
They applied properly for asylum, my family worked hard and sacrificed to save the money needed for the fees and my family followed all the steps required of them to be accepted as citizens of this great country.
Even before their citizenship was granted they began to assimilate. They learned the language, they learned the laws, they filed and paid their taxes.
My family did not lose their culture or their traditions–we still follow them as part of the melting pot that is this great nation.
As a family we embraced the new culture of being American–which means to embrace other cultures together under one vision of freedom under the one flag that unites us all.
My family did not come here to recreate the old country. They came here to start a new chapter.
And each family member that chose to come here, accepted the rights gratefully and share in the responsibilities that make this country so strong.
We vote, we serve on juries without complaining, several members of my family have served in the armed forces defending our rights, including my dad.
Those first brave family members, my parents, that came here were not sure they would be granted citizenship but they went through the process in hopes that it would be so.
They did not come to this country expecting to be taken care of, and demanding rights they did not have as non citizens in order to coerce the government to accept them.
They also have never supported politicians that were offering the handout in exchange for their vote–they knew these were the people that can ruin a country.
In this heated climate over immigration today we should remember that if things are done right–by the people seeking citizenship–not the politicians, there would not be a debate raging.
On this 4th of July I am thankful for this country, its strength and its values! I am thankful that we can help others but that we are intelligent enough to help ourselves first.
On this 4th of July I acknowledge that without our strength, our stability and our moral compass, we would not be able to help the rest of the world.
On this 4th of July I want to share with you that we are looking at things the wrong way–immigration is not a problem–it is an opportunity!
God Bless America!!!