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What happened to my country Charlie Joseph CharlieJ cajoseph@us.hsanet.net Stan,
As a 75% WASP, I understand your feelings, but Ace really hit the truth of the matter. The times, they are a'changing. And if we truly believe in what we served in the military for, we should accept it, if not embrace it. In the overall history of N. America, the time of Northern European influx is rather short. Particularly in the Southwest. That was Spanish or Mexican (and for a very short time - French) territory for 300 years before the US acquired the area in the Gadsden Purchase and the Texas Rebellion. Even a large part of the Louisiana Purchase was territory populated by people who claimed Spanish or Mexican heritage AND spoke Spanish.
These people had lived there and established societies for centuries while Jefferson was still trying to sell the 13 colonies on 'Manifest Destiny'. (Let's not get into the dirty deals pulled on the Spanish, Mexicans, French, English and even Russians and especially Native Indians to accomplish that 'Destiny'). And Yes, I do recognize the honest vision and bravery of many great US citizens to accomplish it also.
Many years ago I attended an Immigration Officers course in Tucson, Arizona. Most of my classmates were from the Southern Border area and were bi-lingual AMERICANS of hispanic ancestry. Many of them could trace their family history in the same area for centuries. I'm a third generation American. That means my ancestors came over on the boat in the late 1800's. Even if I could trace my ancestry to the original English colonies or the Dutch of New Amsterdam (which I can't), I'd still be a relative newcomer to them. Their families had English forced on them only 150 years ago, after speaking Spanish for 300 years.
I do feel we need to do something about controlling immigration, but only for the sheer numbers. As I said times are a changing. The US is no longer a bottomless pit that can accommodate everybody who wants to come. But the selection should not be based on language, religion, national origin. The criteria not only has to allow for those gifted people who can make immediate contributions to society, but also allow others of potential, but little to offer immediately except their dedication and desire to be American. That is after all, what made us great. That is why I served. To protect people of honor, to allow them to pursue the American Dream, no matter who they were or where they or where their ancestors came from.
In the rest of the world, you can become a citizen of another country, be it Japan, or Germany, or where ever. But you will NEVER be
Japanese or German or whatever. But America? As soon as you are sworn as a citizen, you are an American. Period.
And that's why I laid my life on the line for 20 years.

Charliej



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