And, whether you agree or not, the current “batch” of immigrants in today’s news are, in part, the future of this greatest of nations.
They are only the latest in a long line of settlers and migrants that include people like screenwriter Ang Lee (Taiwan), journalist Joseph Pulitzer (Hungary) and authors such as Thomas Mann (Germany) and Elie Wiesel (Rumania.)
Just so you know, I strongly disagree that anyone who breaks the laws of the land be granted a Disney-style fastpass admission to the United States.
I say this because it’s a major pain in the arse to earn a Green Card, and thus live here legally in the U.S. - but that’s the way it should be.
It took seven-and-a-half years of bureaucracy and red tape to take me from my point of arrival in Washington, D.C. to a Los Angeles-area conference room.
It was there that a United States Federal Judge stood and gave me (and hundreds of other fellow immigrants) a round of applause after a simple ceremony that concluded when we pledged allegiance to this amazing land of the free and home of the brave.
Today, when people ask my background, I simply say “I’m Irish by birth and American by choice.”So, what should we do with the millions of immigrants “hiding in the shadows,” as some call it?
I don’t know, it’s way above my pay grade, but I’ll tell you one thing.
The vast majority made a long, agonizing choice to come to America.
Some said goodbye to the security of a job and a home.Many left families to fend for themselves in the hope that American dollars sent via Western Union could turn around severe financial issues in the homestead.
All left a past behind so they could build a future.
One arrived at Dulles Airport on Jan.15, 1996, with two suitcases, no job, home or friends bar one.
We all came here looking for the American Dream.
And, ten years ago, yesterday, on July 3, 2003, I became a naturalized citizen.
So, happy birthday, America.
I love ya, man!
(Here's a great video tribute to earlier immigrants set to Neil Diamond's "Coming to America.")