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Immigration equation

"Immigration equation" Continued...

Issue: "Warrior class," Aug. 28, 2010

A mother of three, she describes having to stay in Germany for a year after the birth of her first child without her husband. When her visa was finally approved and she joined him in Indiana, she was confronted with the preparation book for her naturalization exam. "It was so big and full of facts on history and the Constitution. It scared the daylights out of me-I was so intimidated by it! I had two small children by then and I had a job so it was very hard to find time to study." It took her five years to become a citizen.

Citing her own background, Hope says it is unjust to people who immigrated legally to turn a blind eye to those who do so illegally. "There is a way to become an American and that is to follow America's law. There shouldn't be shortcuts. I waited and I did the right thing."

What really angers her are suggestions that the law is based on racial prejudice and will lead to racial profiling. Says Hope, "The reality is that most of the illegals in Arizona are from Mexico, so it's common sense that if the law is going to be enforced it is going to be enforced disproportionately against one racial group-but that's not because the law or the police are racist, it's because one particular racial group is breaking that law more than others."

Hope says that while she sympathizes with that portion of the illegal population that is here to pursue better lives for themselves and their children, allowing them to circumvent the law may result in a lack of appreciation for the United States and the liberty that it offers. And she fears that allowing so many people into the country via illegitimate roads has helped erode America's foundational values.

"I was happy to leave my German citizenship behind, and I am very proud to be an American citizen. Then I see these people marching waving the Mexican flag, flying the American flag upside down. Of course I look at that and think those people who came here outside the proper channels don't have an appreciation for what America means. They want to live here but still be Mexicans. They want to take advantage of what this country offers, but they're getting the wrong idea about what that is because they didn't have to sacrifice anything to get it. They think they're going to come to America so the government can give them things. When they don't go through the process like I did, they're missing the point of the American Dream."

Megan Basham
Megan Basham

Megan, a regular correspondent for WORLD News Group, is a writer and film critic living in Memphis, Tenn.. She is the author of Beside Every Successful Man: A Woman's Guide to Having It All.

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