I am seated on a sun-warmed boulder at the edge of the sea in Cape Canaveral, and I’m helping an immigrant with her exam questions.
“I learn…American-Mexican War, America-Spanish War, and Purchase of Louisiana now” my student tells me. “I learn…by reading…Russian-in Russian.” Her words come slowly, painfully even, but with a remorseless determination that I have to admire. There is a long pause between almost every word as she searches for the right one.
“Great, Lubov! Let’s practice your questions, OK?”
“Da…I mean, yes.”
I start with the easy ones. “Who is the President of the USA now?”
“Barack Obama” she says without hesitation.
“Unfortunately true” says I.
“Name two of the exclusive powers of the Federal government.”
She names all 6. “Fantastic! You have learned very well!” I tell her.
She is beaming now. Eventually we get through 65 of the 100 questions she needs to potentially answer to obtain citizenship. She nails all but two of them correctly. In fact, she answers them word-for-word. It’s obviously taken her a long time to memorize everything in a language that she has only a passing familiarity with.
When we finish, she looks at me hopefully. “I…I do good?”
“Yes, very good! You know more already than most American citizens do. Let’s meet tomorrow, shall we?”
“Yes. We…meet…2 hours.”
“2 o’clock” I correct her gently. “Tomorrow.”
“Yes. Two o’clock. Here.” She points to the rock I just got off of.
“Great! I’ll see you then. Dos vedanya!”
She brightens when I use her own native language. “Dos vedanya, Jonathan.” I ride away from her, smiling. It makes me feel good that I’m helping her, but mostly I’m just impressed with her perseverance and forthright earnestness. She is taking her citizenship very seriously, and really wants to learn.
Lubov is about 60 and has an advanced degree in chemistry. She once was a research scientist for a few months at an American university where language skills took a back seat to mathematical formula. Now, she is building a new life near the beach, and I was introduced to her by a friend of a friend. I’m happy to help.
She is typical of eastern European immigrants to our country. Most of them are well-educated. Almost all of them have no criminal record and assimilate well into American culture. Very few are drains on our welfare system. None of them that I have met come here to change America into their home country. Yes, they keep some of their old customs, but they try to adopt the USA as their new home, too.
I wonder how she and other legal immigrants feel about the invaders that come here from south of the border. After all, as a European, she has to spend a lot of money on immigration attorneys. She provides for her own welfare. She needs an extensive medical clearance, a criminal background check, and, eventually, she’ll need to pass the oral exam I’m tutoring her for, and even then, after years of trying, she may be rejected by our system. I know of one young man, an accountant, who committed suicide when he wasn’t admitted after building a life here.
Yet a Mexican criminal can break into our country illegally carrying a contagious disease and immediately begin sopping up welfare benefits. For that behavior, we will reward him with citizenship if he only remains here long enough to evade capture, which isn’t difficult at all, or, if a woman is involved, she has the good fortune to drop her baby in a US hospital at taxpayer expense.
This is insane. I have tried to become a citizen of a foreign country. Believe me, it is not easy. You need to spend a lot of time, a lot of money, or both to become a member of even a third world dungheap, but if you want to become a citizen of the most powerful nation on earth, all you have to do is sneak over our porous border and “hide out in the open” for a year or two, and presto! You’re a citizen, even if you come equipped with no useful skills other than the ability to open a locked car without the keys and have an IQ approaching room temperature. If this is the future citizenship of our country, we’re doomed.
We need immigrants that have skills and/or money. We need immigrants that are healthy and law-abiding. We need immigrants that will assimilate, in small quantities. We do not need barrios full of ingrates demanding that the state of California be annexed by Mexico, we do not need illegal aliens flying the Mexican flag over the US flag to accommodate latino sensibilities, we do not need a bilingual country, and we certainly do not need more fruit pickers.
On the Fourth of July, I went to a friend’s house for a party. There were 4 Russian immigrants there. One was a realtor, one worked for a defense contractor, one was a housewife, and one was a teacher. They asked the Americans to sing the Star Spangled Banner for them while they taped it, then we took their pictures wrapped in our flag. Corny? Maybe, but it was fun, and somehow it seemed a lot more appropriate than drinking Mexican piss beer at a Cinquo de Mayo party while the kiddies swing at an Uncle Sam pinata.
A country without borders is not a country at all. We need to build a wall. If you don’t like that idea, you’re in effect saying that you vote to turn America into Mexico writ large, because what multiculturalism really means is the death of what we once were. If you like rent-a-tire stores, taco joints, unpaved roads, drug dealers, cheap whores, drunk drivers, and widespread corruption at every level of government, you’ll love our new country. If not, vote for Trump.
Wow. No wonder you didn’t enjoy living in Colombia. Why did you ever move to Latin America with such hatred of Latinos and Latin American culture? I believe you don’t speak Spanish, correct? Which means you moved to South America and tried to become a citizen without making effort to the learn the language – exactly the behavior you are frowning upon with immigrants in the U.S.
I didn’t move to “South America”. I was not trying to become a citizen in Columbia, and they will not allow illegals to enter their country. Those are the facts.
I DID look into the process of naturalization, and there is NO country anywhere on earth (save for the European countries and that is only recently) that allows people to “crash the gates” to enter the country illegally and then rewards them with citizenship, other than the USSA. I don’t know where you’re from, but if it is Columbia, they would first throw me in jail, and then expel me forcibly from their country if I tried that…and they would have every right to do so.
As far as language, my Spanish is poor. I acknowledge that it needs to improve if I were to become a citizen. What I WOULD NOT do is demand that the new country adopt English as their second language and that my illegal children be taught at your expense in that language in school. Nor would I expect Columbia to provide me with English signs because I can’t read Spanish.
I believe your previous posts say you had moved to Medellin and tried to make a life there.
No, I didn’t.
You are carrying some kind of grudge because I wrote one article which pointed out the negatives about Medellin. You have ignored the 4 or articles which praised the city in what I would call glowing terms.
No place is perfect, and Medellin is no exception. I tried to achieve some balance in my reportage by showing both the good and the bad, but if you read all of my articles on the subject, rather than just focusing on the single one you didn’t like, you’d see that my impression of Medellin was overwhelmingly positive.
And BTW, in the same vein, I thought I made it pretty clear that the illegal immigrants I was referring to were Mexicans. Are you Mexican? If you are, and you’re here illegally, please deport yourself. If you’re not, I’m not sure why you’ve taken such umbrage.
Well done, Jonathan!