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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day - Better Late...

I don't want to get into a debate on illegal immigration, and who "belongs" in the U.S. or should be allowed, etc., etc.

However, this article by my Miami Herald colleagues Amy Driscoll and Trenton Daniel moved me.

I gotta tell you, I understand why people from depressed countries would want to slip into the U.S., legally or not. For all the criticisms from abroad of the U.S., there's no country in the world that presents fewer hindrances to civil liberties and what not. You can hate the government here and say it out loud, and no one will come for you in the middle of the night. You can own weapons legally. You can protest folks who own weapons legally. You can get an abortion. You can protest folks who get abortions. You can say/do just about anything you want. And while the reason for it isn't as simple as 1+1 or A to B, it all comes back to what American troops fought for in dozens of world conflicts and in a few fights here at home over the past 200-plus years.

But while we debate who should be allowed to stay and for what reasons, this article highlights a special group of people who so deeply understand what American citizenship means that they're willing to jump right into frays they could argue have little to do with them. They're immigrants who are serving in the U.S. military in exchange for fast-tracked citizenship.

Again, whatever you think of the politics behind this, you have to give these people props for the lengths their willing to go to, to demonstrate their feelings about this country.

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  • It IS a great country. If you're a foreign Mexican national, you may participate in political protest on the streets, as aliens are not permitted to do so in Mexico.

    They'd put my Gringo-ass (and that IS a pejorative) in prison.

    By Blogger M@, at 11:10 AM  

  • As my old man says on the issue, shrugging, "Everyone's got to eat."

    And I agree. But it chaps my behind that socio-ethnocentric political advocacy groups should try to abrogate my say as one of the 300 million "stakeholders" in this thing called U.S.A. Corp.

    I think we should fortify the borders and then have a long, ten-year national conversation about immigration. I mean, let's get buy-in from working class African Americans, for example.

    Let's get buy-in from those people who are supposedly unwilling to work. I see half of all black men in New York City are unemployed.

    --Unemployed White Man :(

    By Blogger M@, at 11:12 AM  

  • I do, however, admire a guy who hops a train and travels thousands of miles northward to shovel sh*t. I would hope that I would be one of those guys.

    By Blogger M@, at 11:15 AM  

  • Amen.

    By Blogger WNG, at 2:23 PM  

  • I like the article and think perhaps it speaks for some, but I don't think people en masse are leaving behind family and culture to come here for the red, white and blue.

    We flatter ourselves.

    They're coming for the good ol' gray and green.

    By Blogger The First Domino, at 8:50 PM  

  • Maybe they're coming for the gray and green, but that's because it's possible to accumulate it here. A taxi driver in Morocco told me, "I know what it's like in America. Here, you work and work and you stay poor. In America, you work and you get to keep your money."

    As far as immigrants serving in the military, I don't have a single problem with it -- the military allows only legal immigrants in, so this is not part of the illegal alien problem.

    By Blogger class-factotum, at 10:18 AM  

  • I've heard of that program. Any solider who applies for citizenship under those conditions should have it handed to them on a silver platter. I'll do the serving.

    By Blogger qofd, at 5:22 PM  

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