It can't be just handed off

Citizenship is an involved, earned obligation

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Americans are among the most compassionate on Earth. That’s why arms, homes and wallets have opened up around the country for illegal immigrant children who have swarmed the southern border in the hope of a good life.

But America is more than place on a map that happens to be doing better than most around the world.

America is an idea, a set of principles, a way of life. Such things aren’t picked up by osmosis, even for natives. They must be taught and learned over years. Such things as the link between freedom and responsibility. The rule of law. Self-respect, and respect for others. Self-reliance and hard work. Private property rights – without which none of these other things matter.

Yes, America is a great melting pot – the most wonderful in history. Yet, you can’t make someone American by picking him up and plopping him down here – any more than you can make someone British that way.

This is why, even in the most diverse, welcoming nation in history, there is something called a “naturalization process.” Hint: It’s not about how to just get here.

Citizenship, native or naturalized, is a process. It’s an involved one, filled with solemn obligations.

Being American appears easy on the outside. Far from it. As with a duck’s feet, there’s a lot going on under the surface.

Citizenship is not something you can just give away, or be handed after landing like a lei in Honolulu.

If only Americans, and future Americans, respected that more.

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RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 08/13/14 - 11:33 pm
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America is truly exceptional

America is truly exceptional and those that don't understand this don't know the history of America or the rest of the world. There has never been a country in which the power rest in the citizens and this power is not given by man but by God. In the rest of the world people are subject to the rights and laws granted to them by those in authority and therefore can be taken back at any time.

Young Fred
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Young Fred 08/14/14 - 01:37 am
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Great letter

Citizenship comes with responsibility. And as RMSHEFF pointed out, it comes with history.

A History that tested this great experiment with guts, and a little luck. Aw heck, a lot of luck! We came so close, so many times to failing, but perseverance and a lot of people who believed in our experiment were willing to sacrifice everything dear to them in order to see the experiment succeed.

Now we're bombarded with people who want to join. There was a time when we welcomed all with open arms, as long as they understood our history and took a sacred oath.

But, this nation can no longer afford to accept all with open arms. Space is limited and "history" is no longer required. We simply cannot willy-nilly accept all and put them on the dole. This is an unpleasant fact, but a fact none-the-less. Even a country as great as ours has not an unlimited budget.

I know some think numbers are boring and we can kick the can down the road, but I have news for you, that can has been kicked over and over again.

Personally, I'd like to accept each and every person that wishes to enter, but until we can adequately take care of our own (many of which won't take care of themselves) we simply cannot accept all.

It's simple mathematics.

carcraft
27735
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carcraft 08/14/14 - 04:44 am
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Stark contrast between Obama

Stark contrast between Obama and Bush, Bush wanted to try start America in other parts of the World, Obama lets other parts of the World come to America. Unfortunately those other parts of the World are coming illegally!

ymnbde
10336
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ymnbde 08/14/14 - 04:58 am
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they're not coming to be Americans

they're coming to be democrats
and shame, shame, shame on the democrats
it isn't even a cultural xenophilia
it's a simple thirst for power, by any means necessary

SGT49
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SGT49 08/14/14 - 09:41 am
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I'm sorry, but that America

I'm sorry, but that America is long gone. A wishful thought. Haven't you noticed... the government can confiscate your property at will. Citizens are spied on, intimidated and persecuted by their government. The ruling class is above the law. Your hard-earned wages are confiscated and given to whomever the government wants to curry favor with. Even though a vast majority of the citizens wants the borders closed and laws enforced, those in power choose to leave them open. Both political parties and all government branches are steeped in the vileness, so who can you turn to to fix it? I'm afraid America's glory days are over and nothing short of a revolution can return them. And, I'm too old.

faithson
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faithson 08/14/14 - 10:34 am
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What is so wrong with a guest worker program

that allows residence, but not citizenship to include new births.

An OPEN sign-up for the undocumented where they will NOT be harassed by the likes of so many on these boards.

They would be allowed to participate in all US Government programs that they are paying taxes into from their payroll tax deductions. They could be required to have extra deductions for health/social service they use.

This crazy idea that a wall and more 'troops' will put this all back in the box is ludicrous. Our only way is forward.

Darby
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Darby 08/14/14 - 10:59 am
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"Yes, America is a great melting pot – "

NO, IT'S NOT and I don't think it ever has been. That concept is a goal and and a worthy one too. Still, look around our great cities.

People tend to self-segregate. Look at the "Chinatowns" The "Korea towns", the Greek communities, German communities, Irish, Italian and Japanese communities, etc spread across the nation.

Far too many don't want to assimilate.

They are proud of their heritage and are determined to hold on to it.

That can be both a good and a bad thing. Heritage and history are intertwined and should be observed and respected. But only to a point.

On the other hand, a failure to merge, adopt a common culture, language and goals weakens our nation and inhibits our ability to think and view and respond in a united manner to our national problems.

The result is the balkanization America faces now. We become weaker and less united with each passing day. And our enemies rejoice.

Unless we find a solution and soon, we face only more and more chaos.

faithson
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faithson 08/14/14 - 10:41 am
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hey SGT

frustration is one thing, despotism is completely another. I am of a mind that there are some big problems out there, but in believing that my children and grandchildren deserve an even better America than WE have, I submit that WE can overcome our adversities, but ONLY in as much as we can learn to listen to each other and decide TOGETHER. Just because ONE person doesn't get what they want, ALL should suffer. terribly selfish perspective.

Darby
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Darby 08/14/14 - 11:01 am
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Sgt49 -

As long as a man can draw a breath, he's never going to be too old to fight for his freedom.

faithson
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faithson 08/14/14 - 04:00 pm
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and the shittes don't like

and the shittes don't like the Sunni's, the Sunni's give the finger to the Shiite's and the Kurds could do without both of them... THIS IS AMERICA !!
We can, if we so choose, to move forward in a country where a man is judged by his 'Character'... NOT his racial compliment.

Darby
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Darby 08/14/14 - 04:22 pm
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"We can, if we so choose, to move forward

in a country where a man is judged by his 'Character'... NOT his racial compliment."

.
Only when Democrats decide that it's no longer in their political interest to keep folks of different racial backgrounds at each other's throats.

faithson
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faithson 08/14/14 - 04:56 pm
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good point Darby

but I think it is on both sides.

jimmymac
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jimmymac 08/14/14 - 04:57 pm
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DARBY
Unpublished

Yes many immigrants congregated into ethnic communities when there was mass immigration. They did it because is most cases they were persecuted and ridiculed. This gave rise to Mick towns, Hymie towns, little Italy's and so on. As they became integrated into American culture they started moving out of those ethnic strongholds and spread through the country. Fact is that most ethnic congregations no longer exist as they did in years past. Hispanics eventually will so the same but it takes education to give them the courage to go it alone.

Young Fred
19134
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Young Fred 08/14/14 - 05:56 pm
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Some wish to departmentalize

There is only one side who wishes to constantly point out our physical differences!

The other side, on occasion wishes to point out our "real" differences, ie differences in opinion.

One side wishes to categorize based on looks.

The other side wishes to categorize based on opinion.

Which side are you on?

Young Fred
19134
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Young Fred 08/14/14 - 06:26 pm
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faithson

I have to ask...

"An OPEN sign-up for the undocumented where they will NOT be harassed by the likes of so many on these boards. They would be allowed to participate in all US Government programs"

How exactly do you propose to pay for this? Ya, ya, I know Libs and arithmetic are not to be uttered in the same sentence, but come on!

Possibly (I'm only guessing) you believe the evil-uber rich can/will pay for all? Of course that pesky little arithmetic thing comes into play again. The "uber rich" can't pay for all even if you take(steal) all their money.

Oh well, we can just keep printing.

We can just keep accepting.

Anyone.

ELLIOTTMESS55
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ELLIOTTMESS55 08/14/14 - 06:56 pm
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well tell us please bush
Unpublished

well tell us please bush backers,what would you rather have?we can absorb many people and help,and place them somewhere.iraq is a nightmare.guess who started that?guess who asked bill clinton to what bush did?cheney and the gang.guess who has to clean up the punks mess while he writes books about his goofy dad and paints pictures of putin?while cheney and the gang count their money made while pillaging iraq.

faithson
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faithson 08/14/14 - 07:22 pm
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sides...

one of the old 'traditions' that are seeing their day in court.... and losing badly. how so many cannot see their way through, because they cannot 'find' the middle ground, where so much can be done, is beyond my philosophical rudiments.

faithson
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faithson 08/14/14 - 07:25 pm
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u missed it young

the 'add-on' payroll deduction for your work permit will INCLUDE costs related to getting a work permit in the first place..... I know your kind... even if the 'budget considerations' could be worked out... not NO but HELL NO....

KSL
139158
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KSL 08/14/14 - 10:57 pm
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faithson, are you a former

faithson, are you a former illegal immigrant, or what?

Darby
28237
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Darby 08/15/14 - 09:57 pm
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"good point Darby but I think

it is on both sides."

Perhaps, faithson, but the distribution is much too one sided.

If truth were in vogue, it would be the Republicans accusing Democrats of racism and bigotry for the way they've treated and abused Black citizens for so many decades now.

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