Friday, January 28, 2011

Becoming an American Citizen

By guest blogger Matt Nemeth

Today I was honored to witness something I have never seen. Down at the Federal courthouse here in Nashville, immigrants were sworn in as legal, naturalized citizens.

I was there to watch my friend, Leo, become an American. He was one of 60 people from 29 different nationalities being sworn in. Some of these individuals hailed from countries such as Canada, Guatemala, Cuba and Iran.

My friend was born and raised in Mexico. His wife is an American and they had met while she was vacationing in his home country. After some time, they got married and he moved here to the United States.

As long as I have known Leo, he has wanted to get his American citizenship. Today, after years of work and many fees, he earned it.

Right now we have anywhere between 15 and 20 million illegal immigrants residing here in the United States. None have gone through the process to become naturalized citizens nor do they appear to want to. They have not even begun to make the efforts that Leo has.

In the meantime, our politicians are fighting to grant these law-breakers citizenship without having to go through the same process as everyone else. In other words, our own elected officials are willing to have illegal immigrants jump in front of those working towards their citizenship and receive it first and possibly for free.

It cost my friend roughly $3500 in applications, travel, and other related expenses to get where he is. Would these politicians force those here illegally to pay the same monetary price?

Any politician who preaches amnesty also preaches putting an individual above the law. They feel that someone who breaks our laws is entitled to as little punishment as possible and the cherished gift of citizenship.

Each of those 60 people who became American’s today worked incredibly hard to earn this. They undoubtedly cherish what they now have. How do they feel knowing that politicians are willing to give their gift to someone else who did not sacrifice for it? Would those here illegally cherish their gift of independence?
The judge presiding the ceremony made an excellent observation: each person
Receiving their citizenship today gets to celebrate two days of independence every year. They get to bask in the festivities of the 4th of July to honor our nations independence and they get to celebrate every January 27th their own personal holiday. They celebrate their own independence.

No one in that room would dare take for granted what they have achieved. We should all be honored that they went to these great lengths to become our countrymen. This is something that our politicians should not desecrate through an amnesty bill. The achievements made are something that should never be legislated.

Matt Nemeth is the host of the West Nashville Eggs and Bacon Summit. It meets every 3rd Saturday of the month at the Shoney’s on White Bridge Rd.  Matt works as a salesman and currently lives downtown with his dog, Sam.

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