Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Free to Me...and You

Score one for lunatics? Seems to be the consensus about Arizona and their immigration bill. Outrageous? Xenophobic? Unconstitutional?

I will leave the constitution matter to lawyers with more smarts than me, but it seems we have reached a turning point in the immigration debate. Or have we?

I doubt it and think little will change as a result, and I don't think the Arizona law will "spread" as many fear.

Both parties are scared to death of immigration reform, the cyanide of American politics. Leaders on both sides have always talked a good game while coming just short of real reform and the chance of offending one giant constituency.

Solution? First, let's first stop the flow of illegals by securing our borders. Then let's examine some type of "permanent worker" status for those who are law abiding and an easier path to citizenship.

I was thinking about this the other night in a larger context with my wife, who posed the question "What exactly are American values?"

Ours is the land of opportunity, right? Even when only 80% of us are employed? Yup.

Ronald Reagan got me many years ago. I see myself living on his "shining city on a hill, whose beacon light guides freedom loving people everywhere."

And our values can be summed up with that one word: Freedom.

Do you ever take it for granted? I remember being in Prague for the first Czech free elections, right after the fall of the Berlin wall . The plazas were full of candidates from over twenty parties, including the beer party and the music party. I will never forget the woman who explained to me how happy people were to vote...for anyone. "Now we are free!" she exclaimed.

I grew up in a military household, the son of a proud Naval Commander. My Dad never, to this day, let's me forget the sacrifices Americans have made for freedom.

I am sure there are people in his life he disagrees with on everything except the weather. But he would fight, and he would die, for their right to say it.

So would I. I would fight for all us immigrants, all with ancestors who faced discrimination of some sort.

It's our fight also.

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