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What is your opinion on this?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Misplaced Loyalties
Tuesday, December 11, 2001

The front-page story (Tribune, Nov. 30) concerning a young Lance Cpl. Ajmal Achekzai raising the Stars and Stripes in Afghanistan was heartwarming and a tribute to all foreign-born, naturalized citizens. As I read the story I was touched with what Ajmal's father endured to get his family to America and freedom.
However, the fathers's statement in the last paragraph crystallizes what is wrong with our immigration system. The father's statement concerning his homeland, Afghanistan, was: "That's my first country. The United States is my second country."
What? Are naturalized citizens no longer required to pledge allegiance to America? If push comes to shove, is he American or Afghan?


I personally didn't like his statement. Although I am a citizen of the United States, my first country is Mexico. I am loyal to both countries. I pledge Allegiance to both countries. There is nothing worng with the immigration system. The americans need to realize this.
post #2 of 34
I personally, can understand where the guy is coming from. You can have love for both the country you live in and the one you're from, but loyalty has to lie with either one or the other in the face of conflict. This would be an especially sensitive thing right now i would think, considering that the men who took over one of the planes on Sept 11 were living in Florida, but very obviously loyal to their country of origin. I think its scary for people to think the 'enemy' could be residing in their very own country. To pledge Allegiance, to me, means you place all of your loyalty to your Country. Any other thoughts or opinions on this?
post #3 of 34
but I feel like you should live whereever your first loyality lies. If you move to another country, because you want a better life for yourself, and know that you can attain it there, because of the opportunities that are afforded you, then IMO then your loyality should be with that country.

If I had to move to korea to be with the SO for 2 years, my loyality would still be with the USA, because this is my home, and I wouldn't have any choice but to follow him, and I plan to return. If I choose to leave, and move somewhere else and take advantage of all the freedoms that are offered, I think in return I owe that place my loyality. At least as long as I'm living there.

Example, if I move to Canada because they have better health care, and I get a better job than I can in the USA, and I want to take advantage of all the wonderful thing that their government offers to immigrants, I feel I owe them my loyality first, as long as I continue to live there.

I guess it bothers me that people would be quick to cash in on all the good things, but not give at least their loyality back (and I mean in the #1 position). If this man has a better life here than there, and is now able to give his daughters the opportunity to go to school, to work, to leave the house, then in my opinion his first loyality should be to the place that made that possible. And if it's not, then why not move back to where your #1 loyality lies.

this is just my opinion and I hope I don't get flamed for it.
post #4 of 34

Amen to that!
post #5 of 34
You said exactly what I was thinking, of course you're able to word it much better than me, as usual
post #6 of 34
No flaming from here, Airprincess!! I totally agree with what you said. I don't think I could add anything without sounding redundant.
post #7 of 34
Well thought out, well said and big BRAVO ( sorry all out of Blob-O-Ramas at the moment)
post #8 of 34
Well put, airprincess. I personally think we should close our borders and crack down on immigration violations. Kick everyone out that doesn't belong here and then start on those that don't want to be loyal Americans or don't want to have America as their "first country." Flame away, folks! That's just the way I feel. The time for the huddled masses is long past.
post #9 of 34
Exactly KrazyKat...show no mercy!
post #10 of 34
Well lord knows if any of us Americans moved to another country and became a citizen of that country, we would lose our American rights. Why should it be different to anyone else? If you live here, you better damn well let your FIRST and only loyalty lie here. I am so sick of immigrants who come here and take minumum wage jobs so they don't have to pay income taxes, then send part of their income back to their family in a foreign country. Honestly, they need to be paying into America.

Now I am sure I am going to get hell for this post, but I really don't give a darn.
post #11 of 34
Not sure if this will even go along with the topic, but we shouldn't force international citizens to pledge American. Yes, I realize that they came here on their own free will, and they chose to live here. It's like a few months ago with the China incident ..... We have a Chinese person who works on our shift, and if they would've gone to war, she would've supported China because that is her "home." Not that I agree, but what can you do? I do agree that the borders should be shutdown or screened for the illigal immigrants coming into this country, though.

I don't know ........ hard topic to talk about!
post #12 of 34
I think both the US and Canada are wonderful countries to live in, and it would be nice to keep them that way...if that means closing borders and getting rid of the disloyal, so be it. If people in other countries believe they can get something here that they can't get where they are, maybe its time for them to start bringing about change in their own area. It really makes me mad when people come to our country (same goes for the US) and take advantage of the benefits such as medicare, employment opportunities, grants and social assistance programs, and then have the nerve to complain about the system that makes it all possible. If you choose to live in a country because of what it can offer you, you darn well better be absolutely loyal to it. Harsh, I know, but the truth.
post #13 of 34
I know how you feel....we have excatly the same probs here in England believe it or not......
post #14 of 34
This thread directly affects me, as my husband is German.
My husband is a US citizen ( his dad was in the US Army ) ,but his mom is German, and he spent the majority of his life there. He always worked on the Base because his dad was stationed there, and was considered "american". But now that he is an adult ( he is 35 now ), he always says he is German. We moved back here to the US, last year. My husband looks "american", acts "american", pays "american" taxes, and nobody would take him for anything else. But we still have ties there, we still pay German taxes because we have a bank account there, Not to say that he isn't loyal to the US, but it is possible to love two countries and to be involved ( such as taxes ) in two dofferent countries.

We left my mom-in-law there in Germany, and we speak to her often. My husband loves the USA, he is proud and loves this country. But he also loves his "first" homeland and is loyal to their causes as well.And we ( as well as a LOT of other people ) have assets there as well as here and pay the necessary prices to support their government as well.

I think it is not fair to say if you live here than you can ONLY love The USA. I am an American and proud of it. My husband is a German/American and also proud. And I love him for it.
post #15 of 34

I can certainly see your side...sorry to have had such tunnelvision. Thanks for the eye-opener.

post #16 of 34
Well I'm a native born Canadian but I have no gripe with most of the immigrants,european or otherwise. A good number of these folks from the "third world" are licenced professionals and very capiable,but when they arrive here they discover that their professional licences are not recognized. They basically have to start over again. Nobodylives at the poverty level to avoid taxes..that's just ridiculous. I have met a couple of engineers who wound up working as labourers and having to attend night classes to get their licence recognized.

One thing we bloody well need to LEARN from the immigrants..especially those from Asia is the way they work together to get ahead. We've forgotten the family unit. We embrace the Corporate "I'm OK..screw you" attitude and wonder why we lose out. These people band together and help each other.

And let's not forget here that our ancestors were once "wierd stangers" here themselves.

bin Laden would be delighted to hear us.
post #17 of 34
I think that the immigration laws have a lot of flaws, and can fail people like you pointed out, and on the other end it can be taken advantage of, the exact same way that citizens of this country can take advantage of other government funded programs. These problems are no way tied directly to immigrants. I agree there is a lot to learn from people of other cultures.

I can't speak for anyone else, but the company I work for is incredible. It's owned by 1 man, and he built it from having 2 employees, to the 30 that we now have, as well as a LA office. He is the true rags to riches story. Father died when he was 2 & his mother raised 4 kids on her own. She was an immigrant and had no family here. Anyway, he's a millionaire many times over, but the company has never lost the family touch. Just yesterday he came into my office, gave me a hug, and wanted to make sure I was happy. So while I know that the corporate 'screw you' mentality exists, I'm happy to say that not where I work. And I certainly don't perpetuate the mentality or embrace it.
post #18 of 34
Thinking back to the orignal post . . .

It reminds me of marriage. You grow up in certain family and it has a culture of its own. Some aspects are good, some aspects are bad, some families are "better" than others in some ways. Then you decide you want to be with someone other than your family of origin. In most cases, this is just fine. But sometimes there is conflict between the two aspects of your life, and you have to decide between your parents and your spouse. How nice if everyone chose their spouse, but it isn't always like that. Loving and being loyal to your new life partner doesn't mean you don't love or feel some loyalty to your old family.

Not all immigrants become citizens. I am a US citizen, but I was a Canadian immigrant for many years because my mom married a man who lived in Sudbury, ON. There were restrictions on our rights (we couldn't own property over a certain value, I couldn't have an after-school job, we didn't vote, my folks needed not only the equivalent of a green card but also notification that no Canadian wanted or was qualified for their jobs) but it didn't have a huge negative impact on our lives. My mother's cancer treatments were covered by the Canadian national health care system, so we certainly benefitted. But if for some absurd reason, Canada and the US had declared war on each other, I would have felt loyal to the US (unless the gov't was completely idiotic about something) even tho' I was living in Canada. So although I think it's an unfortunate statement, I can sure understand this man feeling loyalty to his homeland, even as he knows his life is "better" here.
post #19 of 34
Oh Cat, no need to say sorry girl!! I think unless you are in situation that directly affects you like this then most people only think USA....thats normal. I am lucky, I have a husband who is German and my mom is Italian ( born and raised in Italy ) so I am really tuned in to "bi-country loyalism"......my mom is 100% American, but I think if it came right down to it, she still would support Italy if need be. She also has property there, pays taxes there, etc and I think its her right to have loyalty to both. As does my hubby.
post #20 of 34
I was just reading Sunlions post, quote:

"But if for some absurd reason, Canada and the US had declared war on each other, I would have felt loyal to the US (unless the gov't was completely idiotic about something) even tho' I was living in Canada. So although I think it's an unfortunate statement, I can sure understand this man feeling loyalty to his homeland, even as he knows his life is "better" here."

And where it says " unless the gov't was completely idiotic about something" is so true! I mean how many of you here would still support the USA if we were doing something awful like committing attrocities on women and children??? I know you are supposed to support your country no matter what, but if the US was at war with another country and WE were in the wrong, I'd like to know how many of us here would still say we are AMerican!!!
My husband would support the USA, but if we went to war w/ Germany and the US was doing something absurd, I am 100% certain he would be on the other side. No doubt in my mind.
But I highly doubt that would ever happen, just a "What IF"........
post #21 of 34
Hi Daniela :daisy:

My Grandmother and Grandfather on both sides of my family came form Italy. I know they loved their country very much, but they moved here to take advantage of the opportunities they couldn't achieve in their own country. Both sides of my family are very hard workers and they became very successful in their endeavors; not only in work, but their scholastic achievements as well. I can recall talking to my Grandmother about her home and I'll never forget the smile that came to her face as she reminiced. She would tell me about their customs, culture, stories about when she was a child. She simply loved her country and I was quick to say that you couldn't love two countries or that you had to be loyal to only to the United States. Yes, I feel if someone is living here and taking advantage of our Country's benefits etc..their loyalty should be to our Country, but that shouldn't mean that you can't love and be loyal to another Country, unless of course there's a conflict in interest.

I also wanted to mention that Wayne defintely pointed out something that many immigrants bring to our country that the majority of Americans have lost through the years and that is the strength of the family unit. They're very intelligent people with a strong committment to work hard together and I truly admire them for that. It's good to know that someone's got your back, so to speak.

So, I feel that I spoke too quickly and I was wrong. No big deal.

post #22 of 34
So Cat, you are an Italian, eh???
I am 100%, both of my parents were born and raised there. They later came here to the US for the opportunities, etc.
I love my heritage, and I completely agree about the "family unit". Our family is very close. And I love it that way.
post #23 of 34
Lots of us Italians running around! I'm 50% - from my Dad's side. My Grandmother came from Italy with her family when she was very young. They moved to Chicago. When Grandma got married to Grandpa and they started the family business (that later turned into a huge corporation) they moved to Nebraska so the company was next to the natural resources used in the business. (A special type of grass, grown on company property, used to make targets for Archers to practice.) Family was always a big deal. That is definately something Grandma was adamant about. FAMILY. It didn't matter to her if you were mad at eachother or not, you treated everyone with respect and love, even while you were cussing them out in Italian. (some of my first words were very harsh on delicate Italian ears. :LOL: )
post #24 of 34

Yep, 100% as well, both sides of my family are from Northern Italy. We also have another member here, her member name is Sinophilia (really pretty huh? She's from Italy and speaks fluently. I, on the other hand do not. Right now, I'm learning Spanish. Also, right now, I'm sick as a dog I've been with this flu for the past couple days Anyway, back to the subject at hand...yes, family was the first and foremost important thing I can remember as a child. Unfortunately, when my Grandfather died on my dad's side, things started shifting...people changed...just everything changed. I wish things could be different, but that's the way it goes. Some folks hang on to that tradition and I think that's such a wonderful gift to pass on through the generations to come.

post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Most Mexicans that come here, is for job opportunties. Up until a year ago, Mexico was governed for 7 years by the PRI(a political party). During this time, there was alot of corruption. Low wages, most families stricken by poverty, drug wars. Many politicans were involved in drug-trafficking. I remember, when there was an election and a candidate for the opposing political party was going to win, he was murdered. Because of the harsh conditions in Mexico, many mexicans(mostly men) had to leave Mexico, often crossing the hot desert, to find jobs so they can send money to their families. Many people often worked at jobs nobody else wants like hotel housekeeping(mexican women are famous for their house cleaning abilities), labor, etc.) They also want to escape all the dirty politics that are there. Now, there is hope. About the same time as the American elections between George Bush and Al Gore, Vicente Fox became the new president of Mexico. And he was from another party. Through his government, he is cracking down on drugs and other crime, he is creating more stable and well paying jobs so that there will be more people staying home.
I never came to the US as an illegal resident. My mother fell in love with an American and married him. I became a legal resident through him. I've become a US citizen, voting and paying taxes. My mother is a citizen of both Mexico and the US. I am also in the process of obtaining my dual citizenship. Most people who come here come for only one thing. To work and to have a better life. I think we should block those with high criminal records, abuse the welfare system, and just not working. This is my opinion and is based on experiene. I know alot of people who are ilegal, yet, they work hard and pay taxes.
post #26 of 34
I can understand people coming here for a better life. But I don't think there is an excuse to be here "illegaly". My mother had to take her naturalization test when she turned 18 so she could become a citizen. She spent a lot of time and effort to obtain it. She deserved it for all she went thru. If you are here illegaly, then you probalby are not paying taxes. You have to have a SS number to pay taxes and you can't get one unless you have a green card as far as I know.......so I don't have much sympathy for those that are here milking the system. Like you said Nena, there are people from mexico that come to work and send money to their family, but unless they do it legally, then I don't believe they belong here, until they can get the proper papers.
post #27 of 34

I'm confused about something:

I was under the impression that the US required people to give up their prior citizenship in order to become US citizens. And if I gave up my US citizenship, I couldn't get it back.

As far as I know, the only exception is minors (under 18) whose parents have citizenship in different countries. Like the children of servicemen (and women) who marry citizens of the countries where they are posted.

So how can you have dual citizenship?
post #28 of 34
I think Sunlion is correct. My husband had dual citizenship to Germany until he was 18 and then he had to choose if he wanted to be German or American .He chose American.
I believe dual citizenship is only for minors.
post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
No, a couple of years ago during Bill Clinton's presidency, the government passed an amendment saying that Mexicans who had been US citizens can now get dual citizenship. Its kind of hard for me to explain. I have to talk the consulate about it so that I can explain it more. But my mother is dual to both countries. When I receive mine, I can try an explain more.
post #30 of 34
We have a family from the Pacific Islands living in my town. These people get catered to constantly, and they still find fault. A couple of examples, they get food and clothing donated to them from their church, they get special treatment at work, and they have just purchased a home, but no one understands how they could have gotten a loan to do so. These people send momey back to their family, and they talk about eventually going back home. These people have no loyality to the U.S., they are just here to benefit from our system, and don't deserve any special treatment.
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