I was going to use this Think About It spot to tell you about my journey with the immigration system.
But then I boiled it down, what I was going to say was: “it’s not fair that they won’t let me be an American. I’m a nice girl and I’m doing this legally, I deserve to have a visa.”
What kind of attitude is that? It’s entitled. And, because I was born in Australia, I’m blessed to see that I do not deserve to be here. I call this a blessing, and it is, because it’s making me see things in a new way.
When people feel entitled to something, they get complacent, and that thing loses its value. The alternative is to remember that this thing was a gift, which you did not deserve, so take good care of it.
Think about this practically for a moment, what if I came to your house and said: “Hey, I’m college educated, I work pretty hard and I smell good, give me a room in your house. Oh, and by the way, do my laundry.”
What would you say? Depending on how polite you are, I can imagine a range of responses.
Now, it’s easy to see that it’s ridiculous for me to do this. It’s easy to see that as an immigrant, I can’t demand “my rights” from your government. But, can you? Is your citizenship something the government owes you, because you were born here, or is it a gift you’ve been given and one that’s incredibly precious?
This is why I have a problem with the DREAM Act, which I know Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome loves – it treats citizenship like a right. It’s not.
Aside from talking about why Mr Obama’s brought the DREAM Act in, because that’s a whole other “Think About It” – think about what it’s confirming for those teenagers who are now becoming citizens. This move tells them: “Hey, you are entitled to be a citizen. The laws are unfair when it comes to you, because even though your presence here is against the law, you were born here, so it’s your right to be a resident.
Take this back to the idea of me moving into your house. What if I happened to be 9 months pregnant when I showed up on your doorstep? What if, while we’re talking, I give birth to a baby right there. Are you going to raise it? No! It’s not your responsibility, and it’s not that baby’s right to be in your home. What if we hid in your basement for ten years, then surfaced and demanded to be made a part of your family?
This issue gets emotional, because we’re talking about children, but take the warm, fuzzy feelings off it. Every child grows up to be an adult and the young adults Mr Obama legalised this year have just as much or little right to citizenship as I do. None.
So you’ve heard about how the issue of entitlement applies to me as an immigrant, but how does this apply for you, in this community? It’s happening, but it’s for you to think about… some people treat opportunities as gifts while others demand them as rights.
The first group takes care of the gift, making sure it keeps its value for future generations. The second group takes advantage and tries to squeeze out everything they can get before it’s all gone.
Think About It…