“As we had no country, we had no flag to love. Naturalization may mean more than the adoption of the immigrant by America; it may mean the adoption of America by the immigrant.”
These are words of the Polish-born American writer Mary Antin. She expressed very well the feelings of those of us who found a new home in this country. The rumbling Russian tanks in the streets of my native Czechoslovakia in 1968 sent me on my way.
The names like Gettysburg, Shiloh Hill, Antietam, or Normandy and Iwo Jima, remind us that word freedom has a very high price. We all have an obligation to those who paid for us the ultimate price. It seems to me like turning back on their graves to cheapen the privilege to become a citizen of the country they died for. The only motivation for many of the newcomers is promise of a never ending set of benefits offered by the politicians in exchange for the vote in the next elections.
This has been always country of immigrants. The citizenship is a high privilege. It must not be awarded just for convenience to those for whom the words of Mary Antin meaningless. The politicans who use U.S. citizenship as a bargaining chip for keeping their power don’t deserve to be called Americans.