Thursday, May 03, 2007

I'm a Native American

How many generations does it take, living in one area, before someone can consider himself a native?

This photo was taken by Byron Dazey at Seattle's self-proclaimed illegal (Mexican) immigrant rally on Tuesday:

My answer: Washington. And South Dakota. And Minnesota. Ohio. Quebec. Oh, and one who came over from England as a teenager (by herself, mind you!).

So if you're counting just by great-grandparents, I surely am a native American. Blood of the continent.

And if you want me to go back as far as I can, well then: I have great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents who were born in North America. So there.

And if my uncle's story about my great-grandfather (the Canadian who married the Englishwoman) is correct, I could count back further generations than that in North America. Apparently my great-grandfather checked "native Canadian" (or whatever) on some government form (along with "white"). My uncle has been mistaken for American Indian on occasion, he says.

When in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, we let ourselves be roped into watching a movie trailer and then filling out a survey on it (Underdog = blech). When they asked the ethnicity question, I checked Native American. It's what I am. I'm not "white." I'm not "Caucasian." I'm American, and damn proud of it.

I sympathize with everyone who wants to move to the United States of America, because this is the best country on Earth. But if you do not follow the rule of law, I'm not sure I want you in my country. What other laws will you break?

The people I want as new neighbors are the hard-working, honest, law-abiding citizens of the world who play by the rules and wait in line to get into this great country. True, we could probably let more of these people in, but that doesn't mean we need to completely open the floodgates of our borders.

Perhaps Europe would be a better destination for migrants who don't honor the rule of law. It's already a magnet for handout-hungry migrants. The United States is supposed to be the shining light for those who want to work hard and succeed of their own volition.

If we don't have immigration control, the United States would have a population of two or four billion and several other countries in the world (China!) would be empty. While I belive this land could sustain four billion people, I don't believe we could handle a sudden influx of that magnitude.

So, in summary: increase legal immigration, clamp down hard on illegal immigration, and don't you dare insinuate I'm not a native.


Pedicularis said...

Remember the green bumper stickers saying "Washington Native"? All they meant was that the driver was born in Washington State. By *that* definition, everyone born in the U.S. is a "native", including those born to illegal immigrants.

Chandira said...

Interesting.. :-)

My only question is what of unfair laws? Not all laws in force are fair. What then?

Pedicularis said...

Fair? I suppose not. But laws are not written to be fair; they are written to accomplish a purpose, such as to reduce a crime rate, or to provide a method to resolve conflicts. However, if you think a particular law is unfair, then you have the opportunity to try to get it changed, either by talking to elected politicians, by getting elected, by writing letters to the editor, or by carrying signs. It is still a (pretty) free country!