By Krista Kafer (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am pro-legal immigration. My great grandparents were immigrants after all. I could become a squish on illegal immigration. I know from a friend’s experience how hard it is for a decent, hard-working person to come here legally. The barriers are too high even for those with skills and job offers. I understand the temptation to come here illegally. I can feel myself drift toward supporting amnesty legislation championed by President Bush and Senator Ted Kennedy. What snaps me back? The entitlement attitude voiced by immigration activists sends me running to the border of immigration enforcement policy.
Entitlement sounds like “we’re breaking the law and proud of it,” “we deserve to be here,” “I won’t learn English,” “How dare you enforce the law,” and so on. We heard it loud and clear during last year’s marches.
Sometimes actions speak louder than words. This week, according to the Denver Post, illegal immigrants are boycotting Colorado businesses. With the exception of food and medicine, they won’t spend a dime. The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, the leader of the boycott, told the Post, "The economic boycott will illustrate the need for immigration reform and that without immigrants, both documented or undocumented, our state could not survive. We can no longer take for granted immigrants and their contributions.” Apparently their contribution entitles them to be here even though they are breaking the law.
This entitlement mentality should worry Americans. It begins with “I’m entitled to be here.” Next it’s “I’m entitled to government benefits.” By contrast, my great grandparents were grateful to be here. They did not feel entitled to anything. My great grandmother worked as a maid and cook for a doctor in town while her husband farmed the land. They learned English. Their children, my grandparents, worked the land as sharecroppers before moving to Colorado to work in Commerce City’s factories. They were all about hard work. They never took government handouts. They only felt entitled to what they earned with their own hands.
There are a lot of immigrants and their descendants who embody these American values. It would benefit the country to make legal immigration easier for hard-working, self-reliant people. As for those who feel entitled to break the law, it would be best if they boycotted this country altogether.