Super Bowl, & Land Of Opportunity

I have to admit that Super Bowl LI was exciting. This was the first time in ten years that I watched. I must admit, however, that I didn’t see the entire game. Atlanta was winning 21-0 when I tuned in. I watched the half-time shows and then kept watching to see if the Pats would come back. I felt certain that if they could score quickly in the second half they would win. I saw the Pats score one touchdown. That’s about the time I noticed my wife Peg beginning to fall asleep in the wheelchair.I turned the tv on mute and we put peg to bed. It has been my habit to hold her hand and to say my prayers while she falls asleep. This can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to forty-five minutes.  The idea of living with regrets doesn’t appeal to me, so I made myself follow the ritual even though the game was not over.

I finished my prayers, Peg was fast asleep and I covered her with a second blanket then dressed down into my PJs. I emerged from the BR to see the score was at 28-28. Oh well. I watched the overtime and thought the Pat’s deserve the win for such a remarkable comeback. They are certainly a model for positive thinking and that it ain’t over till it’s over attitude.

Everyone always remarks about the fabulous commercials during the Super Bowl. I want to comment on two that stood out. The first was a picture story about a mother and daughter from a Central American country who leave home to find a better life. The story ends too soon with a message to go to the sponsors website for the conclusion. Someday, I may do that. There is no doubt that this mother-daughter team prevailed some awful hardships to make it to America. I was near tears watching them overcome the hardships of their journey. The message was they are willing to undergo tremendous hardship to get to the land of opportunity, except for one thing, they didn’t bother to get a proper entry VISA. I’m sure no one ever told them they needed such a document, but someone else must have told them to just walk in because America’s doors are wide open.

The second commercial was also about immigration. This one involves a young man with big dreams and proper credentials who journeys from Germany to Saint Louis, Missouri. There, he meets a fellow immigrant and the two of them team up to form the Anheuser-Busch brewery. The immigrant is not well accepted in this story. He is different, and people tell him so, but he overcomes the hardships and he prevails. His story is not different than those of my father and the many immigrants I lived with growing up. My dad was called  Hunky, others were called Dago, Kraut, Kyke, Pollack, Chink. There was a degrogatory name for every ethnic group in America. My parents and the parents of my many childhood friends all overcame the slurs and prevailed. They worked hard, they  learned the language the best they could, and became citizens. Their safe space was America, and they did not need the ACLU protecting them. They didn’t want to change America into their home country with their ethnic culture, but they didn’t give up celebrating in their howetown garb, or to play their failiar music, or to dance the dances they left behind. When their clebrations ended they reverted to being Americans.

Both stories are compelling. They tell the story of America. They show that America has a huge heart. The M-D  story, however, told me that we seem to have forgotten that our responsibility to immigrants is to give them a key to enter the house, i.e. a proper VISA. With the VISA the laws permit free and equal opportunity, but breaking into the house without an invitation marks them as unwanted criminals.

The immigration laws of the United States are very fair and well drafted. However, over the years our leaders from both sides have decided to ignore them. Instead of asking Congress to revise the law to allow free entry, they have opted instead to disregard the laws, and to complain that the system is broken. The system is not broken, it is a sensible workable law. If we want to accept more immigrants we should change the law to raise, or to remove the limit. Evidently, we don’t pay our Congress enough to work very hard on writing law. They spend more time worrying about becoming reelected than they do about keeping America viable, and strong.
Congress has invented many ways to circumvent the laws to allow more immigrants in. One way is the add-on to allow family members of those who are already here to come without vetting. Another is a law called DOCA passed to allow children without adult accompaniment to enter and to stay. There are many more ways.
So, instead of changing we continue to allow free entry and then complain about illegals spreading about the country.
Refugees are another exception. We have taken huge numbers of Vietnamese, Cuban, and Syrians. The Cubans and Vietnamese have assimilated, we are not yet certain about the Syrians. Maybe they will, and maybe they won’t only time will tell. If they don’t I am sure we will pass laws to change our ways. Except, the horse will be out of the barn when we finally close the door.

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