I am an immigrant, a legal immigrant, and proud of it. Since my birth country (Germany) was the defeated enemy of the U.S., I was subjected to quite an inquisition upon becoming an American citizen. Questions like: “Do you speak English? Do you read and write English? What is the Constitution? How many branches of government? How many states? Senators, Congress etc. etc.”
When I married my American husband, I adopted his country with all its laws and I nurture the freedoms it represents and also the responsibilities it requires. I always worked hard — nothing has ever been given to me and I never expected anything. I take being an American very seriously. I honor and respect the flag and the anthem because it is my flag and my anthem.
I exercise my rights, granted by the First Amendment, abundantly: I freely speak up and voice my opinion, I worship when and where I please and attend peaceable assemblies at my pleasure. Most of all, I vote and perhaps make a difference by doing so, and I pay my taxes (oh, do I ever).
This immigrant is proud to be an American citizen, especially since I became one by choice and determination, not by accident of birth, or some “magical wand.” Being an American citizen is a privilege and has to be earned, not given away.
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Margarete Fallat, Ponderay