“Eat your heart out, Lou Dobbs“, declared the TV… Henry Cejudo won a gold medal. This particular announcer was proud to declare that Cejudo was the son of “illegal immigrants“. Later reports referred to them as “undocumented Mexican immigrants“.
I watched a Olympics laden with people that immigrated to America. I don’t even know of a way to count current Olympians who have or have had student visas in America. Track and field and swimming in particular were loaded with competitors for other countries that had student visas in America. These are all people who followed the path of legal immigration.
Women’s gymnastics served as a shining example of legal immigration. Béla Károlyi (a Romanian defector) as a guest analyst demonstrated great pride and passion for American gymnastics. If one listened carefully you would also hear his criticism of totalitarian governments, speaking from firsthand knowledge of course. This is a great man in many respects, a hard man to train under I’m sure but he represented one of if not the best in the world at what he did. It literally took a act of congress to allow him to coach the US Team in 1988, despite the fact that he defected in 1981. His path towards citizenship was not easy despite his obvious value to his new country.
Béla’s wife Marta has continued in his stead at the head of USA Gymnastics. Shawn Johnson is coached by Liang Chow. Chow is a former Chinese gymnast who came to America in 1990 and gained citizenship in 2002. Nastia Liukin is not merely coached by a Russian, she is the child of gold medalist Valeri Liukin and world champion Anna Kotchneva. Nastia and her family moved to America after the break up of the Soviet Union. There are more examples: Lang Ping the former Chinese volleyball player and coach is now the coach of the US volleyball team, Sudanese born Lopez Lomong who carried America’s flag at the Olympics, gold medalists Bernard Lagat and so on.
Not counting coaches, there are 33 foreign born Olympians competing for the United States in this Olympics. I wonder how many more are children of immigrants? This is a great thing, why on earth would we not want the best and most talented people in the world as part of our country? However, I wonder how many people competing for other countries (that reside in America or want to reside in America) would have loved to compete for America? Bela faced issues with his immigration to America, how many others have faced difficulties?
As Ira Melhman said in this article: ““Not everybody coming into the U.S. is an Olympic athlete or a Nobel prize winner,”
“Maybe this ought to be a wake-up call that we ought to design am immigration policy that seeks out exceptional people. Now, most of it is based on extended families. … you don’t have a policy designed to bring in people who fit the needs of this country.”“
I couldn’t have said it better myself. The major immigration story somehow became the child of a illegal immigrant. Luiken tied a record for the most medals by a American gymnast in a Olympic games. I suppose her performance went well beyond a story of immigration. We need more Luikens! We need to insure that the best of the world don’t just go here for college, but that they stay! We have stopped Olympic gold medalists at the border! Imagine that, we look away when millions of poorly educated unemployed people sneak over our southern border but we have actually tried to prevent Olympic gold medalists from coming to America to stay.
The story of immigration in this Olympics is not that we should look the other way as one group of people immigrate by the millions. It demonstrates that immigration works best when it isn’t all coming from one country. Africa, Europe, Asia… the continents are well represented in those 33 athletes.
A melting pot can’t work properly if most of the mass is a single object. Immigration in America could be ruined forever. I have nothing against people from Mexico or South America, I have a problem with their almost exclusive access to American immigration. Favoritism is not the right word. If you come from a Spanish speaking country you will be catered to in your native language by immigration officials. You will have interest groups acting on your behalf, you will have a community waiting to embrace you and show you how to steal identities and other such mangling of both our laws and the intent of the law.
Did you know it is easier to get public aid if you are a illegal immigrant? Most legal immigrants have to have a sponsor which states they will accept financial responsibility. Some states have laws in place that allow illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition. This isn’t something that most legal immigrants are denied, this is something that most American citizens are denied!
I could go on, but I think that the Olympic games showed us the right and the wrong way to do things. Immigration should be easy for people that excel. If you’re one of the best in the world at something, America should be jumping at the chance to make you part of our country. However, if we continue our current trend I fear that immigration of this sort will only become more difficult. As the back door/loophole immigrants from the south gain power and influence their sway over legislation will only grow stronger. The one cry that is missing from their immigration rallies is for fair and practical immigration policies for everyone. They don’t cry out to let the 10,000,000+ non-Mexicans who have applied to immigrate to America last year. They cry out for the 10-20 million that never tried to legally immigrate. They cry out in a language that many Americans, legal immigrants and hopeful immigrants can’t even understand.
Nastia Luiken lived the dream of every American girl. She represents what makes America great. She also happens to have more Olympic medals than the country of Mexico won this year…
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