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If you choose to live here, assimilate

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All of my grandparents immigrated to the USA. My grandfather escaped from the infamous USSR “iron curtain.” All assimilated and became plain, unhyphenated Americans. They and other immigrants have unquestionably contributed to the historic growth and productivity of the United States over the past two centuries. The structure of a proper immigration policy is an issue that affects many areas — jobs, healthcare, inventiveness, cultural development, etc. Unfortunately, there have also been increasing abuses to the welcoming and pioneering spirit of America. Reform is now past due. Legislation to facilitate immigrant assimilation is critical. In 1894, Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “We must Americanize in every way, in speech, in political ideas and principles… We welcome the German and the Irishman who becomes an American, (but) we have no use for the German or Irishman who remains such... He must revere only our flag, not only must it come first, but no other flag should even come second.” In this regard, I applaud Mr. (Tom) McClintock for his criticism of Mexican President (Felipe) Calderon’s recent lecture to Congress, though he overstepped a bit in that Calderon did not express contempt for American sovereignty. Furthermore, the rhetoric to enforce existing laws is fighting an old battle. We need to adapt to the 21st century: Make English the interstate commerce language. What is the incentive to assimilate if everything is offered in the native tongue? Simple birth in the U.S. should not automatically guarantee citizenship. Propose a Constitutional Amendment. Make Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) less cumbersome for employers. We are fortunate to live in the most diverse country in the world. Let us not homogenize ourselves, but through appropriate assimilation we can relish in our wonderful cultures. Michael Babich, Ph.D, Col., USAR (Ret.), CA-4th Congressional District Republican candidate