The immigration protesters may soon find out they made a mistake. The lumping of all immigrants together, both legal and illegal, may just create a reaction against immigrants in general, which is too bad. Immigrant contributions to American culture are too numerous to mention, but they have enriched our lives as Americans beyond measure.
The statement that the United States is a nation of immigrants is a fact. The difference between our immigrant ancestors and the current crop is that our ancestors came here and became Americans, not Franco-Americans, not German-Americans, not Italian-Americans. They came to make new lives, not to make money to send back to Europe. They came with the realization that this was to be their home, not merely a job site. They learned English. They became patriotic citizens of a new country. They didn’t wave French, or German or Italian flags at public meetings.
The proposed legal measures against illegal immigrants are not anti-immigrant. They are attempts to uphold the law of the land. The contention that there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant, just an undocumented immigrant, is a fiction. I wonder how far any of us would get, when cited for driving without a license, by explaining to the judge that we were merely undocumented drivers.
— Arthur L. Merrill, Camarillo