March 15, 2013I wasn't born in this country, but I'm an American.
Yes, I am naturalized, but my heart and soul is American, too. That's the beauty of this country, that if you want to assimilate, you can.
With a bill in the works to overhaul immigration laws once again, I want to offer support toward what is being offered to the nation's 12 million or so illegal immigrants already living here.
They are living here unable to find work, join a community or live happily.
Still up for debate, the immigration bill would require illegal immigrants to register with Homeland Security Department, file federal income taxes and pay a still-to-be-determined fine.
They also must have a clean law enforcement record.
The argument against granting asylum is that illegals have broken the immigration laws, are displacing many Americans from jobs and place an increased financial burden on many states and local governments.
But I don't think anyone is really asking to award a free citizenship to law breakers. What is at stake is a path toward citizenship, one that will offer challenges and reward.
I encourage people to embrace someone outside of their race and help those who are not from this country feel welcomed, not scared.
Most immigrants don't plan to come to this country to take federal benefits, go through our health system uninsured and claim food stamps. They come here to work, help their families and become better people, with better lives.
I support a path to citizenship, it's the American way.
Managing Editor, Appen Media.