Gabriella Hoffman

Approximately 4,412,693 people are waiting to become American citizens. Inefficiency, endless red tape, and continual pandering to illegal aliens have left this important contingent in the dark.

For example, a friend of mine from New Zealand recently became a U.S. citizen after waiting 14 years. He followed laws, assimilated, and patiently waited for citizenship. Countless other applicants for citizenship wait decades to be granted citizenship, as well.

It is important to note opposing amnesty does not make one “anti-immigrant” or “racist.” Supporting legal immigration coupled with the rule of law is in America’s best interests.

As a daughter of immigrants, I can personally attest how great legal immigration is.

My parents legally came to this country 27 years ago as political refugees from the formerly Soviet-occupied Baltic Republic of Lithuania. My mother and my father were extremely lucky to receive exit visas. After five years of waiting, they got green cards. Several years after that, they were granted citizenship. Today, my parents remain grateful to be naturalized Americans.

Like the millions of legal immigrants who came here, my parents sought freedom and opportunities that were denied to them in the Old Country. They learned English and assimilated. They didn’t ask this government for handouts nor did they bypass the law to acquire citizenship. They followed the rules and are extremely grateful to have been bestowed with American citizenship.

Legal immigrants like my parents respect the rule of law, desire to become American, and do not demand government handouts. They see citizenship as a privilege bestowed to them--something they must pursue and work hard for. When citizenship is freely handed out like candy, people do not value or appreciate this country. Citizenship must be earned.

Becoming American should be celebrated and encouraged. Millions of people from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America, and Africa have traversed this great nation and added to her greatness. They retain their respective cultures and value systems but adopt the American way of life. America is and must remain a melting pot.

Improving and reforming legal immigration, not granting amnesty, is the only way forward. If individuals desire to become American, they must do it the right way--the legal way.

Gabriella Hoffman

Gabriella Hoffman works at Morton Blackwell's Leadership Institute as the Northeast Regional Field Coordinator.