Maybe she read this.
"We came here because we love America and we want to stay here," said Liliana Melgarejo, 31, who immigrated from Argentina 13 years ago and works in Manhattan as a housekeeper. She said she and her husband had two children, both born in the United States. "My children are American. I love my country, too, but there is no future there. Here, they can be a doctor, anything."
Ms. Melgarejo, who carried an American flag, also weighed in on the presence of foreign flags at yesterday's march and at others across the country, something that critics have seized upon as a symbol of recent immigrants' unwillingness to fully embrace their adopted country.
"That is not the message we want to send," she said. "I feel that they should take the biggest American flag they can find and wave it in the air."
But then, just when you think the world might actually make sense, there's this:
United States Representative Nydia Velázquez, Democrat of New York, came on stage chanting, "Sí, se puede!," the old farm workers' cry meaning "Yes, we can!" She took aim at the Republican Party's stance on immigration issues. "We should not be in the business of criminalizing undocumented immigrants."Let me translate that last sentence: We should not be in the business of criminalizing people who break the law. This is a member of Congress saying this.
I don't mean to go off on a rant here, but look: I'm all for as close to open immigration as possible. The day we decide we've had enough new blood in this country is the day we give up on America's promise. And I don't understand how you can have a statue that proclaims "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses who won't stop with the yearning" on the one hand and then erect a giant wall that says "keep out" on the other. If you build the wall, the statue must fall.
But that said, I don't think it's too much to ask that if you want to come over here to make a better life for you and your family, you do so in compliance with our laws. You're not really off to a great start if you've broken the law on day one.
And hey, if you came to this country freely, you're pretty much admitting that this is a better place than wherever you came from. So maybe it's up to you to adapt to American culture (whatever that is), rather than expecting your now-fellow Americans to adapt to yours.
And by the way, feel free to learn English while you're at it, or at least make sure it's your kids' first language. Common courtesy. I'm just sayin'.
You want to root for your old country at the World Cup? That's fine, we don't care about soccer anyway. But when the match is over, remember that you chose to watch it on your color TV here in America, quite possibly because you wouldn't have had a color TV back in the old country.
Of course that's just my opinion: I could be wrong.
Let me sum up: If you come correct and handle yo' bidness, it's all good.