Letter: Entering the USA
If I break into your house it is called “illegal entry” because it is against the law for me to do so. If you come across any border of the United States of America without USA-demanded documentation it is illegal entry because it is against the law of our country.
My parents were legal immigrants during the 1920s and this is the process that was demanded of them before they could enter the United States of America. First of all they applied in their native country because the USA had an annual quota system (i.e., X numbers of French, Y numbers of British, X number’s of Germans and so on).
Then if you got into that quota while still in your native country, you had to submit to a physical, produce a letter that was an offer of employment in the USA, and finally you had to have a legal, notarized document stating that a specific U.S. citizen would be responsible for your health care, food, clothing and shelter costs if you couldn’t pay them yourself.
The American taxpayers were not responsible for providing for you. Once you arrived at Ellis Island, you had to produce the sponsor letter, the letter of an offer of employment and pass the same physical that you took in your native country. Why? Because if you could not meet these requirements you were denied entry to the USA, and the captain of the ship that brought you over was required by law, at his company’s expense. to take you back to your native country.
My parents were born in Germany, but they took their citizenship tests in English, driver’s license tests in English and voted on English-only ballots. There were no ballots in any other language. My brother and I were taught in public schools and universities in one language only — English.
The immigrants who entered legally had made an effort to get here and were for the most part very grateful for the opportunity. These immigrants and their successive generations are who made this great nation. I have never met a native-born American more appreciative of this country and patriotic than my parents, who had a point of reference on how life could be and often was for those living in other countries.
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