Profiling New Citizens

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America's New Immigrants Learn American History

America’s New Immigrants Learn American History

This is a personal story with a moral.

I walked out to say, hi, to my pool man, the other day. His name is Roberto and I suppose he is 35 years old. We talked about the pool, and I remembered some furniture he might need.

I had up graded a barbecue and my patio furniture, so I asked if he would like to have the old stuff. His English is weak and my Spanish is terrible, but he told me he would be grateful for the furniture, however there was a slight caveat: He is active in his church, and he admitted he wouldn’t accept the furniture for himself: he would take the furniture to the poor people in his church in Mexico. I told him, I had no problem with the arrangement. He was overjoyed with the news; apparently, he has a giving spirit.

After observing his reaction, I walked with him around the garage and barn, I found a few more items he could give to the needy.

I helped him load the pieces in his small pool cleaning truck, and I was amazed at how happy he was. When we were finished, he asked if he could speak to me using the formal manner of respect of old Mexico.

“Of course,” I replied.

“I failed my citizenship test,” he blurted out, without hesitation.

I had no idea he was involved with the process. I asked him to tell me about the test.

“I scored over 75% on my reading of English, but I need to score higher on my English speech and my history,” Roberto explained.

“What history do they test you on?” I asked.

“The Constitution, the Revolution and some of the important men,” Roberto replied.

I was astounded. “You’ve read the Constitution?” I asked.

“Yes, sir, but I don’t understand all of it,” he said.

“Do you know about the Declaration of Independence?” I asked, in a state of disbelief.

“Oh, yes, it is very beautiful,” he said.

“Do you know what July 4th is?” I asked again.

“Independence Day, 1776,” he said with a big grin.

“And you failed? Look, I will be working hard until January 1, but after that, I will teach you all you need to know about American history and you will pass your test and become a good American,” I told him.

Again, he smiled a big smile and thanked me at least 20 times, finally I said, “It will be an honor for me to teach you American history, there is no need for you to thank me. Just come to my house and be ready to learn. I will have enough material for you to pass a college exam on this era. We’ll go fast and hard and take no prisoners; in a few weeks, you will take the test and score in the high nineties.”

He told me, they had assigned him a teacher, but he felt better about having me for a professor.

We laughed and I told him, I had always wanted to be a college professor, but he should work with the assigned teacher as well. I told him not to tell the other teacher about me, because we would give him a few history lessons.

I will enjoy my new job as a tutor, but there is more to this story and it applies to all of us. First and foremost, he is not a criminal. He is going through the legal process and learning about his adopted country. Now, how many of us would brush him off and consider him to be one of Obama’s favored illegals?

He is serious about learning America’s history, and I have a feeling he already knows more American history than many Americans. It would be a tragedy not to give this man the respect he deserves, but how do you distinguish him from the illegal alien who wants to ride the gravy train? I don’t have the answer, but I know we should not stereotype these people.

I am willing to bet, he and his children will be Americans that we can be proud of. Oh, by the way, he said he would help me improve my Spanish as a payment. I told him my Spanish needs some major improvement.

A professional horseman for over 40 years, Skook continues to work with horses. He is in an ongoing educational program, learning life's lessons from one of the world's greatest instructors, the horse. Skook has finished an historical novel that traces a mitochondrial line of DNA from 50,000 years ago to the present. The book Fifty-Thousand Years is awaiting me to finish a final proofread and it should be sent to the formatter in a matter of days. I am still working, so it is not easy to devote the time I need to finish the project. The cover is a beautiful wok of art. I would put it up here if I could figure out how to make it work.

7 Responses to “Profiling New Citizens”

  1. 1

    Bill

    I know there are many out there that look just exactly like the illegal immigrant that is sapping the strength and wealth out of the American system but are following the legal process. However, if I make an incorrect prejudged conclusion, while I apologize to those honoring our laws and processes, it is more the responsibility and fault of those that have encouraged and condoned the thousand or so illegal immigrants for every legal resident trying to follow the process.

    As long as this only affects my own personal opinion, it does little harm. However, I can assure anyone concerned that if it becomes my responsibility to make any substantive decision concerning the life of anyone who may or may not be legally trying to follow the process, all can be rest assured that I would strive to get the specific details. For I, like you, Skook, have the highest respect and hold in esteem those who come here, legally, to improve their lives and contribute to our nation.

  2. 2

    Skook

    author

    @Bill: Bill, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I have worked for the lawyers who squeeze the money out of immigrants and their employers, and I can tell you, it costs a small fortune to go through the legal process.

    Now, we are on the verge of rewarding millions who have disregarded our laws and at the very least have stolen jobs from Americans. Roberto, is being kicked in the teeth for following the rules. He will be an excellent American, but he will have paid for the privilege.

    I am personally disgusted with the system that rewards the felons who disregard our laws, and makes the honest little guy, who is raising a family of Americans on a limited income, pay outrageous fees on a limited income. I had to mention this tiny episode of my life to point out that he will be grouped together with millions who are looked down upon and yet, in my book he is accomplishing an heroic task. I will help him and hopefully give him a positive view of the generosity of Americans, and to let him know, not all Americans are scheming and breaking the law to get his vote.

    He will feel discrimination in the future as Americans of all types realize the great burden, millions of unskilled and uneducated immigrants will impose on our compromised economy. At least he will know, there is one American on his side and for no other reason than to help him become a good productive citizen.

  3. 3

    Nanny

    Kudos to both of you.
    I did some tutoring in Long Beach and it was some of the most rewarding work I have ever done.
    You will enjoy it.
    He sounds like a more enthusiastic student than most of mine (assigned because they were far behind their grade in math and reading).
    Is there a way you can get hold of a couple of practice tests?
    That will help you target your lessons into areas he will most benefit from.
    I bet he passes next time.

  4. 4

    Skook

    author

    @Nanny: Practice tests! Great idea. My plan is to take him way-beyond the normal course material, but I need to make sure he understands the basics. I always tried to read extra books on each subject in college and the material seemed much easier. I am looking forward to this job and I will be getting my class notes ready before we start. If any of you have links to reference materials, I’d like to look at everything.

    I am driving across the western states; consequently, my responses will be intermittent.

  5. 5

    joetote

    Skook,

    As we were both around the tracks in the late 60’s on, you are well aware of the great people on the backside, many of them immigrants and which at that time there were so many Spanish (especially Cubans in Fla where I was) who came in legally and took great pride not only in their work (and had an insane love for horses I might add) and busted their tails to become part of our country.

    And of course those who follow this site know at least once or twice I have mentioned people (a Russian amongst others) who have not only come over here for a better life, but also embrace our principles deeply, so deeply in fact that they in turn try their best to remind many of us of our bedrock principles which somehow we’ve forgotten. So many of them understand this country far better than many of us who did not have to fight (by fight of course, I mean learn the culture, accept it and become part of it while also trying their best to eke out a living) for. For those who truly want to become part of the “great Experiment” as Franklin called it, they show an appreciation far surpassing many of us born here.

    I’m guessing you will not only enjoy tutoring him, but in fact will find a deep satisfaction knowing you have helped another person not only achieve the American Dream, but in fact learn and appreciate the great gift that is this country of ours. In turn, I’m sure you (and in turn hopefully us) will gain another insight as why any person is willing to give up their birthright to become a U.S. citizen. While of course some of it is economical, one can hopefully be assured the main reason in most cases is the basic wants of all peoples, Freedom!

    I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences as you take him through this process, especially as it will also be a learning experience for you and as Nanny says above, you will be deeply rewarded.

    As to you’re answer to Bill above, I can only say “ditto” .

    All my best for the upcoming holiday season.

  6. 6

    Bill

    @Skook:I always tell those with loved ones in the military serving our country (and those serving I have the honor to personally meet) to please inform those serving and protecting us that millions of us sincerely appreciate what they are doing, despite what they may see or hear. I would appreciate it, Skook, if you would tell Roberto that there are millions of Americans support him, are cheering for him and wish him the very best. He may not be able to believe it to be so by looking around and seeing the events around him, but we who bitch and moan about illegal immigration and the harm it does are complaining about illegal immigration… not immigrants. Those who, for their own political agenda, support open borders and unrestricted illegal immigration, characterize any discussion about the subject as a hatred of immigrants cause unnecessary angst among those who are trying to do the right thing the right way.

    Please tell him, in some way, that from me I wish him the best in all things.

  7. 7

    James Raider

    author

    Good on ya, Skook. Supporting the diligent “effort” of those who are trying inspires them and inspires us. Anyone RW&A to work hard, regardless at what the endeavour, regardless what the origin, regardless what the colour, as long as the work is legal, is what “builds” a great nation.

    Unfortunately, too many currently living in the U.S. and in Canada, have been coddled into apathetic complacence, and are abusing the systems. The government bureaucrats overseeing the handouts won’t do the common sense thing, since that would summon the ire of their bosses.

    Health care is a significant element of a modern growing society. Canada’s broken healthcare system is a good sample of what Obamacare will automatically bring to America — a system abused by people (new entrants) who never paid taxes to build the infrastructures, and are now not funding the ongoing astronomical and rising costs. The burden falls and will fall on the shoulders of all who are RW&A to work and to pay the constantly rising taxes. NOTE: Research into organizations around the world involved in the Canada Immigration Industry — systematically and principally promote the ability to get Free healthcare (lawyers and doctors game the system). Soon they’ll be promoting Obamacare and how to “game” the system to attack immigrants to America — for a substantial fee, of course.

    Strangely, too many immigrants to North America (US & Canada) over the past 25 years did not land rolling up their sleeves to join the culture, and join the work ethic.

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