By Sylvia Sullivan, Santee
November 26, 2014 (Santee) -- An explosion shook the country when Obama unconstitutionally decreed amnesty for millions of illegals. Untold millions more await to join the invasion since Obama refuses to secure the borders. Obama also claims our immigration system is broken. It is now. He has broken it by his lawlessness in refusing to enforce the immigration laws. As generations of legal immigrants can attest the system did work. It still could within the legal process of securing the borders and updating the regulations where needed.
It is well known that Obama is fond of telling stories. Our family story in not unlike millions of other stories of legal immigration, the American way.
The path is one of assimilation through commitment and hard work to become a successful and productive addition to the country.
It begins with my father coming to America from Cuba, legally to work. Then World War II broke out and he joined the Army to fight for the country he had grown to love. Fighting valiantly, he earned his citizenship.
He married my Mom, also from Cuba and they were stationed in the Panama Canal Zone base. My Mom slowly learned English by listening to Country music radio stations. Dad received orders to return to the States.
It was essential that Mom study hard the history and government of the United States to pass her exam in English for citizenship. The pride and joy were overwhelming as she, too became a citizen.
However, a dark cloud loomed when her X-Ray showed a spot on her lung, since being disease free was also a requirement. Anxiety was high because if a second test also showed a problem, she would not be allowed to go with Dad. Tears of joy and relief flowed as the second test showed clear lungs!
Assimilation does not equate obliteration of original roots and heritage. My parents made sure we would not forget Spanish. It was strictly enforced that no English was spoken in the home only Spanish. In fact, if we were caught speaking English inside, the punishment was to write it all in Spanish.
Although is was a real pain, today my siblings and I are so very grateful to be bi-lingual.
We learned English by playing with friends in the neighborhood and at school by total immersion. Children's brains are made to learn and absorb language and we did.
As with most kids, were we teased and made fun of in the beginning, sure. We got over it and excelled becoming honor roll students.
Our story is not unique but a real tribute to the exceptionalism of America !
It is said that Benjamin Franklin was asked "Well, Doctor, what have we got- a Republic or a Monarchy?" He replied, " A Republic, if you can keep it."
Memo to Obama: by God's grace, we have not yet begun to fight to keep it!
The opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of the East County Magazine. Comments for consideration should be submitted to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.