Immigration, particularly legal immigration (though I would hope it would be true of those here illegally as well), should be characterized by a desire to embrace your new nation, to become a part of the fabric, to revel in the joy of coming to a new land with new opportunities. In the United States that means being a part of the greatest and most successful democratic experiment the world has seen. It means a chance for advancement denied citizens of in many other lands.
This nation is all about the American spirit, and the American dream. Come to the nation legally, learn the benefits of the American system, and assimilate into the America that you will grow to love, as my father did, and I will hold out my arms to you in welcome. You have my word.
And you still have my word. Unfortunately, when you place the flag of your former home above the flag of your new home, and disrespect that latter flag by flying it upside down, you are not holding up your end of the bargain. And you are not welcome.
3/29/06 1600: More from Rob Port at Say Anything - quoting Teddy Roosevelt, who said it better:
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all."
3/30/06 1650: Kim Priestap at Wizbang! posts regarding a school in Houston that flew the Mexican flag along with the flag of Texas and the American flag. They had to take it down, but are upset and want it back up.
It's interesting that this student believes that the Mexican flag is a symbol of Mexican culture. It isn't. It's a symbol of Mexican patriotism. So, where's his American patriotism? After all, he is living in and being educated in America.
That's the point. No one is saying that your culture cannot survive. Nor are they saying that when you come to this country on a permanent basis you should have scorn for your former homeland. On the contrary, it's fine to take pride in your origins and the people and nation which bore you. But if you are, or hope to be, an American citizen this great nation is your home, and your allegiance is here above all other nations. Your country, right or wrong. Now, that doesn't mean that you should approve of everything America does. What it means is that you don't stop loving your country even if it does something wrong, and it means that you don't take sides against the interests of your country just because you disagree with its actions.