Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Best Things about America

Whenever you go abroad you learn to appreciated the things you love about America. When we visited Italy we had such wonderful food, but I craved American dishes as soon as we entered the terminal. The funny thing Cali and I noticed was that what we missed about American food was all the Mexican and Southwest influences. Italy doesn't use chiles or salsa in their cooking and it made me realize that one of the great things about America in general is the amazing cultural influences that come from such a diversity of cultures. I notice this every day in school as I teach kids from Pakistan, India, Mexico, Brazil, ect. Because of this I have been irritated with some of the recent bills and legislation targeting both legal and illegal immigrants.

Kansas and Missouri are now both working on passing bills that focus on immigrant rights. Both bills seem pointless and maybe a little vindictive. I wonder if some lawmakers are upset with the way the economy is going and blaming it on recent immigrants. The Kansas law is one that is similar to the Arizona law being held up in court right now. This is such strange timing to try to pass this law in Kansas and no one seems to be able to figure it out. Arizona is in the midst of getting sued over virtually the same law and it makes no sense to pass a law in Kansas before a court ruling on the Arizona law. I thought this was very puzzling.

The Missouri law seems just as puzzling. They are seeking to up the standards for getting a drivers license in Missouri. The bill that has been proposed makes it a requirement for citizens to be able to pass the drivers license test without the use of an interpreter. Since it is already a requirement to be a legal immigrant in order to get a Missouri driver's license this bill only targets legal immigrants who are still mastering English.

Hopefully people will begin to realize that America is great because of our diversity and learn to appreciate it, even in the midst of difficult economic times.

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