To all those who have recently entered this country, I welcome you to the United States of America. You are in a land that has been graced by a huge variety of scenic beauty. You have entered a land of a variety of cultures. You should find this country more free and full of opportunity than any other place on Earth. Virtually all of us here are immigrants or the sons and daughters of immigrants so please feel right at home here. If you are willing to work hard and obey our laws, you should do well here.
I do want to point out a few ground rules though.
- America is a land of opportunity, not entitlement. You should expect to be judged by your actions and words and likewise, you should judge others by their actions and words, not their race, culture, religion, or family name. We don't take kindly to those who claim that their ancestors used to have this land and it was taken away. All of mainland America has been the property of the United States for 100 years or more. I ask you to understand and accept this. I understand that even though I was born in the United States, that does not entitle me to say who can and cannot live in this country as well. It works both ways.
- While you may certainly have loyalties for your old country, you need to remember you are now in the United States. You are expected to respect the constitution and all the local laws. You are allowed to question the laws and take peaceable action to try to change them if you desire but you must obey them. It is not okay to break a law simply because you feel it is unfair.
- Please learn the English language. If I emigrated to another country, I would feel it is my responsibility to learn the common language of that nation. Sticking to your native language only creates barriers that lead to alienation and prejudice. It hurts both you and the rest of us if you refuse to learn to speak, read, and write the English language.
- Don't expect a free ride or special treatment. It is not okay to expect money from our government or free education or free housing. It may be very difficult at first, but success can be achieved if you are ambitious and are willing to put in the time and work. Keep in mind, as I stated earlier, most of our forefathers and mothers had to pay the price to make it in America. It was very tough for them as well.
- There are those who don't feel as I do. Some may feel you don't belong here. You and I may feel that's the wrong way of thinking but that doesn't mean it's okay to assume that everyone feels that way. Blaming others for you misfortune does not serve any useful purpose and it can only lead to mistrust and hatred. (To paraphrase Yoda) Once you lead down this path, it will dominate your destiny and you, and possibly your children, will live unfortunate lives of despair - always blaming others for your problems.
- Since you're here already, I don't care what means you used to get here. I do want you to understand something, though. There are people in the world who want to take our opportunities and freedoms away. Unfortunately, these people are able to gain access to our country by sneaking across our borders. To secure our nation, it is becoming much more necessary to take measures to prevent people from crossing the border without security checks. Please don't take these measures as an attack on you. These measures are needed to protect all of us.
- Finally, as you work up the ladder and become more successful in this country. Try to encourage others as I have tried to encourage you to do things right. Try to make America a better place in your time here.