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I answered, “Hmmm…to go home!” Then I paid one more $15 cash fee for his precious time and hard work.
So, here I am: a law-abiding worker in the United States of America. But, I am no resident alien. If I lose my job, I have 72 hours to pack up, forget about my bills, car, rent, friends and lifestyle, and fly back to Moscow.
THIS ALL MAY SEEM CRAZY to the average American, but it defines so much of my life, just as it does for many of my foreign friends, who live and pay taxes in the U.S.A. I pay federal, Medicare, and Social Security taxes, although I cannot vote or use any of the system’s benefits. I volunteer at summer camps and churches, because my visa doesn’t prohibit it — though some visas do!
I am not whining. I am happy to live in America and pay taxes and appreciate being a part of such a big and powerful nation. I enjoy composing music, volunteering, skiing, swimming, and the rest. I lack the right to vote, but I love liberty and the freedom to do all these things. When Americans speak about freedom, they think about education, voting, and sometimes, welfare. When I say freedom, I think of giving piano lessons, driving Washington State Highway 20 through the Cascades, and buying Mexican dinners for $5.75.
If I were in Russia, I couldn’t afford to ski. It costs $3,000 per trip, and you have to fly to Austria, versus spending $40 and driving two hours from Seattle to Mt. Baker. I wouldn’t have the time to produce music. Even if I did, it’s more expensive to do so in Russia since you have to fly to London or Los Angeles to master quality recordings. Besides, Russians rarely buy legal, non-pirated CDs. In Russia, I wouldn’t spend time with kids or donate my spare time to the community. Volunteering raises only one question from Russians: “You’re doing what? For free?!”
I have worked hard to be here, and I enjoy living in America and contributing as much as I can to this great country. I think it is unfair for others to work off the books, evade income taxes, and then scream in the streets for new laws so that they can come to America illegally and leapfrog patient applicants like me in the citizenship line. I can’t even understand why illegal aliens protest. Doesn’t the word “illegal” mean “prohibited” or “bad”? I support securing U.S. borders and making it easier for people to enter and work in America according to the law.
I’m no one special. My parents are in Moscow, and they didn’t help me get here. For anyone who dreams of becoming an American legally, there is always a way.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online