“I Am A Legal Immigrant”

In the Chicago Tribune’s Opinion dated May 2, 2010, titled: “Frustration of a legal immigrant – I am a legal immigrant” written by Steinar Andersen

I am a legal immigrant. I walked the walk pursuing the American dream.

I came to this country legally. I learned to speak English (and slang so that I could fit in) because I wanted to excel in this country. I graduated from high school in Carpentersville. I served in the U. S. Marine Corps for almost seven years.

And I worked hard to gain my citizenship. I went through the process of standing in long Immigration and Naturalization Service lines, only to learn the federal agency had lost my file. I endured the insufferable malaise shown by U.S. government workers on the other side of the counter.

But in 1983, when I raised my hand during my citizenship ceremony in San Diego, I felt a rush of pride for accomplishing something that’s rare in the world. Gaining citizenship in this country is like hitting the lottery. Today, I proudly display my citizenship certificate in my home because I earned it through a process dictated by this country’s rule of law and I abided by that process as difficult as it was.

And then came the first immigration amnesty in 1986 and millions of illegal immigrants were given legal status, despite breaking the law.

My hard work was cheapened by their sheer numbers. Sure, some of them had worked hard. But they didn’t follow the rules and were given the same thing I had labored for years to gain.

I am frustrated the media does not carry the stories of immigrants like me. Yes, some illegal immigrants are taken advantage of by some employers and by some of the American populace (all one has to do is look at who is trimming the bushes and mowing the lawns).

It has been said that it’s impossible to deport 12 million illegal Immigrants. However, if a guest-worker program was in place and laws holding employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants were enforced, then illegal immigrants would be forced to gain guest-worker status.

Amnesty? Sure, if they go through the guest-worker program first.

And why not institute a national ID card?

As for what Arizona just did out of pure frustration with the federal government, I cannot blame the lawmakers there. I worked in Arizona for more than a year and saw firsthand the uphill battle Arizona residents are going through.

I am not bigoted. I am not racist. I am tired being led astray by a media hellbent on demonizing hardworking Americans who only ask for one thing: a clear, definable immigration policy with no loopholes.

I am from Norway. I will be celebrating Syttende Mai in a couple of weeks, where I will be waving my Norwegian flag from the sidelines of the parade route in Park Ridge and singing the Norwegian national anthem in Norwegian. And then I will go home with my family, speaking English, pinching myself that I am an American and lucky to be so.

And I will keep praying that one day the voices of legal immigrants will be heard as loud as those who may be hardworking, good people, but who broke the law coming here.

Steinar Andersen is an IT director for a logistics company and lives in Huntley.

Please checkout the inspiring comments to Mr. Andersen’s piece.


Thanks to the Chicago Tribune for allowing Mr. Andersen to tell his story and thank you Mr. Andersen for renewing our faith in the knowledge that there are citizens such as yourself and those who commented to your post, who believed in the merits of achieving their citizenship through years of dedication. 

This right as a citizen of the United States of America is an “earned right” and it is a “proud privilege” to call yourself an American!

We have laws in place that should have been enforced long ago, to stop illegals who traffick in drugs and human contraband crossing our borders for the explicit purpose to commit crimes and demand “entitlements” that have not been earned.

If our politicians in Congress and this Administration cannot enforce our “Laws of the Land” then it is time to replace our lawmakers with those who can and will do the job of enforcing our LAWS!

The task that the State of Arizona has taken is a monumental task that should  never have come to fruition at the State level.   

This task should have been undertaken at the Federal level and Americans throughout this Country have acknowledged this fact and majority are 100% in support of the State of Arizona and it’s New Immigration Law.

“Voter Impose” each and every U.S. politician in the House and the Senate, Democrats and Republicans alike and replace them starting this November in the Mid Term elections with Patriots, who are not afraid to do their jobs for the American People!

5 Responses

  1. I am overwhelmed by the response I have received thus far to my OpEd in the Tribune.

    Honestly, I believe the legal immigrants are finally starting to get our collective voices out there and are starting to break through the media’s wall that prevents out voice from being heard.

    Anyone who has a comment about what I wrote, I encourage you to write a comment on the trib website and to contact the editors there asking for more.

    As I have a whole lot more to say on the subject……

    • Thank you again Mr. Andersen, for allowing the members of The Majority United – RIDS Republicans, Independents and Democrats to share in your heartfelt story that renews are faith in our fellowman.

      We live in “troubling times” and there are more Americans, like yourself, who are passionate about legal immigrations and many are finally speaking up and speaking out!

      The road to “American Citizenship” by your example is a long and arduous effort and you and many other legal immigrants have made that transition with the knowledge that it is a privilege to say that I am an “American”!

      There is no such thing as “totally free” a price must always be paid for those so-called “entitlements”!

      We live in a Country, where one can be whatever they choose to be with a lot of hardwork and to say that I have accomplished this on my own, makes the fruits of one’s labor, the sweeter!

  2. The honor was mine. 🙂

    • Mr Anderson,
      I am pleased to make your aquaintence and honored to have your story grace my blog.
      I did my radio show tonight and when I opened it – the first thing I did was Say Feliz cinco De mayo to all our mexican citizens and our mexicans neighbors to the south.
      As a grandaughter of immigrant s who were proud of their heritage – I undersatnd heritage but like you I cling to the nation that I call home and cherish the rights that I have as a Citizen here .

      I thank God that we live here and that we allow imigration but to live in fear of illegal imigrants that are up to no good is beyond our hospitality and beyond the scope of the opportunity America should offer.

      First we must honor our borders and the sanctity of our citizens who like yourself followed the rules and earned the right.
      Thank you for speaking out.

  3. Hi there:

    I thought I’d share what I consider to be a infuriating story about an Illegal Immigrant and the wholesale effort by large media companies to protect those who break the law:


    I plan on writing an OP-ED tonight and forwarding it to the NY Times as this shows the mainstream media’s preferences (and also shows that our present e-verify and other safeguards do not work. The “Journalist” falsified his paperwork/crednetials with the Washington Post, the NY Times, AND the Huffington Post? Astounding……..

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