General Peter Pace, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, chokes up at the hearing. Photo Credit: By Joe Raedle -- Getty Images
Few of us who were born here in the United States really understand the struggle to become free.
The one thing though, that we do understand, is the gratefulness one has once freedom is achieved.
This is why many of us become confused when we see hundreds of thousands of people, carrying foreign country flags as we did in May, demanding immigrant rights similar to those who have attained citizenship. We are confused by the push for rights for and by immigrants without assimilation, Americanism, and service to this country.
General Pace's witness in front of members of Congress yesterday, served as stark contrast backdrop in the changes of attitude by immigrants, and those who support them, in the immigration debate.
Excerpts from The Washington Post -
General Speaks of Immigrant Father
Congressional Hearing Turns Personal
By Glenn Frankel and Daniela Deane - Washington Post Staff Writers - Tuesday, July 11, 2006; Page A03
MIAMI, July 10 -- A congressional hearing on immigration came to a dramatic pause Monday when Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, choked up as he talked about his Italian immigrant father and the opportunities that America had given to his family.
A hush fell over the auditorium at Miami Dade College as Pace, a Marine who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in Teaneck, N.J., was overcome with emotion and struggled to continue reading from his statement as the opening witness at the field hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
After he composed himself, Pace described his older sister, who went to law school, and his older brother, who, like himself, attended the Naval Academy and was a Marine.
"There is no other country on the planet that affords that kind of opportunity to those who come here," Pace concluded. The audience burst into applause.
Pace's father was born in Italy in 1914, immigrated to the United States and became an electrician in New York City, raising four children there. The first Marine to be named chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Pace has been chairman since September 2005 after serving as vice chairman for four years.
Pace, whose last name means "peace" in Italian, is a 1967 graduate of the Naval Academy and has served in Thailand, Korea and Japan.
Field hearings are being held around the country on the separate House and Senate immigration bills currently before Congress. The subject of the Miami hearing, chaired by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.), was the contributions immigrants have made to the armed forces.
The House bill calls for tighter border controls, 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border and funding for local law enforcement agencies along the border. It also calls for tougher deportation standards and stringent enforcement of rules governing employers who hire undocumented workers.
The Senate's immigration bill, co-sponsored by Kennedy and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), includes similar provisions. But it also outlines a method for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens and calls for a guest-worker program that would provide legal residency status for as long as six years.
Let's end the confusion now - PUT UP THE FENCE ... deport found illegals ... deeply fine companies hiring known illegals.