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Tom_Jim

"We Are All Immigrants"

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I noticed recently that a few people had "We Are All Immigrants" banners on their signature. I see the value of this being placed there as it reinforces the struggle we're all going through during this process of relocating to the USA as permanent residents.

In the spirit of camaraderie, people would take that statement to be pretty innocuous. However, Americans who cannot identify themselves with their past roots, have taken offense to the statement of them being "immigrants". I see their point. An immigrant defined by Webster's is "a person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another". Although they came from immigrant backgrounds, people born here, raised here, and settle here are technically not immigrants.

Just thought about it more, and I can see how some people can be offended when people use the "we're all immigrants" line.

Any thoughts?


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My thoughts: everybody will get offended by something someone said, it's the way it is. If we start a thread about every little thing someone might be offended, we'd need a special forum just for that.

I agree with that definition of immigrant, btw. "a person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another"

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I disagree with the statement "we are all immigrants." It's nice in theory and I can see what it's aiming for, but it's not entirely accurate.

Anyone who was born in a certain country (the U.S., for instance) is a citizen of that country and therefore, not an immigrant. It doesn't matter what the previous generations did. Everyone came from somewhere else. So what? Maybe some of your ancestors claim they came from some place like Germany or France or England or wherever, right?

Well, did they really start out there? Think about this for a moment. Civilization didn't begin in Europe and the first democracies, republics and empires belonged to ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and many others. So if traced back far enough, what are we? American? Maybe from somewhere in Europe, like England or France or Germany? Or maybe, if we go further back, the Roman Empire.

Essentially what I'm getting at is: where does it end? How far back do we need to go before the line of immigration ends?

I say it stops with you. I'm not responsible for anything my parents did, let alone any ancestors, therefore why would I be called an immigrant? I was born and raised in the United States of America. That makes me, by default, a United States citizen (or informally, an American). If my wife and I moved to another country and had children there, those kids would then be citizens of that country -- they wouldn't considered immigrants; my wife and I would.

So where's this confusion? :unsure:

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My thoughts: everybody will get offended by something someone said, it's the way it is. If we start a thread about every little thing someone might be offended, we'd need a special forum just for that.

I agree with that definition of immigrant, btw. "a person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another"

:thumbs:

How would you discribe us then? I was born and raised here, so am I american? Yes and no. I certainly am not Native American, so I am not blood American. Perhaps the wording should be "We all derived from immigrants".


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Yep, Native Born Americans are not by definition immigrants, only persons born elsewhere and do not have US citizenship through birth are considered to be immigrants when they move from one country to another.


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Maybe when people say it, they are just trying to reinforce that most of have roots outside of the US (as in, we aren't Native Americans) and that many people feel an identity with those roots because their parents or grandparents have carried on traditions of their homelands and they grew up learning these traditions, or the language, culture, food, etc for that matter....

FWIW, I wouldn't say I'm an immigrant, so yes, I agree with the proper definition, but also don't think there is anything wrong with a looser definition.


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also, i have a couple of full blooded groundhogs..and a raccoon...


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I am not offended by the statement but I do disagree with it.

I disagree with the statement "we are all immigrants." It's nice in theory and I can see what it's aiming for, but it's not entirely accurate.

Anyone who was born in a certain country (the U.S., for instance) is a citizen of that country and therefore, not an immigrant. It doesn't matter what the previous generations did. Everyone came from somewhere else. So what? Maybe some of your ancestors claim they came from some place like Germany or France or England or wherever, right?

Well, did they really start out there? Think about this for a moment. Civilization didn't begin in Europe and the first democracies, republics and empires belonged to ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and many others. So if traced back far enough, what are we? American? Maybe from somewhere in Europe, like England or France or Germany? Or maybe, if we go further back, the Roman Empire.

Essentially what I'm getting at is: where does it end? How far back do we need to go before the line of immigration ends?

I say it stops with you. I'm not responsible for anything my parents did, let alone any ancestors, therefore why would I be called an immigrant? I was born and raised in the United States of America. That makes me, by default, a United States citizen (or informally, an American). If my wife and I moved to another country and had children there, those kids would then be citizens of that country -- they wouldn't considered immigrants; my wife and I would.

So where's this confusion? :unsure:

:thumbs:

Maybe when people say it, they are just trying to reinforce that most of have roots outside of the US (as in, we aren't Native Americans) and that many people feel an identity with those roots because their parents or grandparents have carried on traditions of their homelands and they grew up learning these traditions, or the language, culture, food, etc for that matter....

FWIW, I wouldn't say I'm an immigrant, so yes, I agree with the proper definition, but also don't think there is anything wrong with a looser definition.

I understand why people, especially Americans, cling to their heritage, but I think it's sometimes to their detriment. Even when traditions and culture have been maintained they have often been subtly changed over the years and aren't necessarily truly representative of the countries their ancestors hailed from. Then, when people actually have the opportunity to visit those countries, they often find that they have either been misinformed or they're viewed as patronising and obnoxious by natives.

I sometimes think it would be better if people were able to take more pride and interest in the country they actually reside in.


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Maybe when people say it, they are just trying to reinforce that most of have roots outside of the US (as in, we aren't Native Americans) and that many people feel an identity with those roots because their parents or grandparents have carried on traditions of their homelands and they grew up learning these traditions, or the language, culture, food, etc for that matter....

FWIW, I wouldn't say I'm an immigrant, so yes, I agree with the proper definition, but also don't think there is anything wrong with a looser definition.

I understand why people, especially Americans, cling to their heritage, but I think it's sometimes to their detriment. Even when traditions and culture have been maintained they have often been subtly changed over the years and aren't necessarily truly representative of the countries their ancestors hailed from. Then, when people actually have the opportunity to visit those countries, they often find that they have either been misinformed or they're viewed as patronising and obnoxious by natives.

I sometimes think it would be better if people were able to take more pride and interest in the country they actually reside in.

And sometimes I think the natives are just looking for a way to be offended by Americans... ;)

I think anyone who truly cares about where they came from is going to take the time to learn the customs before they visit a place. I'm surprised to find out people don't try to find out customs and practices of ANY country they visit...cripes it's just polite.

I know I've said this a dozen times, but I fully expect that once I gain British citizenship sometime in the future, I'll still never be considered British....I'll always be "the American married to hubster", or "the American". So what gives?


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I know I've said this a dozen times, but I fully expect that once I gain British citizenship sometime in the future, I'll still never be considered British....I'll always be "the American married to hubster", or "the American". So what gives?

It's your accent. Lose the accent and you'll be considered British.


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I know I've said this a dozen times, but I fully expect that once I gain British citizenship sometime in the future, I'll still never be considered British....I'll always be "the American married to hubster", or "the American". So what gives?

It's your accent. Lose the accent and you'll be considered British.

Will I be considered British if I join the Ministry of Silly Walks? :D

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I know I've said this a dozen times, but I fully expect that once I gain British citizenship sometime in the future, I'll still never be considered British....I'll always be "the American married to hubster", or "the American". So what gives?

It's your accent. Lose the accent and you'll be considered British.

ta


Co-Founder of VJ Fluffy Kitty Posse -
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31 Dec 2003 MARRIED
26 Jan 2004 Filed I130; 23 May 2005 Received Visa
30 Jun 2005 Arrived at Chicago POE
02 Apr 2007 Filed I751; 22 May 2008 Received 10-yr green card
14 Jul 2012 Citizenship Oath Ceremony

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Maybe when people say it, they are just trying to reinforce that most of have roots outside of the US (as in, we aren't Native Americans) and that many people feel an identity with those roots because their parents or grandparents have carried on traditions of their homelands and they grew up learning these traditions, or the language, culture, food, etc for that matter....

FWIW, I wouldn't say I'm an immigrant, so yes, I agree with the proper definition, but also don't think there is anything wrong with a looser definition.

I understand why people, especially Americans, cling to their heritage, but I think it's sometimes to their detriment. Even when traditions and culture have been maintained they have often been subtly changed over the years and aren't necessarily truly representative of the countries their ancestors hailed from. Then, when people actually have the opportunity to visit those countries, they often find that they have either been misinformed or they're viewed as patronising and obnoxious by natives.

I sometimes think it would be better if people were able to take more pride and interest in the country they actually reside in.

And sometimes I think the natives are just looking for a way to be offended by Americans... ;)

I think anyone who truly cares about where they came from is going to take the time to learn the customs before they visit a place. I'm surprised to find out people don't try to find out customs and practices of ANY country they visit...cripes it's just polite.

I know I've said this a dozen times, but I fully expect that once I gain British citizenship sometime in the future, I'll still never be considered British....I'll always be "the American married to hubster", or "the American". So what gives?

True, true. I've seen problems arise from both sides; both from Americans being obnoxious and ignorant and from natives of the respective countries looking to be offended!

I definitely think it's a different issue for people who have actually emigrated themselves. At the moment I think I'll probably always feel British because England is where I have spent all of my formative years - I was born here, attended school here, gained all of my qualifications here and have friends and family here. However, who knows how I'll feel once I've lived for longer in the US than in the UK and am completely out of touch with all aspects of British life?


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07/11/2006 - First met

08/22/2008 - K1 Visa in hand

12/27/2008 - Marriage

05/20/2009 - AOS complete

10/06/2011 - ROC complete

04/20/2012 - Annaleah born!

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