AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP

By BG Robert Cardenas, USAF (Ret.)
Forwarded by p38bob, who added:

Bob Cardenas has served our country honorably on many occasions, and is a test pilot, well known for flying new and exotic aircraft. Bob flew the B-29 that dropped Chuck Yeager when he broke the sound barrier. He was the test pilot on the Y-B49 Flying Wing that has led to some of our current exotic war birds. He is, in fact, one of the truly great Americans of our time and I am very proud to know him. His comments and observations follow.

In order to get the correct slant on my opinion, I must first state that when I arrived in the U.S. in 1925, at age 5, it was a different world, but the emotion and the principals were the same. My father was already an American citizen and was a wise man.

As soon as he felt that I could understand, he explained that my birth in Mexico entitled me to Mexican citizenship, and that we had centuries of Spanish heritage, but that I had until age 16 to make up my mind to accept or reject American citizenship by derivation. He left it up to me, but he gave me a written Creed and said that if I could accept it as my creed, then I should become an American:

I would have: “To believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity, for which many American patriots had sacrificed their lives and fortunes.”

As the years went by I studied the history and status of both choices and spent some time in Mexico. At 16, the choice was easy. I became an American citizen by derivation and, as such, I believed it was my duty under God to love America, support its Constitution; obey its laws; respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies. I have done so in three major wars and several special operations.

Therefore my view is simple: “love it or leave it”. Obey its laws and pay respect to its flag, or get the hell out and go back where you came from. If you are here illegally, you are breaking the law. All illegals that are willing to abide by such a creed should be given a chance to become citizens. We need a National ID card for everyone who is a citizen.

A guest worker program worked before and, if properly established, can help everyone. However, guest workers should not have all of the health and welfare benefits that citizens earn. The companies that hire them have to take care of their needs.

As always, there are special cases that do not fit the cookie cutter.