A letter to Immigrants and Refugees: Posted in the Australia Forum, Author Unknown

Friday, November 19, 2010

SO MANY letter writers have explained how this land is made up of immigrants. Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people why today's Australian is not willing to accept the new kind of immigrant any longer.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to Australia, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in Sydney and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new Australian households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home. They had waved goodbye to their birthplace to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.

Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labour laws to protect them. All they had were the skills, craftsmanship and desire they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. Australians fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Sweden, Poland and so many other places. None of these first generation Australians ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Australians fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the Freedom as one people. When we liberated France, nobody in those villages was looking for the Ukrainian-Australian or the German-Australian or the Irish-Australian. The people of France saw only Australians.

And we carried one flag that represented our country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an Australian.

And here we are in the 21st century with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes an Australian passport and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country.

I'm sorry, that's not what being an Australian is all about. Australians have been very open-hearted and open-minded regarding immigrants, whether they were fleeing poverty, dictatorship, persecution, or whatever else makes us think of those aforementioned immigrants who truly did ADOPT our country, and our flag and our morals and our customs, and left their wars, hatred, and divisions behind. I believe the immigrants who landed in Australia in the early 1900s deserve better than that for the toil, hard work and sacrifice they made. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags, fighting foreign battles on our soil, making Australians change to suit their religions and cultures, and wanting to change our country's fabric by claiming discrimination when we do not give in to their demands.

Its about time we get real and stand up for our forefathers' rights. We are AUSTRALIANS!

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