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Old 03-31-2012, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
12,330 posts, read 10,295,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maast View Post
This question can be quite controversial, but it's interesting to discuss. When does a person become an American in your eyes? Is it upon getting citizenship, is it upon being well assimilated culturally, is it upon sharing certain views?

What do you feel about dual identities 'e.g Italian-American'? and does that make you less of an 'American'?

Reason this is an interesting question to me is my own case. Though not born here, I grew up in the US in an insular ethnic community. My family didn't interact with Americans very much and by extension me as well. We had our friends from our ethnicity/country that we always interacted with. In a typical week I spoke more of my heritage language than English. I spent several months of the year in my heritage country as all my relatives are there and in a way grew up there in the summers. As a result, I developed a strong sense of identity connected to my heritage. This is the group of people/culture I connect the most with. I am also a dedicated patriot to my heritage country and would fight for it over any other country including US. I also identify myself here and in other countries as just my ethnicity.

There are many people with the case I have and others in a more grey area. What would you say for me case and what would you say in general in terms of this American identity. In Europe, for example, the conception of identity is different as they are not really immigrant countries like of the US.
Interesting. I read a book a number of years back that talked about how immigration to the US had changed. Most immigrants these days are more of colonists for their home country, rather than seeking to be Americans. Sounds like no one in your family or extended family has any interest other than being here to make money and have a good life, without bothering to be a part of the fabric of society in the sense that you feel fully part of it. In a way, your story confirms the worst fears of the author of the book.

Family chain migration is the problem and needs to be done away with. The US should have only skills based immigration. And then if you get in, anyone else in your family (except for wife and children), have to get in on their own skills. It's a win-win for the US.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:29 PM
 
456 posts, read 663,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
Interesting. I read a book a number of years back that talked about how immigration to the US had changed. Most immigrants these days are more of colonists for their home country, rather than seeking to be Americans. Sounds like no one in your family or extended family has any interest other than being here to make money and have a good life, without bothering to be a part of the fabric of society in the sense that you feel fully part of it. In a way, your story confirms the worst fears of the author of the book.

Family chain migration is the problem and needs to be done away with. The US should have only skills based immigration. And then if you get in, anyone else in your family (except for wife and children), have to get in on their own skills. It's a win-win for the US.
Well we came here like many other immigrants for job opportunity. We succeeded here financially, so we stayed. But we haven't had the intention of assimilating or forgetting our native culture/identity. And in growing up in such an environment, I've myself had a strong desire not to assimilate and be always connected to my native heritage.

In the end of the day, we are peaceful people, we pay our taxes, we don't break the law, we show respect to the country we live in, we just don't want to assimilate and we stay close to our native heritage.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
12,330 posts, read 10,295,525 times
Reputation: 5389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maast View Post
Well we came here like many other immigrants for job opportunity. We succeeded here financially, so we stayed. But we haven't had the intention of assimilating or forgetting our native culture/identity. And in growing up in such an environment, I've myself had a strong desire not to assimilate and be always connected to my native heritage.

In the end of the day, we are peaceful people, we pay our taxes, we don't break the law, we show respect to the country we live in, we just don't want to assimilate and we stay close to our native heritage.
Just imagine for a moment if most immigrants felt like this. What would become of the US in fifty years? A colony of other countries, that's what. And true balkanization. It may be good for you and your family economically, but I don't believe it is in the best interest of the US. Just my take.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:10 PM
 
456 posts, read 663,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
Just imagine for a moment if most immigrants felt like this. What would become of the US in fifty years? A colony of other countries, that's what. And true balkanization. It may be good for you and your family economically, but I don't believe it is in the best interest of the US. Just my take.
I agree, but every immigrant isn't the same and of course the circumstance is not the same either. In the end of the day, more immigrants will assimilate than not. Immigrants like me can still be a productive member of society, tax-paying, and abiding the law, it's just we will connect ourselves to our native heritage always.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,001 posts, read 54,493,040 times
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^^^ You posted the same question last week about when do you become a New Jerseyan. Then you go on and on to demonstrate how you really don't want to be part of us. So, what's your point, I wonder? To let us know this? Good, now we know. You've done your job. Yawn.

Anyway, you are not the first immigrant who ever came here and decided your culture was superior and that you had to cling tightly on to it. Far from it. However, if you have children, they may end up identifying as Americans. Or New Jerseyans.

But, it's good to know you follow the laws and pay your taxes. That's all that's really required of you.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:47 PM
 
456 posts, read 663,011 times
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
^^^ You posted the same question last week about when do you become a New Jerseyan. Then you go on and on to demonstrate how you really don't want to be part of us. So, what's your point, I wonder? To let us know this? Good, now we know. You've done your job. Yawn.

Anyway, you are not the first immigrant who ever came here and decided your culture was superior and that you had to cling tightly on to it. Far from it. However, if you have children, they may end up identifying as Americans. Or New Jerseyans.

But, it's good to know you follow the laws and pay your taxes. That's all that's really required of you.
I was just interested on what people thought regarding "being native of NJ". Now am asking a similar question but on the national level. I'm not trying to demonstrate anything of myself - it's an interesting issue in my opinion.

When it comes to my kids, I plan on raising them in my heritage country to prevent that
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,001 posts, read 54,493,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maast View Post
I was just interested on what people thought regarding "being native of NJ". Now am asking a similar question but on the national level. I'm not trying to demonstrate anything of myself - it's an interesting issue in my opinion.

When it comes to my kids, I plan on raising them in my heritage country to prevent that
Well, I guess then you are an American if your heart is here. As others have pointed out, that can mean different things to different people. I am an American by birth, and my most recent immigrant ancestors came here five generations ago, so I have no real cultural ties to any heritage country other than planting tulips in the fall. This doesn't mean I agree with everything my country does as a nation, but I don't identify with The Netherlands or England at all. Wouldn't mind visiting them.

Oh, and by the way, except for the English side, all of those ancestors came to New Jersey and we've been here ever since!
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC NoVA
1,105 posts, read 1,946,858 times
Reputation: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maast View Post
Well we came here like many other immigrants for job opportunity. We succeeded here financially, so we stayed. But we haven't had the intention of assimilating or forgetting our native culture/identity. And in growing up in such an environment, I've myself had a strong desire not to assimilate and be always connected to my native heritage.

In the end of the day, we are peaceful people, we pay our taxes, we don't break the law, we show respect to the country we live in, we just don't want to assimilate and we stay close to our native heritage.
you don't have to be ashamed of your heritage to be an american. i'm not and if you look at places like south boston and all over nyc, the irish aren't and they are still some of the most loyal americans out there, if not the most loyal. a hell of a lot of them died running into the world trade centers on 9/11.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
1,168 posts, read 2,533,280 times
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I basically consider someone to be an American when they truly consider themselves to be an American.

For example, my parents were born in India, they were both 22 when they arrived in the US and have now been here for 38 years. They definitely have a lot of ties with India as that is where they both grew up, but they definitely consider themselves to be Americans first. When we would travel to other countries, people would ask them if they were Indian, and they would usually respond with "We are originally from India, but we are Americans." My parents are now retired are now spending half the year in India and the other half in the US and own homes in both places, and they still perceive their time in the US as "being home" while they see their time in India as a visit/vacation.

Our national identity is one of the great things about America in comparison to most other countries. Race and ethnic heritage doesn't define whether you're an American, what defines Americans is a commonality of culture and values. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are the only places I can think of that are similar in this regard.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:18 PM
 
285 posts, read 610,493 times
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You become an American when you stop asking.
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