As a teenager, I used to day dream about escaping the oppressive communist society where we lived. I did not have a passport and a snowball chance in hell of getting one, I did not have any money, and our travel was restricted to a 20 mile radius, as far as our feet could carry us, as far as the rickety government-run buses would transport us, and as far as our pocketbooks allowed. We were so poor though, the wind whistled through our pockets most of the time.
I hid in Grandpa’s tall corn fields or in the woods by my favorite creek to do my deep thinking and planning. I could not afford to day dream in school. I was afraid the security agents, teachers, and the community organizers in the neighborhood that kept us in check around the clock would be able to read my thoughts or I would blurt something out that would give my thoughts away and get me and my family in trouble. Under communism, parents were responsible and guilty for their children’s deeds and anti-communist thoughts, statements, or unapproved behavior. Many careless comments by children with loose tongues sent their parents to Jilava or Siberia.
My dream to come to the United States, the land of freedom, seemed so impossible at the time. I could not swim, therefore I could not attempt to take the plunge across the Danube like some of my compatriots did; they were shot or drowned trying to flee. The currents were pretty strong and swift. I knew I would be shot at the border – many Romanians tried that as well and were executed on the spot. Those who succeeded ran the chance of being discovered and returned to the motherland, followed by torture and worse.
I made it even though I looked over my shoulder in fear and trepidation up to the moment the airplane took off. I just knew an agent would open the door and yank me off the plane, sending me back to the hell hole of communism. I could see and smell freedom once the plane took off. I could breathe and be free to speak my mind! I thank God for allowing me to enjoy relative freedom for 35 years. Will it be a long time before I complete the full circle, living again under communism, this time in “the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
People from around the world still dream to come to the United States. For most, it remains just a pipe dream. But even those who hate Americans wish they could be on American soil, somehow magically transported across the oceans, to have the opportunity to succeed and attain the American dream. And then there are those who come here with the dream and intent to change America into a caliphate.
The lucky Latin Americans can trek to our southern border and cross it freely now – few agents are allowed to apprehend them anymore and liberals make sure that they are never deported to their own countries. Crossing the border illegally into the U.S. is a lucrative business for Latinos, their progressive lobby in Washington, and the small and large businesses that wish to hire cheap labor. The proximity to our borders gives illegals carte blanche to break the law, take advantage of our lawless government, and become permanent wards of the American taxpayers. We should at least get a picture of the illegal aliens whose financial welfare and wellbeing we are sponsoring with our taxes. Their illegal children have become the “Dreamers” who demand everything American children get; it is their “right” and “entitlement.”
American teenagers here still dream to go to college, to have a career, to have a family, a solid job, and to grow old in freedom and prosperity. Unfortunately their dreams are fast turning into illusions, a frightening reality of joblessness, financial and health insecurity, welfare dependency, drug culture, immigration nightmare, socialist government control, and the diminishing chance of ever owning a home while holding a worthless college degree without the prospect of employment.
I fulfilled my dream of becoming an American citizen by choice. I cherished my freedom and never took for granted the chance at a better life, the education and prosperity it offered me if I was willing to work hard. Americans should thank God every day for being born in this exceptional country.
Overseas dreamers have been waiting patiently for years the resolution of their cases. Four millions of them are still hoping to come to the United States. They are not so lucky – oceans separate them from the “shining city on the hill,” the land of opportunity that lately looks more and more like the land of OZ.