I understand the immigration process. It’s personal in our family as my son-in-law came to the U.S. from Denmark, got a green card and eventually became a U.S. citizen. It wasn’t easy and took years. It also took a lot of effort and dedication. He really wanted to become an American and he made it happen. We could not be prouder of Torben. He’s far more than a son-in-law to me. He’s my friend and someone I can debate with and play Nuclear Risk with. That’s another story. So, when I hear another immigrant tell their story, I take notice and I just heard one that silenced liberals with an insane admission about why President Trump is right on immigration.
Neil Gouveia was born in Guyana and immigrated to America with his family when he was just 7-years-old. His mother was forced to make an impossible decision when they came to the U.S. She had to leave one of her children behind. It must have broken her heart. Gouveia wrote in the New York Post about his mother’s heart-wrenching choice she was forced to make. When she picked up the visas for her family, she was informed that she could not take a sick child with her.
(Neil Gouveia came to America in 1986 with parents Augustine and Bassodai Gouveia, who were forced to leave his ailing baby sister, Vera (pictured), behind.)
“Mrs. Gouveia, we can’t give you the visas,” the man told Neil’s mother. “You have a sick child. If you brought her to the United States, it would be a huge government expense. And you can’t abandon her.” Gouveia’s sister’s name was Vera. She was nine-years-old and suffered from cerebral palsy. She was unable to walk or talk. Neil’s mother had to think fast and make a snap decision. She lied, saying a family member could take care of her while the rest of her family went on to America. A family friend took the little one instead. I can’t even imagine the guilt and grief her mother must have felt.
Neil explained what his mother went through, “It tore my mother apart, but she had to make a decision to leave Vera behind — or start the application process all over again. She had to sacrifice Vera to save the American dream for the rest of us — me and five kids from her previous marriage along with my father.” When the family finally arrived in America, they lived in a basement apartment in the Bronx. His mother cleaned houses and his father found work as a janitor. But the story took yet another turn. Neil’s mother eventually found a very kind woman who helped bring Vera to America. Sadly, she died only months after arriving here.
Both of Neil’s parents took the naturalizations test to become citizens. He describes what they went through and what it meant to him when they did it, “Dad passed easily, but mom barely made it. At the official ceremony, I stood with my parents, bursting with pride, as they took the citizenship oath and pledged allegiance to the U.S. flag. At that moment, I, too, became an American citizen. If under age 18, the children of a naturalized parent are automatically granted the same status,” Neil wrote.
Here comes the part where Neil puts liberals to shame and gives them a much-needed reality adjustment.
“Today, if someone hops the US border and gives birth to a child, that child gets the exact same benefit that took my parents eight years to achieve. They waited their turn, but babies born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. automatically become citizens. That’s a huge flaw in our immigration system.
“What President Trump is pitching is already practiced in Australia and Canada. They’re very selective about who they admit. I also think it’s legitimate to separate children, initially, to verify whom they really belong to. If these people don’t have documents to prove the children belong to them, border agents have to act in their best interest. Human and child trafficking is a huge problem.
“Before the 2016 presidential campaign, I didn’t fully understand how the left and right operated. I was always fed the narrative that since I was a person of color — my mother of Indian descent, my father Portuguese — an immigrant and gay that I had to follow a script: Support the Democratic Party and liberal values; conservatives were the boogeyman.
“After Trump won the election, my friends instantly wanted him to fail as a leader. I would explain that if he failed, we failed. This point of view was met with heavy backlash and a barrage of insults. Anyone who showed any type of support toward Trump was deemed the enemy.
“People accused me of turning my back on minorities and their struggle. I remained defiant because my parents’ journey here was not easy, and I could not betray the country that has done so much for me.”
Gouveia closed with a very powerful thought on the subject, “I’m fortunate to be a U.S. citizen because I’m able to live a quality life and enjoy the benefits this country has to offer. I find it disheartening when people gripe about being oppressed in America, especially other immigrants. I firmly believe that living in America is a privilege. This country is truly the land of opportunities,” he writes.
It is a privilege and Torben sees it that way too. He also believes that if you are going to come to America, you must do it the right and legal way through the front door, not through our porous back door border with Mexico. Just as it is true that no one knows the evils of communism more than someone who has lived under its suppression, so it is for someone who has immigrated to America legally. We welcome those who come here legally. But we insist that the rule of law is upheld and if you come here illegally, you are breaking it. Neil gets that and is proud of his citizenship. It’s a pity that more U.S.-born citizens don’t share his viewpoint.