For many, Thanksgiving Day is the most important holiday in the U.S. where Americans would take the holiday off and spend time with family and friends, catching up and enjoying their Thanksgiving turkey.
I know right, Thanksgiving Day is not meant to give thanks to and hail immigrants, it is not Immigration Day! Hello???
However, millions of undocumented immigrants would have more reasons to celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving Day in view of President Obama’s unilateral decision pursuant to an executive order issued last week providing relief from deportation to about 5 million of undocumented immigrants (of which approximately 600,000 to 1 million are Filipinos), granting them temporary legal status and the opportunity to secure work authorization, and so they could eventually be integrated into the American society.
Likewise, this is the time for immigration advocates to rally behind the said President’s executive action despite some conditionalities and restrictions as cited in the order (e.g. that health and other public benefits would not be available to said undocumented immigrants and that undocumented member should prove that he or she has no criminal record and has paid his or her taxes). At least, these undocumented immigrants who by the way may have contributed to both the country’s formal and underground economy have been given the benefit to legally stay in the U.S. and the opportunity to experience family stability, free from the worry of one or all of them being deported.
This should also be the time for undocumented immigrants to express gratitude for the chance to be legally welcomed in, this time no longer as strangers but as part of the “American life”, which could be the major turning point of their American Dream. This could probably be their first time to sit down and happily share the Thanksgiving meal with their loved ones.
Oh, wasn’t that the time also when the first undocumented immigrants from Europe (some would prefer calling them first “settlers” or “pilgrims” and I respect that) celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in view of their plentiful harvest? Oh, how can some people forget that? Is there something scary in the past that some people would hesitate to grant or support such reprieve?
Oh well, as for me, I would like to thank God for everything, for the good things in life! Remember, we are all temporary migrants here on earth. There are no boundaries, no passports or visas needed, no immigration or emigration laws when we came into this world, except for two things: to love God above all and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
To My Useful Tips awesome readers and friends, thank you so much for your time!
May the spirit of Thanksgiving be upon us all. Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy shopping!