Three WWII heroes: Monuments to General Draza Mihailovich (center) and Voyvodas Djujich and Djurisich in Chetnik Memorial Park at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, IL. Photo by Aleksandra Rebic Feb. 25, 2012.
P.O. Box 95551
Hoffman Estates, IL 60195
Hoffman Estates, IL 60195
December 18, 2018
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
An Open Letter to: President Donald J. Trump
Re: “Real Immigrants”
Dear Mr. President:
My name is Aleksandra, and I am one of many Americans who continue to support you and your efforts as President of the United States to make America great again! I’m also a first-generation American born child of Serbian parents from the former Yugoslavia who legally emigrated to this country after World War II and became loyal citizens of the U.S.A. It is from them that I first developed my deep love for America and respect and appreciation for all of the blessings and opportunities this country offers and provides to those who make their home here. My love, respect, and appreciation have never wavered, regardless of troubling internal, domestic politics and policies, or mistakes (intentional or otherwise) made in foreign policy decisions and actions. The America I love has become increasingly vulnerable to the efforts of the American Left to “fundamentally change” (read: destroy) much of the fabric that made this country so exceptional and such a wonderful place to live. That’s why your message of “making America great again” has resonated so deeply with me. I believe that if anyone can do it, you, President Trump, can do it, regardless of the immense obstacles and resistance you face in trying to do so! It’s for that reason that I felt compelled to write you this letter.
Like many others who are the descendants of immigrants who came to this country legally and with good intentions, who worked hard to never be a burden on the government or on America’s citizens, who assimilated into American life grateful that they were given the privilege to do so, and who have often been greater American patriots than many of those born here who have taken the U.S.A. for granted, I’m very concerned and angry about the current state of “immigration” today. Regardless of how the American Left wants to spin it, many of those coming now demanding/expecting to be allowed to enter this country and live and work here with all the rights and privileges of natural born citizens or immigrants who came through the legal channels and paid their dues to become “Americans”, are not people who are coming with the best of intentions. It’s a strong gut feeling. Being a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Communication Studies from the School of Speech, a primary focus of my education was “Rhetoric” - the study and analysis of persuasion (influencing hearts and minds) through various means and methods. Thanks to my education, I don’t easily fall prey to being influenced by “political” propaganda, regardless of where or from which side it’s coming from.
I’m sure there are good people among the current throngs that are “demanding” and/or “expecting” to be allowed entry into the U.S. I’m sure that among the throngs are people genuinely fleeing political persecution in their homeland, who are seeking a safe haven and not “demanding” or “expecting” anything. Unfortunately, I’m very suspicious of the motives of many of those now seeking entry into the U.S. and wonder just how loyal they would be to this country if their demands and expectations were met. I don’t buy that they are all seeking “political asylum”. I know what “political asylum” is, and what is going on today with many of the “newcomers” just does not pass the smell test for me.
The “Immigrants” that I know and grew up with strike me as being quite different from many of the people (and I cannot bring myself to call them “immigrants”) who are demanding/expecting entry into the United States today. My mother and father are a prime example of the type of “Immigrant” worthy of the name.
During World War Two, while he was still “just a kid”, my father was with the nationalist group in the former Yugoslavia loyal to the Allies, the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland, led by Serbian General Mihailovich, leader of the first successful resistance uprising against the Nazis in all of occupied Europe. This “nationalist” group would end up valiantly fighting both the Germans and the Communists, including saving hundreds of American airmen at great cost to the Serbian people in the homeland and with very little help from the Allies. I’m one of those people who understands the true meaning of “Nationalist” as being a “Patriot” who loves his/her country and puts it first when push comes to shove. The Mihailovich forces lost the war to the Yugoslav Communists, and my father, like many other patriots, was forced to escape his homeland, never to return, in order to survive. Many such refugees never returned to their homeland or the families they left behind. These were true “asylum” seekers – God-fearing, good people of good character, with good intentions, fleeing a true enemy.
My father spent the first two years after the war in a refugee (displaced persons) camp in Italy, where he finished high school, as his high school education was interrupted by the war. After that he spent another two years in a refugee camp in Germany. His future was uncertain. The only thing he knew for sure was that he could not return to his homeland.
In 1949 the American organization “Church World Service” informed him that they had found a sponsor willing to sign an affidavit of support for him to come to the United States. That sponsor guaranteed that my father would not depend on the American government for support and be a burden. That’s how it was done in those days, and that’s how America has become home to many of the best and brightest from all over the world. People of good will and intent, willing to work hard and contribute to American society and culture in a positive way, were, and should always be, welcome.
An American agent questioned my father for about half an hour and approved him to be allowed to emigrate to the U.S.
In October of 1949 my father arrived in America, and his sponsor took him to his home. In little more than a year he saved enough money to start college in the spring of 1951 and graduated in the summer of 1955. Although the war in his homeland had interrupted his schooling, my father was determined to finish his education and did so in America. He also completed a correspondence school in electrical engineering and moved to Chicago in 1956 where he began working for Western Electric (later to become AT&T) where he excelled and eventually became part of the management group. He is now retired.
At the end of 1960, on Christmas Eve in fact, he met my mother in West Virginia. She is also a Serbian immigrant from the former Yugoslavia. She was a graduate of the Medical School at the University of Belgrade, completed her internship and residency in the United States, and would go on to practice her profession of Anesthesiology in America. Now retired, she, too, was excellent at her job. My parents were married in 1961 and have remained married ever since – 57 years.
Both of these immigrants had to learn the English language and did so without complaint or resistance. They demanded nothing of America and felt no sense of entitlement. They have been law-abiding and productive members of society from the day they stepped foot on American soil. Despite their successes in life, they have not been immune from falling on hard times and having to deal with the difficulties of life. Never, however, have they “blamed America” as so many “newcomers” seem to do so readily these days. My parents are the quintessential “good Americans” - respectful citizens of excellent character and good manners, loyal and sincere patriots who embody the true meaning of “Immigrant” as we once knew it in this country - immigrants that were part of the “Greatest Generation” of Americans - “Real Immigrants”.
I’m very fortunate to know many others of my generation with similar stories about their parents and grandparents. Many of us are deeply concerned about the state of “immigration” today. We want a secure border and an immigration policy that requires that people are properly vetted before being allowed in, just as it existed in years past when America welcomed many good people from around the world.
My family has continued to maintain our beloved Serbian Orthodox traditions as well as the American traditions that we love. We have never demanded that America accommodate us and our Serbian ways. That’s how it should be. We are Americans.
If you would like to become familiar with some of the work that my family has done on behalf of educating people about the alliance between America and the Serbian people, an alliance that has existed for over a century and was steadfast through two world wars and beyond, please feel free to visit www.heroesofserbia.com and www.generalmihailovich.com, two websites that I founded and administrate. It would be an honor to have you as a visitor to those websites, Mr. President.
Please do not allow the “haters” to bring you down or force you to abandon your goals and ideals. Many of us are counting on you to follow through with your promises regarding border security and a sensible and valid immigration policy that rewards those who are deserving and rejects those who are not. We cannot afford to allow people of questionable intentions into this country who have no love for this country. We owe that to our predecessors who followed the rules, who became and remained loyal patriots, and who contributed to making America worthy of the title “Greatest Nation on Earth”.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Godspeed, Mr. President.
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
Chicago, IL U.S.A.
December 18, 2018
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
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