With amnesty on the horizon, this is how America feels to me:
I work hard, pay my mortgage, and do the right thing. I come home from work one day and my house is full of strangers.
None of them speak English; they’re camped out in my bed and have their feet on my couch. A group of trespassers are watching my big screen TV, eating my food, rifling through my jewelry box, and going through my clothes closet trying on my clothes.
The uninvited guests see me in the room and look at me as if I don’t belong there, and laugh and point at me as if I’m the butt of some private joke. I demand to know what they’re doing on my property, but they ignore me and continue to act like my home belongs to them.
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Frightened and angry, I call the police, who tell me to leave the premises immediately and remain standing outside on the lawn. Help arrives, scurries past me, and enters my home. I continue to wait.
Finally, an officer emerges and informs me that the uninvited guests are allowed to stay. Those I looked to for help instruct me to treat the burglars with respect and kindness, support their desire to be in my home, give them what I’ve worked for and, regardless of how I feel about it, accept those who’ve stolen my property as permanent guests.
Shocked and appalled, I’m promptly given a lecture on how fortunate I’ve been in life and told that to be fair it’s time I learned to share with less fortunate people who are just looking for a better life.
I attempt to say “But…” when I’m stopped mid-sentence, corrected, and told, “No buts…this is how it’s gonna be. Find a little corner for yourself in there and try to survive. You’ll get used to it.”
Helpless and confused, I shuffle back into my house where the uninvited guests have taken over. They assign me a small space, throw me a pillow and a blanket, feed me a cold bologna sandwich, and tell me that from now on, they’re in charge.
Then in unison they holler together in my direction: “¡Oye gringo, bienvenido a la nueva América!”
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