By Nina Mold
The intense level of military co-operation between the United States and the United Kingdom began in 1941. Later, during the Cold War, NATO was created and the governments of the two nations stood shoulder-to-shoulder to help maintain world peace.
Our young men and women have fought and died together in World War II, Desert Storm, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
Our governments have worked together on nuclear weapons development, economic policy, intelligence sharing and the constant war on terrorism.
In a 1946 speech, British statesman Winston Churchill made the first public reference to the special relationship between Britain and the United States. The media described the level of co-operation between the two nations as unparalleled among major powers. The people of both nations share a language, a culture and a history. Our support of each other has been a matter of national pride for the people of Britain and America alike.
Most people would say that the special relationship still exists and, on a military level, it does.
However, in every other respect, at least here in America, it does not.
America welcomes 50,000 foreign nationals each year via the Green Card Lottery. These are people who live in qualifying countries and have the good fortune to have their numbers come up. They and their families are then entitled to live permanently in the United States and, ultimately, become citizens. Some of the qualifying countries are: Botswana, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In the interest of diversity, Britain, except for Northern Ireland (thanks to the Kennedys) is not on the list.
The Green Card Lottery was the method of entry used by 9/11 mastermind Mohammad Atta, but it’s not available to citizens of the country with which America has a “special relationship.’’
An American who relocates to Britain and runs a successful business can, should he so desire, apply for citizenship after five years. A Brit, who relocates to America and runs a successful business, will never be eligible, under current legislation, for permanent residence here.
Many Brits, now living here have, like me, been life-long blood donors back in the U.K. Here, we find that our blood is not acceptable due to an outbreak of mad cow disease back in the 1990s.
If the disease was being passed on through blood donations, there would have been another outbreak in Britain by now but, of course, there hasn’t. Funny, no one cared about mad cow disease when I applied for my American driver’s license, which clearly states that I am an organ donor.
My tall, smart, athletic daughter, a junior at Florida Gulf Coast University and director of multicultural relations on the student government there, decided last year she’d like to serve in the U.S. military, preferably the Army.
We were told at the recruiting office that she is ineligible due to her parents’ legal, but temporary, status.
The proposed DREAM Act, when it becomes law, will offer a path to citizenship to young people here illegally, provided they complete two years of college or military service. Those, with whom America shares a ‘special relationship,’ need not apply.
So, is there a moral to this story? Yes. It has something to do with cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Nina Mold is the owner of Top Performance Hair & Nails in North Naples. She is a co-founder of E2Reform.org, an organization pushing for immigration reform that would lead to permanent residence for foreign nationals who invest here and create jobs for U.S. citizens.