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    America as Idea

    For the first six years in America, we lived as illegals, but I did not know it. My father kept the fear of deportation to himself. His visa was approved by a bureaucratic mistake that he did not bother to correct. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan offered amnesty through the Immigration Reform and Control Act, and we became legal. To mark this freedom from having a pathway to citizenship, we moved out of our roach-infested apartment east of Queens and into a house on Long Island where the American dream awaited us. On Wednesday evening — I still remember, just two weeks in our new place — we returned from…