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Tuesday’s episode of The Jim Jefferies Show is a big one for the Australian-born comic. Not only does it mark the finale of his second season on Comedy Central, premiering at 10:30 p.m., the episode documents Jefferies becoming a U.S. citizen — taking the oath alongside five other immigrants. He wrote about the curious timing of his decision for The Hollywood Reporter.
Tonight, thanks to the magic of television and the poor judgment of the United States government, I will officially become an American citizen.
I knew it was time to finally get my citizenship the day I realized how much I love this country, which just so happened to be the same day we elected a president hell-bent on deporting everyone who wasn’t a citizen. Totally a coincidence. What I’m trying to say is that, like most relationships, I didn’t commit until you threatened to kick me out. And considering my relationship history, your founding fathers would definitely not approve.
I came to this country with nothing but the shirt on my back and a career as a successful touring comedian. And like so many immigrants, I saw America as a place where I could build a better life for myself and my family. Lately, there’s been a lot of fear-mongering that immigrants are only here to steal jobs and mooch off of public benefits. I want to tell you that’s simply not true.
Trust me, if immigrants wanted to live off the system, we’d go to a place with free health care and affordable education. That’s why immigrants make America stronger. People come here to make something of themselves. They don’t come here to coast through life in a caribou-scented, maple-syrup haze like our friends to the north, who shall remain nameless.
It hasn’t escaped me that this is a strange time to become an American. Even the name of this country is in crisis. At the moment, the United States seems anything but united. But I understand that, even though we may not see eye to eye, all Americans love their country, just in very different and sometimes overly enthusiastic ways. America is always celebrating itself, and you really go all out on the 4th of July. Frankly, it’s a bit much. By 30, I was ready to stop making a big deal of my birthday. Maybe when you hit 300 years, America will be like, “For God’s sake, no parties, please. Just let me have a night to myself with a glass of wine and a good book.”
Tonight, I will be truly honored to become a citizen of America — the country that has given me so much: Lobster rolls. The Dodgers. Relentless Seinfeld reruns. An overwhelming fear of schools, malls, parking lots or anywhere open carry is permitted. And, of course, RuPaul.
When I started The Jim Jefferies Show, people rolled their eyes at the idea of another foreigner telling them what’s wrong with their country. “If you don’t like it, go home!” they’d say. On tonight’s episode, I will take the oath standing alongside five people from countries across the world, because they embody what’s best about immigrants and what’s best about the U.S. We come here not because America is perfect, but because it is already great. And each one of us wants to be a part of making it greater.
Besides, my son is already a citizen, and I can’t have him thinking he’s better than me.
So the next time someone says “If you don’t like it, go home!” I’ll be proud that I can finally respond “I am home.”
Oh, and RuPaul, call me.
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