The “right to vote” is one of the cornerstones of our American Constitution part of the Inalienable Right sequence. What does it mean and who gets to use it?
Both sets of my grandparents immigrated to this country over a hundred years ago. My mother’s father, William Votano, became an American citizen in 1910 and then fought in the trenches of France wearing an American Army uniform in the First World War.
My father likewise, who, God bless him, is still alive at 96, landed at Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. Dad was an infantryman with the 3rd Army. He was decorated, along with his 51st Engineer Combat Battalion, with the “Croix de Guerre” from France for protecting a French village against larger German forces. He and his outnumbered Battalion of only 123 men were also awarded a US Presidential Citation for “its outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy from 17 to 22 December 1944 - and was possibly the first time in military history that an engineer battalion had been relieved by five divisions.”
My point? Each of my four grandparents came to this country “legally” through one door and one door only - Ellis Island. They became American citizens with all the rewards and sacrifices that come with that privilege. They went through the process, they worked hard, and they assimilated into the American dream. Their children and grandchildren took it from there.
What if each of my four grandparents had come to America illegally, as undocumented citizens? Would they have had the opportunity to fight with valor for this Country? Would they have contributed to the rich American fabric which is based on cultural diversity? Rhetorical questions.
Today, my family has stockpiled; nurses, doctors, teachers, artists, lawyers, judges, workers and lots of loving “grandma’s.” We each have the right to vote and we each contribute to the larger good which is called America. None of us would have been in this position today if my four grandparents had come here illegally or remained hidden somewhere inside America as undocumented aliens. What would have become of them? Of our family?
According to a census conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, Yale, and MIT, as of this writing, there are 26,085,088 illegal aliens in the United States.
Or, as the news media prefers to label them, “Undocumented Aliens.”
Where are they? Who are they? And how do they impact our right to vote?
To be clear, there is no such thing as an “Undocumented Alien.” They are ALL documented. They are all “citizens” of some other country - but not this one. That is why it is absolutely vital, without exception, that every voter in the upcoming elections are verified with ID’s and registered as a legal citizen of America before they are allowed to pull the lever or touch that computer voting pad. There is no other option. If this does not happen then ask yourself these questions: How many of these 26 million citizens of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua here illegally will vote in the Presidential election in 2020?
They are legal citizens of those other countries are they not?
How many of them should vote in our elections?
We must protect our two most precious gifts as Americans our individual freedom and the right to vote. We fought hard for those rights. And now there is a real threat that those voting rights will be seriously diluted by the sheer numbers of foreign citizens lining up to vote in the 2020 elections.
If I had my way, yes, I would build that Wall. What’s the big deal? The Wall is much less a barrier to cross than the great Atlantic Ocean was for all other American immigrants. But, build a perfect Wall. Build a Wall with dozens of built-in processing doors spread out all along the entire Southern border. “Yes. Come in.” But come in legally as our grandparents and great-grandparents did. Come in through the front door of America, not through the bathroom window.
Sign up for the American dream.
Learn English. Take care of your future and the future of your children and your children’s children. Swear allegiance to our flag and to our Constitution, register to vote, and join in the dream that was laid out by past generations of immigrants who came before you.
There is no other way.
Pisano is a Ford Plantation resident.