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Thu May 16, 2019, 04:36 PM

If my grandmother had been required to learn English & pass a civics exam, I wouldn't be here.

Mu grandmother, as well as my parents, are gone, so I can't ask for more details. I don't know a lot about her. She came over on the boat from Naples and legally applied for citizenship. Once here, she had three sons...my dad was the middle child. She lived until 1970 or so...don't recall the exact year of her passing. She spoke extremely broken English, had a "gravel-y" voice, and would often laugh WHILE talking, so it was a true challenge to understand her at all. I don't know anything about her level of education when it comes to U.S. history of matters, because...as I said...I didn't have any lengthy conversations with her about anything. My dad and I would drive to Somerville, MA, where she lived with his sister, my Aunt Alice. There was a small Italian bakery on the way and we would always stop to get her fresh bread and cookies.

She was a wonderful woman, full of life and joy. I didn't need to understand the words as long I was near the center of her vortex,

And if she had been required to "learn" English, which I don't think ever fully happened in her life past conversational level, and if she had been required to "pass" a "civics" exam, I don't know if she would have given birth to three sons and a daughter back in Naples. She wasn't a wealthy woman. My dad gave up everything and dropped out of high school in favor of working and supporting the family. I have no idea what happened to her husband...nothing good, I assume, because any time the subject came up, everyone would clam up. If my dad had been born in Naples, maybe he would have come to the USA under his own steam, maybe not. If he stayed, he probably would have married an Italian woman, and they may of may not have kids, but it wouldn't be me. The person I am would not exist if that woman hadn't crossed that ocean.

I am probably one of MANY people with a story like that on this day, when Trump assembled reporters at the White House, demanding of Lindsey Graham that he work to see the latest masterplan of Stephen Miller passed "quickly."

Just thought I'd share it.

Peace and out.

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Reply If my grandmother had been required to learn English & pass a civics exam, I wouldn't be here. (Original post)
Miles Archer Thursday OP
kimbutgar Thursday #1
maxsolomon Thursday #2
dawg day Thursday #3
Basic LA Thursday #4
MaryMagdaline Thursday #5

Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2019, 04:43 PM

1. I bet fat donnie couldn't pass the basic citizenship test.

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2019, 04:45 PM

2. She probably came over before 1921.

Because that's when the Anti-Jewish and anti-Italian eugenics-inspired Immigration laws were passed.

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2019, 04:58 PM

3. Me too-- my grandparents were immigrants who loved America

And worked factory jobs to put the children AND grandchildren through college... there are teachers, a doctor, a nurse, a carpenter, two scientists, and a business owner. I really think the US is better for her being welcomed here. And the USA of 2040 will be better for the children of refugees and immigrants growing up here. It's sad to say, but just go to a hospital and see how FEW white men of families long here there are in lab coats... and how many Indians and Pakistanis and Africans there are.

Look at the cutting edge engineers and developers in Silicon Valley. How many are white "Long Americans" and how many are Asian?

We aren't going to grow and innovate with all or even most of the population coming from families that came here before 1900. In fact, even in my fairly rural state, the "Long Americans" are much more likely to be unemployed, disabled, and addicted, while the children of immigrants are winning the Robotics Competitions and taking care of the elderly left behind by their own kids. Go into any rural mostly white area, and think about pinning our nation's future on the residents there. (Not to be mean, but you gotta wonder if a lot of this hatred of immigrants is fear of the competition.)

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2019, 05:34 PM

4. Wonderful stories. My dad earned his citizenship ...

... by serving in WWII a few years after arriving from Portugal. When the war over, he was honorably discharged & given citizenship. He was still in uniform when he met my mom--whose parents also were from Portugal--in Greenwich Village. They soon married & settled to raise a family in Newark.

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Response to Basic LA (Reply #4)

Thu May 16, 2019, 08:29 PM

5. My father, too, became a citizen after serving in WWII

Just saw the Miami herald headline today (I was flying out of town/did not take the paper with me). Headline read something like citizenship being denied to military veterans. I felt so much shame.

He said that he got help from one of his officers to file for citizenship. He and my grandmother both applied. They waived the “tax” or whatever that meant. I think it meant my dad and grandmother were non-documented or illegal. My grandfather has a green card and maybe even citizenship by the time of WWII.

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