Naturalization: Speak in Your New Home

When Immigration grants my foreign born clients naturalization, I consider them to have reached the ultimate safe haven: the United States. Because I travel widely and read much, I know this country can be improved. Regardless, only through naturalization can my clients be active participants in “the greatest country in the world” as my grandmother called it. Those who choose to remain legal permanent residents have no voice. It would be like living in a house with no opinion on how the family’s money is spent, no opinion on how you – or other family members – are treated.

Naturalization for Women

Women earned the right to vote only about 100 years ago. Before the constitution was amended in 1920, married women could not own property and had no right to money they earned. (Women of color continued to face barriers to voting until 1965, when the Voting Rights Act became law.) Said plainly, women were expected to focus on reproducing the species. Today’s women vote because other women marched through haters, were beaten by police after arrest, and were force fed through tubes when they attempted hunger strikes.

 A woman’s refusal to naturalize, to become a citizen and to vote disrespects many.

A Citizen Votes on Everything

Recently, when my mother visited me, she was talking about restaurants and entertainment when she dropped a statement I never expected. “Servers should earn enough money without tips. They should not need my money to afford to pay their bills.” I could not agree more. Grateful for the opportunity to discuss minimum wage policy, I told her that both of the Florida Republican Senators she voted for refused to raise the minimum wage. I dared not add that during a 2020 debate the ex-president she voted for also opposed an increase in the minimum wage.

“Well, I am not political,” she replied. The evasion of reasoned discussion is a hallmark of those who vote based on emotion: fear.

Yet, here’s the thing, citizens who vote are political. In the United States, citizens do not decide each government policy. It would be a better country if we did. Instead, citizens elect a Congressperson who then, as a representative, votes on government policy.  One of the Republican Florida senators my elderly mother helped put in office, Rick Scott, proposed a “Rescue America” plan to end Social Security and Medicare.

Disclaimer – These entries are based on real life events. Family member names, when used, are real. Client names are changed for privacy.

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