LETTERS

No Hallmark cards for naturalized citizens?

Posted

To the Editor:

I am a secondary education English major at Rhode Island College (RIC), minoring in rhetoric in writing. To complete my minor, I had to undergo an internship that naturally had an emphasis on rhetoric and writing. In one of my undergrad education courses I met Nilson DaSilva, a migrant and former high school principal from Brazil who is currently a modern languages teacher at Central Falls High School. Since he has a master’s degree he is eligible to teach, but his education degree from Brazil is not honored in the United States. Therefore he, an experienced educator, had to take the same courses that I, an inexperienced educator and U.S. citizen, had to take to gain the same credibility he has earned a dozen times over.

Aside from being a teacher, Nilson founded a program called the Homestay English Immersion Program (HEIP), which I found out as we began to work together in that course. He asked me to work with him in his program that summer, and since it fulfilled my internship requirements, I was glad to work with him. The internship went smoothly; I created a great deal of documents for him and learned a great deal about emergent bilinguals from countries across the world.

Since he is a migrant from Brazil, to fully participate in the public occurrences of the everyday as a public intellectual, he applied for citizenship, which is of course an arduous process.

Even though he has family back in Brazil, Nilson has found a niche for himself in Rhode Island, prompting this decision. Recently, he was sworn in as a naturalized U.S. citizen, and had a gathering of colleagues from HEIP to celebrate his citizenship and to discuss the outcomes of my internship. Many of the guests brought cards and gifts for Nilson, but soon we all realized something—there were no cards sold for celebrating one’s naturalization. One woman said she asked a worker at The Paper Store if they sold cards for citizenship, and when the worker asked her manager, she stated that no one had ever asked for such a card. Another guest said that he picked out a card from among military-themed cards because “it was red, white, and blue, so close enough.”

This is curious because it directly reflects the collective capitalist public perception of immigration. The leading political thought on immigration is that most immigrants are coming in illegally; they’re here to steal American jobs, cheat the system, and as the President believes, they “have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

But to entertain this argument that is largely discredited by repeated studies, if there are “some” people who are good, who are teachers, lawyers, managers, electricians, mechanics, doctors, then is that not a good thing? If they can prove over the course of 5-plus years to be promising and upstanding members of the local society by following all the legal regulations, then that is surely worth commemorating. Yet the current sociopolitical consideration of (im)migration doesn’t quite allow for it; it is certainly not accounted for in regular sales. In fact, the easiest way to purchase a citizenship-themed card is online, and while many people argue that most things are purchased online, when was the last time anyone purchased a card in any other place than a store? Cards are the things you forget about until you’re going to a party or event, so you stop at the nearest pharmacy, purchase from a slim variety, and sign and seal it in the car before arriving.

I would think that as Americans, if we are to bestow the title of “citizen” onto someone who has worked hard, proven to be an upstanding member of society, and endured a long wait, the least they deserve is a proper card.

James Welsh

Senior

Rhode Island College

Comments

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davebarry

I don't believe I've ever read a dumber letter to the editor in my life. This is your concern? No hallmark card for a naturalized citizen? If there is a big market, become a capitalist and be the first to make them. Moron.

Wednesday, October 30
KimLorene

Do you not have anything else to worry about? I bought a new skirt yesterday. There are no Hallmark cards for that either.

Dumbest Letter Ever.

Wednesday, October 30
Wuggly

Your assumption that supporters of the President and believe in Capitalism are against immigration is at best showing you know very little about what is actually going on. Do you not believe there are bad people coming over the border?

Illegal immigrants and those trying to literally invade the country are a problem. No other country on this planet allows as many immigrants in as we do. Before you come down on me for using the word "invade" legal immigrants are coming here to be U.S. Citizens, invaders aka illegals aren't giving up their country and are coming to rape and pillage. As shown in the "caravan" when they're carrying foreign flags to our border. In some of these countries kidnapping is a business.

Mr. DeSilva made a choice to come here, no one forced him to. He obviously believes its better for him here than in Brazil and was willing to sacrifice what was necessary to get here and become a citizen. I congratulate and welcome Mr. DeSilva to our and now his country.

You seem to complain that we don't recognize his Brazilian credentials. So? Why should we? Europe doesn't recognize your driver's license either. Will Brazil recognize your U.S. credentials? Does Brazil just let you in?

As for the card, you stated this is a capitalist society. You have found what is possibly a money making opportunity, "Cards for New Citizens". Just think if you can produce, distribute and sell a million of them and make a profit of $1 each. You will be a millionaire.

The U.S. is great and that's both why people want to come here and why it must be protected.

Saturday, November 2