Letters to the Editor

More legal immigrants should become citizens

I heard an interesting piece recently on National Public Radio. The subject was a latest increase in legal immigrants applying for citizenship.

The narrator declared that there were almost nine million permanent legal residents in the United States that are eligible to apply for citizenship. She noted that applications for citizenship were up 15 percent from last year, indicating that many were motivated by the opportunity to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Naturalized citizens vote at a higher rate than citizens by birth.

To support her premise, the reporter interviewed one of our newest citizens. He was originally from El Salvador and legally came to the U.S. 20 years ago. He resides with his wife and three children in Virginia. Despite so many years in the states, he said he was more comfortable speaking Spanish. Through a translator, he said that his main reason for becoming a citizen was to vote in November against Donald Trump. He wanted to support the people in this country that don’t have a voice.

It’s not surprising that immigrants would want to come and live in the “Land of milk and honey.” It’s disconcerting that so many haven’t made the effort necessary to attain citizenship. Citizenship comes with both rights and responsibilities. Apparently many don’t want to buy the cow since they can get the milk for free.

Bill Malec, O’Fallon

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