Welcome To America!
Published: July 11th, 2008
By: Steven and Cokie Roberts

Welcome to America!

ELLIS ISLAND – Quick: How many amendments to the Constitution are there? Can’t say offhand? Then you would not have been among the 20 new citizens from 15 different countries who swore their allegiance to the Constitution at Ellis Island this week. They were expected to know that fact along with many others about U.S. government and history that most native-born Americans would have been hard-pressed to recall.

The goose-bump-provoking scene of men and women from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America tightly clutching their small American flags as they joined the ranks of the millions who came before them through the great hall at Ellis Island happened the day before the presidential candidates addressed a major Hispanic organization, as they courted the votes of the fastest-growing group in the population.

But even as McCain and Obama recognize Hispanic clout, just showing up at a Latino event can be politically risky these days, particularly for Republicans, given the hostility of the anti-immigration forces. Case in point: Utah’s Chris Cannon -- even with the backing of President Bush, his state's governor and two senators -- was recently shellacked in his congressional primary. Cannon’s sin? Support for immigration reform.


The Evening Sun

Continue reading your article with a Premium Evesun Membership

View Membership Options