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writing for godot

Is Rick Santorum Here Illegally?

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Written by Bob Maschi   
Sunday, 15 January 2012 11:16
Rick Santorum (or, if you use Google, Ick Santorum), former Republican Senator for Pennsylvania, and I share a common heritage. His grandfather and my great-grandparents came to America from Italy. My family made the trip only a few years before his. Both families set off from towns only a hundred miles apart from each other in northern Italy (‘northern’ Italy used to be an important distinction as “northern Italians” pride themselves on being much cleaner and more educated than their southern counters―not to mention “those Sicilians”).

There is one big difference. My family came here legally. I’m not so sure about Rick’s.

The Daily Beast reports that Rick Santorum’s grandfather, who emigrated to the United States from Italy, was a communist sympathizer, if not actually a communist: “On the campaign trail, Santorum often touts his grandfather’s flight from Italy ‘to escape fascism,’ but he has neglected to publicly mention their close ties with the Italian Communist Party.”

In the early 1920s, when Rick’s grandfather came to America, there was a red scare going on. Communists, socialists and anarchists were subject to harassment, arrest, imprisonment and deportation for little more reason than how they thought. Tsarist Russia had been taken by the Bolsheviks in 1917. Communists were threatening the European nations (if not through elections then through force of arms). Eugene Debs, American socialist, was in jail until 1921 for speaking out against World War 1 (Debs ran for president from jail and got almost a million write-in votes). Most notably, it was in the 1920s that Italians Sacco and Vanzetti stood trial and were executed for a crime they might not have committed―the ‘crime’ that they were certainly guilty of was that of being anarchists.

Italians were a major target of the anti-communists and had even more to deal with than left/right politics. They were Catholics coming to a Protestant-majority country. They spoke a foreign language. They were much darker than Vikings. Hairier too. (Goombahs! We aren’t white! Stop pretending we are!).

This nation did not welcome people who might advocate the overthrow of the country―especially when they were Italian. I haven’t seen the actual immigration documents for Rick Santorum’s family. But history suggests that there was a term on applications to enter this country that mimicked the McCarthy-era phrase: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party…” It’s doubtful that anyone who had spent their savings on a long and grueling ocean voyage to America would then offer to turn around and go back. Instead, this phrase was meant to make liars out of most poor, far-left Italians trying to enter these United States.

So it would make sense that Rick’s grandfather might have lied on his application to enter the country and to become a citizen. If we look at the current anger from the right over issues like the “Dream Act” (granting children of some “illegal” immigrants certain benefits) and moves to alter the Constitution’s 14th Amendment (to prevent children born on US soil to ‘illegal’ immigrants from being citizens automatically), we could suggest that Rick Santorum has very little claim to being an actual citizen and should immediately be deported back to northern Italy (where they would probably resent his messing with their “cleaner and more educated” self-reputations).

Rick Santorum’s politics have followed a familiar pattern for people who came to this country from Italy. Many weren’t only fleeing poverty, but fascism as well. Many were members of the far left who lied on their applications to enter the country. Not to stereotype (well, ya), but once here, many of them attempted to rapidly assimilate, running to the right politically and becoming a solid Republican base of racists and homophobes―all while generously sharing their delicious pastas, salamis and cheeses with their new home.

Bob Maschi
Socialistcafe.com
 

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+4 # BishopAndrew 2012-01-16 11:29
My paternal great grandmother was Cuban and she came during Reconstruction to "occupied South Carolina" and never became a citizen as far we know. Her husband who was a "unreconstructe d Confederate veteran" refused so the family lore goes to cooperate with the Yankee government in general and the Reconstruction state government in particular! Her great grandson as in me turned out to be a proud Christian Democratic Socialist!
 
 
+5 # RMDC 2012-01-16 19:19
Thanks. This is insightful. I think the case you make is quite likely. I'm sure the original document is preserved somewhere in US archives. All those things were saved and many are now available. I think Santorum should have to produce the document and any other records of his grandfather's political affiliations.

I don't think they'd take him back in Northern Italy. They are quite fashion conscious and those sleeveless sweaters are just not making it.
 
 
+4 # mwd870 2012-01-19 08:28
I guess Rick Santorum is not going to be a big proponent of changing the 14th Amendment. It would be great to see the mainstream media obsess over this dichotomy - it would bring more light the hypocrisy of the current anger of the right over immigration issues.
 
 
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-01-23 15:26
Re: Holyone, What you say is very poetic and has real insight.

However only one of your paragraphs start with “Some”. Starting out with “Those who” may be a nasty jab at a few people who don't deserve it.

Certainly Santorum wanting to cut food stamps to help the poor fight obesity, and help those in the Middle East be freer, fits in with everything you say, but Ron Paul calling himself pro-life has different meaning.
 
 
0 # kernel85 2012-01-26 09:31
I don't care at all for Santorum, but isn't this article awfully speculative?
 
 
+2 # BobM 2012-01-26 11:22
Rick Santorum is against the ‘illegal immigration’.
His Italian grandfather was a communist sympathizer if not a communist.
In order to be accepted legally into this country one had to promise they were not communists.
His grandfather had to lie to enter the country.
Lying on the form was illegal.
Santorum’s grandfather came here illegally.
Santorum is an angry, closeted-gay-ho mophobe who should be spanked and then deported.

Makes perfect sense to me!
 
 
-2 # infohiway 2012-01-28 21:06
Are you so scared and desperate as to create such a frivolous diversion?
IF HIS FATHER AND MOTHER ARE U$ BORN, EVEN IF THEY WERE 'ANCHOR BABIES', RICK S. IS A 'NATURAL BORN U$ CITIZEN'. EOS!
Moreover - you have just confirmed BHO is ineligible - have you not?
--infohiway
 
 
0 # BobM 2012-01-29 11:25
In the article I state: "and moves to alter the Constitution’s 14th Amendment (to prevent children born on US soil to 'illegal' immigrants from being citizens automatically)" . The 14th Amendment is what you refer to and what your party wants to get rid of. Or will it only still apply to people from Europe? As for BHO, you might have missed the title but this is about a man named 'Rick Santorum'. I'm not sure what his middle initial is.
 

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