Letter: Balentine wrong about the role of non-citizens

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John Balentine’s recent column (“Non-citizen voting a disturbing prospect”) states “This is what American soldiers die for – the right to vote.”

As America didn’t really have much in the way of immigration and naturalization law until well after the Revolutionary War, it can be argued that a lot of non-Americans also lost their lives so others could vote.

I’d remind Balentine that an overarching factor leading to the Revolution was that of taxation without representation. Are we not looking at the same situation here? If these non-citizens are paying into the system, they are suffering the same situation as our forefathers and deserve a say, 250 years ago and today.

It should be noted that for decades non-citizens have readily joined our armed forces. They number in the tens of thousands, and many have died in service to our country. By Balentine’s own yardstick these folks should be able to vote. He mentions that “All seem to agree we wouldn’t want a non-citizen to hold office, so why would we allow a non-citizen to vote?”

Well clearly we do not all seem to agree. I’d appreciate an engaged, informed, and civic-minded non-citizen in local government. It would be great if the huge numbers of Americans who do not vote regularly reflected upon the sacrifices being made, on their behalf, for them to retain that right.

If we had always taken Balentine’s stance that “We only want Americans determining America’s fate,” there would never have been an America.

Mike DelTergo
Falmouth

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