While many new naturalized U.S citizens didn’t want to take a political stand about President Donald J. Trump’s racist tweets against four Democratic Congresswomen, many opined he and others should be more thoughtful of how they express themselves.
Trump, in a tweet earlier this week, told the four lawmakers to “go back where you came from” and claimed they did not love America.
“I think the president makes calculated comments at times and other times doesn’t think things through, necessarily, or doesn’t appear that thinks things thoroughly,” said Calvin Redman who immigrated from Australia approximately 10 years ago.
The 40-year-old Fresno resident who was born in Sidney, was one of the 872 people from 55 countries that became U.S. citizens during a July 16 naturalization oath ceremony at the Fresno Convention Center’ exhibit hall.
“I think it’s important to think things thoroughly clearly before you speak,” said Redman.
Two days before the naturalization ceremony, which includes a video of Trump welcoming the newly naturalized immigrants as citizens of this country, Trump said on Twitter that four Democratic non-white Congresswomen should “go back” to their home countries, even though all of them are U.S citizens and three were born in the U.S.
“So where are they going to go back to,” said Odin Seihoon of Trump’s tweet.
In his video message to the new citizens – which was received with polite applause – Trump said “America is our home, we have no other. You have pledged allegiance to America. And when you give your love and loyalty to America, she returns her love and loyalty to you.”
“I believe everyone has its own opinion no matter who you are, but this country is founded by immigrants,” said Seihoon, who was only 3-years-old when he left Iran to migrant to the United State. “Everybody has its own opinion. They can say whatever they want to say even the president of the Unites States. It’s his opinion, freedom of speech, right?
The 37-year-old from Iran, moved to the U.S. in 1993.
Thomas Cairns, who is originally from Canada and is looking forward to vote for the first time in his life, said “I don’t think that reflects American values as I understand them.”
The 34-year-old has lived in the U.S for 10 years making Fresno his home in the Central Valley.
“I think there is space in America for everybody and I don’t think the president is reflecting that in those kinds of comments,” said Cairns.
New U.S citizen Marie Le Ber, who is from the mountainous Mediterranean island of Corsica, France, said “I don’t want to take a political stand, but America is a country of immigration.”
“I think anyone that meets the requirements of moral quality should be welcomed and give them a chance,” said the 29-year-old who has lived in the U.S. for 20 years. “Obviously, people are coming here because they haven’t had that opportunity in their countries and (U.S) is a country of opened arms I think, and it’s always been, and I think it should stay that way.”
Baldeep Singh, who is from India, said “from my perspective it’s kind of straight forward. You can’t say anything like that to anybody, they are born here.”
The 31-year-old from Turlock said people shouldn’t make those kinds of comments even if somebody came from another place.
“They don’t want to leave their houses, they have probably good reason they came here,” Singh said. “I came with my whole family. His wife (Melania Trump is a Slovene-born American) is not from here either, so it depends of how you take a look on that comment.”
Singh said he has never experienced that kind of racism — people telling him to go back to where he came from.
“I am around pretty nice people,” said Singh who has been in this country for 11 years.
Clovis resident Colleen Louw, who is from South Africa, became a U.S. citizen along with her husband Trevor, also from South Africa.
“I think they should be more thoughtful of how they express themselves,” said Louw of the president’s tweets adding she is “just thankful to be through the immigration process and just to be able to be a normal person of society here and have the full right of everybody else.”
Carmen Herrera, who was born in Francisco Sarabia, Michoacán, México, has been in the U.S. for 17 years.
“That is not fair,” said the 70-year-old Tulare resident of Trump’s tweets. “This place is our country.”
Born in El Salitre, near Morelia, Michoacán Mexico, Imelda Medina has been calling the United States home for the last 17 years.
“It is not fair what he is doing,” said the 61-year-old Hanford resident of Trump.
Medina said she wanted to become a U.S citizen because of the current political situation in the country.
“It is not fair what he is doing, because all the people are here for a reason,” said Medina. “So many people are suffering at the border and everywhere.”
Where are they from:
1. México, 464; 2. India, 101; 3. Philippines, 62; 4. Laos, 22; 5. El Salvador, 21; También: Chile, 1; Colombia, 1; Cuba, 1; Dominican Republic, 2, Ecuador, 4; Guatemala, 9; Honduras, 2; Nicaragua, 1; Perú, 3; Venezuela, 2.