Letters to the Editor

Gino Pazzaglini: An American story

Regarding the Aug. 17 news article “Trump: Deport kids of immigrants here illegally”: Donald Trump’s latest diatribe against illegal immigrants struck a personal note for me. He is calling for repeal of our 14th U.S. Amendment, which since 1868 automatically grants citizenship to any child born here, even if the parents are legal or illegal immigrants.

My father was born in Watkins Glen, N.Y., during an extended legal visit by my Italian grandparents, and the family returned to their Italy home shortly thereafter. When fascist dictator Mussolini announced alliance with Hitler’s Germany, my grandparents urged my 19-year-old father to use his citizenship status to return to the United States and make his democratic life here, which he did. His two younger brothers were not as fortunate.

Now I gratefully sit in retirement, having raised four children, blessed with 10 grandchildren and having served over 45 years in nonprofit organizations serving others – here in the United States. How different my life would have been if the 14th Amendment had never existed or was repealed.

I’m guessing there are many more poignant stories out there more striking than mine. Illegal immigration is a problem, but changing our U.S. Constitution is not a credible solution.

Gino Pazzaglini