Clarke urges Caribbean nationals to get US citizenship and vote

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
Photo by Nelson A. King

With America bitterly divided over the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and draconian Trump administration immigration policies, Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke is urging Caribbean nationals not to hesitate in obtaining US citizenship, so they can exercise their voting franchise.

“If you are living here for 55 years, and you’re not a (US) citizen, I encourage you to get US citizenship,” said Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, in addressing Sunday the 35th Annual Gala Awards Ceremony of the Brooklyn-based Vincentian-American Independent National Charities, Inc. (VINCI) at EL Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn.

Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, preceded her remarks by telling a story of an immigrant who has been living in the US for 55 years and now faces deportation. Some patrons were aghast.

“As citizens, you get to vote for the leader of the free world,” the congresswoman said. “So, when your diplomats go to the White House, they don’t have to do ‘hat-in-hand.’

“We have a moral, ethical obligation to vote,” she added. “In times like these, we have to vote. You have to unleash your power, because 45 (the 45th president of the US, Donald J. Trump) is not playing games. He’s doing what he said he would do.

“Let us not underestimate our power,” Clarke continued before enticing patrons to end her chant with “vote.”

“Let us go out and (vote),” she urged. “Let us make noise. Let us go out and vote Nov. 6 (in the mid-term elections).”

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