You started your commentary by stating the very point that I am making. "The only people that have the right to vote are legal U.S. citizens." Which by the way, as you have agreed, is the law. That's as it should be. So, if we are saying that people must vote on a proposed Constitution, and that we need to define who are True Virgin Islanders for that purpose, then you have to be a citizen. That is the whole point of my position.
Now you say that this issue is one different than made in your letter, however, I believe that it's one in the same, because, although you focused on people that have made honorable contributions in the community being considered as True Virgin Islanders, the underlying factor of my position is, "Who is considered a True Virgin Islander" for the purposes of having the right to be able to vote as part of a new V.I. Constitution. So I believe we are talking about the same thing.
Now if as a community you want recognize the people that show a genuine care and concern for their community, that's fine, I applaud that, but as I've said before, and as I was alluding to in the scenario, that does not give them the right to vote, if they have not been Naturalized as a citizen.
I also agree that immigrants are not the ones running the government, which is where the problems lye. I by no means am suggesting that True Virgin Islanders and legal citizens are not to blame for the current situation, because they are. Furthermore, being a person that cares about your community and doing things to better community will not on it's own make the community better. You need people with the intestinal fortitude to enforce the laws that are largely ignored. I would dare say that these would be the same people that have the care and concern for the islands that you talked about.
My scenario was made to show that if the laws of citizenship are not enforced then people that are wealthy could plant themselves in the community and influence it's future without having been a legal citizen. I was being facetious in my scenario, because for that scenario to play out it would mean the failure and lack of enforcement of several laws by a number of public officials, which is what I believe is happening right now, and would most certainly be the case if there was an all inclusive memorandum that allowed any individual whether contributor in community or not, to be considered a "True Virgin Islander" and as such, have voting rights. This is not to say that a person could not fulfill all the required laws to become a citizen, and still do the same thing that the businessman did in the scenario; however, by doing this, they would have a lot more at stake, and it would take a total breakdown of the system. They would have a name and a number that identifies them to everyone.
The Virgin Islands needs people that not only care enough about their community to do many of the great things that you talked about, but they also need to have the honor, commitment, compassion and courage to do what the people of the islands should require of their Public Officials, their jobs!! After all, these are the people that are supposed to uphold the laws of the land and work for the betterment of the community. The beginnings of rooting out corruption starts with ousting the corrupt, and then replacing them with people of honor, compassion and a commitment to work and enforce the laws, like that of citizenship, which cannot be ignored when considering "who is a True Virgin Islander". It's not about where you were born, or how much you have or have given. It's about doing what is right by the people, the community, and the law that governs the place that you call home.
Baton Rouge, La.
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