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By Sylvia Sullivan, Santee

November 26, 2014 (Santee) -- An explosion shook the country when Obama unconstitutionally decreed amnesty for millions of illegals. Untold millions more await to join the invasion since Obama refuses to secure the borders. Obama also claims our immigration system is broken. It is now. He has broken it by his lawlessness in refusing to enforce the immigration laws. As generations of legal immigrants can attest the system did work. It still could within the legal process of securing the borders and updating the regulations where needed.

It is well known that Obama is fond of telling stories. Our family story in not unlike millions of other stories of legal immigration, the American way.

The path is one of assimilation through commitment and hard work to become a successful and productive addition to the country.

It begins with my father coming to America from Cuba, legally to work. Then World War II broke out and he joined the Army to fight for the country he had grown to love. Fighting valiantly, he earned his citizenship.

He married my Mom, also from Cuba and they were stationed in the Panama Canal Zone base. My Mom slowly learned English by listening to Country music radio stations. Dad received orders to return to the States.

It was essential that Mom study hard the history and government of the United States to pass her exam in English for citizenship. The pride and joy were overwhelming as she, too became a citizen.

However, a dark cloud loomed when her X-Ray showed a spot on her lung, since being disease free was also a requirement. Anxiety was high because if a second test also showed a problem, she would not be allowed to go with Dad. Tears of joy and relief flowed as the second test showed clear lungs!

Assimilation does not equate obliteration of original roots and heritage. My parents made sure we would not forget Spanish. It was strictly enforced that no English was spoken in the home only Spanish. In fact, if we were caught speaking English inside, the punishment was to write it all in Spanish.

Although is was a real pain, today my siblings and I are so very grateful to be bi-lingual.

We learned English by playing with friends in the neighborhood and at school by total immersion. Children's brains are made to learn  and absorb language and we did.

As with most kids, were we teased and made fun of in the beginning, sure. We got over it and excelled becoming honor roll students.

Our story is not unique but a real tribute to the exceptionalism of America !

It is said that Benjamin Franklin was asked "Well, Doctor, what have we got- a Republic or a Monarchy?" He replied, " A Republic, if you can keep it."

Memo to Obama: by God's grace, we have not yet begun to fight to keep it!

The opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of the East County Magazine. Comments for consideration should be submitted to the editor at


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SANDAG Board Member: My Constituents Want More FWY Off-Ramps

SANDAG Board Member: My Constituents Want More Freeway Off-Ramps, Not Trolleys BY: ANDREW KEATTS As expected, the regional planning agency SANDAG will appeal to the state Supreme Court a ruling that says its long-term transportation plan doesn’t meet state requirements to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The vote wasn’t close: 20 of SANDAG’s directors voted for the appeal and just one, Oceanside City Councilman Chuck Lowery, voted against it. (San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilwoman Myrtle Cole both voted to appeal.) SANDAG said the appeal is necessary to clarify state law. If the Supreme Court heard the case, it would set precedent for planning agencies across the state. In emails with constituents asking her to vote against the appeal, though, SANDAG board member Kristine Alessio, who’s also a La Mesa councilwoman, got right to the point: SANDAG isn’t rewriting its transportation plan anytime soon. In an interview, Alessio said the most important aspect of the case is more big-picture than any particulars of SANDAG’s plan – the point of the appeal is to knock down the precedent that an executive order can trump laws passed by the Legislature. “If this appellate court ruling stands, a governor could say we don’t need (environmental review) at all,” she said. A 2005 executive order by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger established greenhouse gas reduction targets for the state. It said that by 2020, the state should return to its 1990 emission levels, and reach 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. A year later, the Legislature passed AB 32, which tasked a state agency with determining that 1990 level—and the reductions the state needed to make by 2020. It didn’t mention 2050. The appellate court ruling argues AB 32 was essentially an extension of the executive order, and that the Legislature effectively endorsed its long-term goals as state policy. That is, the court doesn’t see the executive action as trumping legislation; it says the Legislature was intentionally building on the executive order. Nonetheless, Alessio, a lawyer, said she viewed the appeal as a way to ensure future executive actions can’t nullify legislation. “Following appellate court logic, that could be the case. I’m sorry, I’m not going to take that,” she said. “In essence, you could gut CEQA with an executive order.” In emails to environmental and public transportation advocates who asked her to vote against an appeal, Alessio said her decision would be driven by “application of fact to law and not the desires of special interests” and that the overwhelming majority of constituents she’s spoken to wanted her to go forward with the appeal: Two people out of 58,000 of my constituents in La Mesa have urged me to vote to not appeal the decision. That’s not exactly overwhelming public support. Most of my constituents are irritated at CNFF for filing the suit in the first place. My constituents want me to close some of our trolley stations. They want freeway offramps completed, that’s what they want from SANDAG and MTS. It’s interesting to see what matters to people, transit wise, based on where they live and what their needs are. We have a large geographic area and each part has different transportation needs. Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.