By Richard Moorhead
“I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America- one nation, invisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
American kids accustomed to beginning their days at school with a recitation of the timeless Pledge of Allegiance may soon have to adapt to some changes, if an illegal immigrant dissatisfied with its content get his way.
Cesar Vargas, an illegal immigrant who has become a practicing attorney in spite of his legal status, authored an op-ed in The Hill on Tuesday calling for the nearly 150-year old pledge to be altered, as apparently it failed to suit his political preferences.
The original pledge was a creation of former Union Army officer George Thatcher Balch, who created it as a means to popularize American patriotism in New York City schools, which were at the time tasked with educating and assimilating the children of many recent Irish and Italian immigrants.
According to Vargas, the pledge is a product of “the fear of a white native-born Protestant culture,” and must “updated” so that it “takes pride in our immigrant heritage and the equality of all Americans.”
The central contraction of the pledge of allegiance to the United States being something that belonged to Americans- not foreign nationals like Vargas- seemed to escape the author throughout the op-ed, treating a venerated tradition of the United States as something which he had the right to impose upon.
An “upgraded” version of the pledge was floated later in the piece:
“I pledge allegiance and love to our indigenous and immigrant heritage, rooted in the United States of America, to our civil rights for which we strive, one voice, one nation, for equality and justice for all.”
Truly touching. Now, instead of pledging allegiance to their country, Americans have the chance to make a daily affirmation in support of immigration, should Vargas get his way.
Vargas is also a leading pro-amnesty and illegal immigration advocate, serving as the leader of the Dream Action Coalition.