Alien and Sedition Power: The Story of an Immigrant


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In the beginning, of our country, it was the Federalist Party with supreme power. In 1796, John Adams, a federalist, was President and the majority of congress was made up of federalists. John Adams was a very strong leader. He believed in federalist actions very much. He helped bring federalists to their current position. They were supreme, the law of the land. There was only meager opposition: the Democratic-Republican Party (DRP). This new party was led by Virginians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Jefferson, at the time, was Vice-President but that is till an inferior position to Adams. The DRP believed in “power to the people” while the Federalists thought that a strong national government was needed to help our country. But both side agreed on one thing, America was a free land. It was a place for people of all kinds to live. This was an ideal home for freedom seeking immigrants, especially the French.
     
“Hey Gabriel, the boat is docking! We must be ready to get off when it reaches the pier.” I yelled into the steerage cabin. “We’re finally in America!”
Hi, my name is Jacque Savoie. I’m a Frenchman. My wife and I are going to start a new life here in the United States of America. We are searching for a land where we can be free, away from the tyrant king of France. In this land we will be granted the right to vote and to even run for a position in government! Our voyage across the Atlantic Ocean was long, tiring, and really bad too but I think that it was worth it.
Our boat has landed in Raleigh, Virginia in the month of June and from here we will start our journey. The summer weather is in our favor. I heard that a guy named Thomas Jefferson is a man who can help us get our citizenship and that he also approves of a people run government. He is the Vice President but some say he used to be a commoner, form right here in Virginia. Anyway, tomorrow my wife and I are going to the Town Hall to legalize our citizen ship. I am going to become a citizen!
I arrived at the Raleigh Town Hall yesterday at approximately 4:00 p.m. My wife and I approached the front office, with all of our paperwork filled out, and asked for our citizenship. The man looked up and laughed.

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I asked again in a gentile voice, “Can we please be initiated into the USA.” He replied this time with a grunt. I asked done last time this time I raised my voice to almost a yell! He simply said no. When I asked why he handed me a sheet. It read:
          Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones,
     I am sorry to inform you that your son has died while fighting for his country…...     
He took the paper back and handed me another. “Sorry about that, wrong letter.”
In recent months, the US National Congress has passed three new laws labeled the Alien and Sedition Acts. By these laws you are not permitted to become a US citizen at this time.
The three laws state:
1. An immigrant may not become a US citizen immediately after arrival. He must wait a substantial amount of time before even applying for citizenship.
2. The President has the power to deport any foreigner who looks suspicious and might cause danger.
3. Anyone who is guilty of sedition (speaking out against the country and government) can be find or sent to prison
     Devastated by this, I tore up the papers and threw them on the ground. And just for the affect, I stomped on them. I was so furious! But when I started to calm down, I realized that I could do nothing since I wasn’t even a citizen. I guess I, as well as other immigrants, have no hope for becoming a US citizen.

Many immigrants shared the same thoughts as Jacque. This was until the election of 1800. In this election the DRP showed off their power. They won both the Presidential and the VP position as well. The President was none other than Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest leaders this country ever had. At last, the DRP had power.


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