"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: Responses from My Readers

Friday, January 15, 2010

Responses from My Readers

Below are a few of the several reactions I received from my readers on many of articles. I will publish the rest in due course.

Re: “What did you Miss about America while in Nigeria?

Hello Sir,

How is Atlanta today? Hope it’s as hot as I usually like it and expect it to be this time of the year! I really enjoyed your article. Studying abroad in the UK, I find myself faced with such questions and, even though I do no tell them, the answer is: I miss everything!

I was in Atlanta for the first time last year August. I loved it so much. I was there again in June this year. Next year, I plan to move there for grad school at GA Tech. I miss everywhere from Atlantic station, to Phipps and Lenox in Buckhead as well as the pedestrian-friendly streets of the downtown, the outlet malls in Dawsonville and the one at Sugarloaf Parkway, Snellville, the lovely highways :75, 85 and my fave the 285.

Next time I’m there, which insha Allah is December, I will rent a car so I can explore the city more, especially the southern parts like Henry and Clayton counties. Do you know Fogo de Chao? It’s ma fave restaurant: they serve steak right at the top of Piedmont, is within walking distance (for me that is, being a student in England) from where I lodge. I have missed it soo much and I do hope my application to GA Tech is accepted.

Well my regards to your family and a sha ruwa lafiya, I know how difficult Ramadan is there as the sun does not set till 8.30pm. I did 5 last year over there and, boy, was it hard?

Mohammad Hafiz Bayero (mhbizzle@yahoo.co.uk)


RE: Nigerians Who Come to America to Have Babies (I)

The great debate on the reform of the American health care system has exposed the inherent weakness of the capitalist system even more than the economic crunch triggered by godless capitalist greed did.

What this means for those of us in the third world is to avoid wholesale copy of the democratic capitalist system-the crunch and now this debate, are an indictment of democracy, even as most may argue otherwise.

The ever expanding waist line of America is not welcome here. We, Africans and a good majority of third world countries, care too much for the extended family thereby dissuading us from gorging on junk food or any food for that matter while our relations sleep on empty stomachs.

One wishes the chase for the illusionary "good" American life will cease. We shall never be like them.

Goldoun, Kano, Nigeria

I just read your insightful article about Nigerians who go to America to deliver their babies. I believe in a world of inhumanity, war and terrorism, American citizenship is a very precious possession, it affords the rights that residents of other countries can only dream of particularly our long-dead Nigeria!

But, I also want to add to the fact that although most Nigerian parents wouldn’t know, the birth of their children in America may or may not make these children citizens. Section 1401 (a) of title 8 of the US Code defines a US citizen as “a person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” Birth on US soil therefore does not mean an absolute claim to citizenship, hence one Esam Fouad Hamdi (see Hamdi Vs. Rumsfeld case), who was captured as an enemy combatant during the American military operation in Afghanistan, though born in Baton Rouge, (Louisiana) by Saudi Arabian parents was considered a non-citizen by American authorities because his parents never consented to be subject to the sovereignty of the United States, or sought to settle in the United States when he was born, they all retained allegiance to Saudi Arabia.

I would like to add also that American Indians would automatically have been American citizens since they were born on what is U.S. territory. But Indians who belong to tribes were not citizens until given that status by Congress. The logic of this decision applies with equal force to visitors or aliens who remain loyal to foreign powers. The Fourteenth Amendment of the US constitution did not change this.

The extensive litigation concerning American Indians illustrates that “consent” rather than “place of birth” is what controls citizenship. Indians did not receive citizenship until conferred by congressional acts in 1887, 1901 and 1924, long after ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

It's not the physical location of birth that defines citizenship, but whether your parents are citizens, and the express or implied consent to jurisdiction of the sovereign. The facts and the law argue against American citizenship for Hamdi.

Mohammed Dahiru Aminu" (dahiru06@gmail.com)


Re: American Ponzi schemes vs. Nigerian 419 scams
Your piece with the above title was a good piece. The problem here is: don't we have an individual, media organizations or institutions that will come out and tell the Western world that "they are not holier than thou" and curtail some of their excesses in term of condemning other nations? You just presented a jaw-dropping statistics that is ordinarily unbelievable.

I never knew you were that patriotic because this is the first time I’ve read you mention the word. Maybe it’s time you write something about patriotic Nigerians just as you did with the scammers. May your pen never run dry, sir.

Mohammed Sani, Kaduna, Nigeria
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