Immigrate to be Free
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Sherronna Bishop: All right. Today on America's Mom, proud to be an American, Salomi Gonzalez joins us running for Congress. George Santos out of New York, a particularly dumb moment with Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago. And we take a look back on one of the special moments with our incredible Americans here on America's Mom.
Sherronna Bishop: Welcome back to America's Mom. You're tired, and you're hungry, you're poor. It's been the anthem of America since our founding. We've embraced people from all over this world. And the one thing we would have in common is we could all become Americans. I can't go to Italy and become Italian, but Italians can come to America and join in this idea of what it is to live the American dream. So many who are coming here illegally will never experience anything more than the black market version. They won't be able to enter into our system, into our voting, into our laws, come out of the darkness, and really play an active role in our community to support and defend the very things that make America so great. It's more important now than ever that we shine a light on those who are doing things right, who have come here to America because they love the dream. They want to protect the reality that America is the most prosperous and opportunity-driven country in the entire world. People come here all the time because they know that anything they want to do, have, or be is possible and attainable in this country. America. So today, as we get into our show, I'm excited and inspired to share with you some really impactful immigrants who have made their lives and contributed so much because they have followed the rules and been a part of the process, and they are changing America for the better.
Sherronna Bishop: Our next guest today is with joining us from Long Island, New York. He actually is running for Congress right now and will even be representing the Bronx. I can't even believe that the Bronx, we actually get to talk about that. He is such a gem, and I had a great opportunity to meet him directly. He is an America First candidate, and I can't wait for all of you to hear his story. George Santos is running for Congress in the third district. Thank you so much for being with us on America's Mom. Tell our people about you. I fell in love with you right away—self-proclaimed mama's boy, which I love as America's Mom. You know, that was the right card to play there. Tell us about you. And there's a really interesting story about you that our viewers need to hear today. But let's hear your back story. Your parents were immigrants here to America. Pick up from there.
George Santos: Sure. And I thank you for having me. So we are the first generation born Americans to immigrant parents who migrated here legally and live the American dream. As both my parents would say, you and your sister are our American dream. This is exactly what this country is about. We came here with hopes and dreams. We might not have accomplished all of them, but you guys are accomplishing them. And we live vicariously through you. And, you know, it's a big responsibility because we need to make them proud. I think every child desires to make their parents proud, but especially immigrant parents, they just sacrificed so much so that we're given these opportunities. So with that, look, we can talk about elections all day long and politics all day long and how I love this country.
Sherronna Bishop: I want to be with you because you're right. You've risen to the occasion. You have led an incredible life in the private sector before ever jumping into politics. And then you decided to run for Congress, and something really strange happened. So take us up there.
George Santos: 13 years in the private sector, not the other way around. Right. I didn't go self-serve in politics and then go to the private sector.
Sherronna Bishop: I thank you for that.
George Santos: Yeah, I learned something, so I can apply it to government and be a productive member of the government.
Sherronna Bishop: What an idea.
George Santos: What a concept. Right. But so, in 2020, I ran for the same seat. I had a big awakening in mid-2019, AOC and the rise of the squad and socialism and Marxism and, and this notion of anti-Americanism going on in our country, even though we had President Trump, who was a great savior for this country in the White House, we still had this woke aggressive agenda coming out of D.C. in the House of Representatives. So I said, I'm jumping in the race. So I jumped in the race on election night. I was the underdog. I was outspent 7 to 1. My opponent had spent 7 to 1. I had only $500,000, and he had $3.5 million. I gave him the run for his money. Why? On election night, I was up 5800 votes. The day after Election Day, the tardy presents came in, and once those were all in, I was 10,842 votes ahead. This is an incumbent sitting member of the Ways and Means Committee in Washington, a very powerful Democrat with almost 22 years of political experience. And here I am, the newcomer giving him a run for his money. So I was very happy with that. 31 years old.
Sherronna Bishop: Amazing and very telling. I think people are tired in New York. We always think that you guys are just like these left-wing crazy Democrats, but you're really not. So he probably underestimated you?
George Santos: Absolutely. I was ignored the entire campaign, Sherronna. And nobody thought, like, who is this kid? Nobody knows his name. Nobody cares. I mean, there are a lot of stories I can say, but I don't think the language is fair or appropriate.
Sherronna Bishop: I'm sure they had a lot to say about you.
George Santos: I'll spare your producers from having to believe me, and I don't think it's good luck. But long story short, we get elected. I get invited to go to Washington, D.C., and I'm going to share something with your viewers that I like sharing a lot, which is my badge. This was my member-elect badge. I was given credentials to become the new member of Congress for the 117th Congress of the New York State District. And, you know, to hold this, it makes me a little emotional because this little thing here means so much for the kid of immigrant parents who fought so hard to be in this country. That gives us an opportunity. And we were there, and I was living this, oh, my God, I'm going to fight for this country. I'm going to give it all. And I showed up ready. I had bills drafted. I showed up so prepared. People were like, George, you showed up with bills. We just showed up here trying to figure out what we're going to do. I was just so ready to do the job. And unfortunately, Governor Cuomo, then America's most disgraced governor at this point.
Sherronna Bishop: I would add most hated governor as well.
George Santos: But that, too, kept changing the rules. It's COVID. They're capitalizing on COVID. This is absolutely about to happen. You're about to lose a member of Congress to a newcomer guy like me. So they kept changing the rules, and the ballots were supposed to be in by Election Day, and they were supposed to be posted by the third and in before the 10th. That became the 12th, and then that became the 14th. When I left orientation, there were about 23,000 absentee ballots, which is a normal volume of absentees even for a non-pandemic year. Right. We're a very pro-military district. Lots of members of the armed services in New York's third district. So it's very common to have large volumes of people. And we're really a young community with a lot of college kids outside of the district, so voting by absentee as well. So it's a normal following. We get about 20 to 25 every election year, an absentee for those who have valid excuses. So we look at that and say, well, he needs to win two-thirds of these ballots. And the majority of these ballots were military. And the military had been trending a very specific way on every other race across the country. So we said this is a big mountain for them to climb. We got it in the bag. Let's go to orientation. Put this around my neck. I put this badge around my neck, and it gives me the chills because I have this awesome responsibility to represent 700,000 people who actually went out and voted, you know.
Sherronna Bishop: Wow.
George Santos: Unfortunately, the governor changed the rules. And by the time all the rule changing happened after Election Day, 70,000 more absentee ballots were brought into the mix, putting the absentee ballots at 93,000.
Sherronna Bishop: That would be unheard of.
George Santos: It's a record high. But we saw that across a lot of New York races. Right. And you can't overcome those numbers. I'm an economist. You don't need to be the brightest of people to understand that if your lead is 10,000, but there are 90,000 up for grabs, the odds are pretty stiff. And, you know, and after being in orientation for two weeks, Sherronna, I was told, hey, sorry, buddy. Gotcha. You got to go back home.
Sherronna Bishop: Unbelievable. One thing that stands out to me. You're an economist, and there are no economists in the U.S. Congress right now.
George Santos: AOC (Laughs).
Does not count. There are no real economists in the U.S. Congress right now. You were young, conservative, well-liked, and supported by your community. We get an additional 70,000 absentee ballots that are absolutely out of the normal, out of the usual range, and all of a sudden, your seat is taken from you.
George Santos: You nailed it all and given it to a liberal Democrat who says he's a proud honorary member of the squad. So I pledged, and I pledged everybody who supported me last year: over 200 volunteers, Sherronna. I ran a people's campaign. It wasn't a money grab. It was a people's campaign. And I'm proud to say that I ran with the people because I am part of the people. And it makes me emotional because I represent and I want to represent all those stories of struggles that we have gone through, through the pandemic and before, and day-to-day issues we have. And I pledged that I would run again and stuck to that pledge. And this is a very, very stressful thing to do is running for office. I don't wish it upon an enemy. If you're not cut for this, don't do it. It is not easy. It may look glamorous, but it's not.
Sherronna Bishop: You are doing an incredible job. You're running again. We want everyone to go to your website to support you and encourage you. We promised we would bring these great conservative America first candidates. And George, that is definitely you. How can our people find you, support you, and learn more about your platform?
George Santos: Well, they can start off by going to georgeforny.com, and that's George-F-O-R-N-Y.com, and you'll get to read about me. You'll see my bio and stuff. And you can also access all social media, which is Santos for Congress. I'm on Twitter, Instagram, and Truth Social, which are awesome. We get to see the president talk there quite often now, and I'm like, Oh my God, he has an opinion so that we can see it.
George Santos: So it's great. It's least it's somewhere. But I'm always out there, and I'm always going to be unapologetically in love with our country. And America will always come first. It doesn't have to be alone, but we are the priority, and we need to start treating our great nation and our great citizens as the number one priority in Congress and not these third party nations. We are still a sovereign nation.
Sherronna Bishop: That's right, George. You are the American dream. Your mother would be so proud of you. Thank you for being on America's Mom today. And I look forward to catching up with you a little later down the road. Thank you so much for being with us.
George Santos: Thank you.
The left is always taking the higher ground, aren't they? Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot this week said that she would be calling American citizens to take up arms if the leaking of Roe vs. Wade should come to pass. If we overturn abortion, she is calling on Americans to actually take up arms. Against who? The Supreme Court? After doxing each member of our Supreme Court of the United States of America. Lori Lightfoot is unapologetic. What is up with that? Take a look.
Unidentified Individuals (Video Clip): My body, my choice. My body, my choice. (chanting)
Mayor Lori Lightfoot: Time for us to rally together. And make sure that we're united and not turning back the clock on women's lives.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Video Clip): The city of Chicago will continue to take a comprehensive approach to reproductive justice.
Raymond Lopez (Video Clip): She's been gaslighting people for two years, and what we've seen as of late is that now she's turning to the national issue of a possible decision about abortion rights, which is in no way, shape or form under attack in the state of Illinois. It is the law in Illinois. It is legal in Chicago. But she wants to deflect what's going on at the federal level in the hopes that, as you said, everyone will ignore her failures locally.
Sherronna Bishop: Lori Lightfoot swears that she's just protecting the LBGTQ radical sect as she promotes this idea of physical violence. Should Roe vs. Wade be overturned? She insists that next will be the rights of the radical LBGTQ organizations. Well, Lori, it's a dangerous world when our elected officials are actually asking the people to physically take up arms and actually enact violence against their neighbors. What is up with that?
Sherronna Bishop: I'm so excited that we have a special guest with us today. Salomi Gonzalez became an American citizen and has used the authority of being an American to make incredible progress in her community, stand up for her children, and to fight for what's right. And she's going to take us through this incredible journey she has been on, why she came to America. What did she leave behind, and what has this meant for her family? Salome, thank you so much for being with us today on America's Mom. I'm so excited to introduce you to everybody and for them to know who you are and what you have done and accomplished being an American citizen. Now walk us through your journey. Where did you come from, and how did you come to the States?
Salomi Gonzalez: Hello, my name is Salomi Gonzalez. I was born in Belize, Central America. I've been in the United States for 36 years. And I love this country because when I learned the Constitution of the USA, it gives us rights and freedoms, which in my country right now, there are no rights and there's no freedom. And my mother brought me when I was 15 years old to better myself. And I love this community. I love being in the United States. I think that it has given me a lot of opportunities to be here. I stand for myself and my children. I respect the Constitution of the United States, and I love the American flag.
Sherronna Bishop: All right, Salomi. Walk us through the process of becoming a citizen. So you came here when you were 15 years old. Your mom knew this was the way you were going to have a better life. And in fact, your country believes where you came from. They've been on total lockdown. It's been absolutely like a communist takeover there in your home country. And so, truly being in the United States is freedom. Walk us through the process and what happens when you get your citizenship?
Salomi Gonzalez: So it's a process. It's money you have to pay to become a U.S. citizen. You have to learn the history of the United States, and you have to have a test. They ask you questions about the history of the United States. And if you don't pass the test, you don't get a certificate. We get a certificate. This is my U.S. citizenship certificate that I am so proud of and that I kept. I keep it in a safe place because every time I look at this, this is my freedom. And that's why I love America.
Sherronna Bishop: What has it been for you to know the history of America and watch Americans not defending our country? How did that make you feel? You came here. You live this incredible dream. You are a citizen now. It's amazing because anybody can come to the States and become a citizen. But I couldn't go to Belize and become a Belizean or whatever. However, you call them. But you can come to America because of this idea that all men are created equal, and you can become an American. What do you think when you look at how so many natural-born citizens don't respect the flag, don't respect the Constitution, and have little regard for our country?
Salomi Gonzalez: It's really sad. It's really sad because, for me, not an American born in America. I love this country. And there's freedom here. And I feel like if you come here, like I, I respect the United States because this is freedom. In my country, we don't have this freedom. There are only two types of people, the rich and the poor, and that's it. There's no middle class. So that's why I respect the United States. And I feel like people that live here should do more for this country, should stand up for their country and defend their rights. Their rights that they want to take away from us. And it's sad to see that.
Sherronna Bishop: You were very active during COVID defending your children. You were standing up. You were being vocal. And I don't think that people expected that. We've had a lot of conversations outside of this interview, of course, and tell the people what that experience was like for you. You know what it means to be an American. You're watching all these policies that are crippling us and taking our freedom. As you said, what happened with you and your kids?
Salomi Gonzalez: My kid's rights were violated in school. They wanted my kids to wear a mask. I was against the mask because the air we breathe is from God. And for me, it was sad to see my kids coming home. Really sad because the expression on their face would tell me that they were not happy being in school. And I stood up for them, and I went to their schools and told them, I'm taking the kids out of here, I'm withdrawing them from school because this is not right what they're doing to you, you know, to the children, this is not right. And that's what I did. And I homeschool my boys right now, and I am happy that I did that because if the kids had stayed in school, they would have had more problems, you know because I could have already seen the problems they were going through. And I just had to do it for my children, you know, and that's the rights that we have in the United States. So we can do that. We can say no and stand up for ourselves because, in my country, we have to follow the rules. That's what they say. If you don't follow the rules, you can go. You can be put in jail, and we can see what's going on here. If we don't stand up for ourselves, that's exactly what's going to happen here.
Sherronna Bishop: You know, I watched the video of your child being denied entry into the school because they would not wear a mask. Police officers were there to refuse your child entrance into a public school that you pay taxpayer dollars for. You're extremely industrious. You own several businesses. Was that reflective? Have you ever had moments recently where you're feeling like, is this the America I signed up for?
Salomi Gonzalez: Sometimes I get really sad because this is why I became a U.S. citizen to have rights in the United States, you know, and when your rights are being violated, it's sad because it's like if you don't stand up for your rights? Why are you even paying money to become a U.S. citizen? Because you do pay money to become a U.S. citizen. It's not free. You have to go through a process, you know, and some people can't afford to pay that money to become a U.S. citizen.
Sherronna Bishop: And it takes years, doesn't it? I mean, this isn't a six-month program.
Salomi Gonzalez: It was two years that it took me to become a U.S. citizen.
Sherronna Bishop: Well, you know, it is wonderful moms like you, American patriots like you, that make me so hopeful for our country and for our future. Because I know that you're going to continue to fight and stand up for what's right, we've had discussions about what it is for those who don't come here lawfully and how they are afraid to use their voice. What do you see in that community where, I call it the black market American Dream, where, yeah, you're here in America, but you don't have the fullness of the dream? You don't have the fullness of your rights and living freely out in the sun like you were saying, like, you know, the power of no. You know you can use your voice. And there's a lot of fear when people don't come here the lawful way. Can you speak to that at all?
Salomi Gonzalez: Yes, it is hard. A lot of people don't like to speak up because they're afraid of getting in trouble. You know, and sometimes it's hard to speak out because your people that know you will tell you you're doing something wrong. But when your heart tells you you're not. You have to stand up for yourself and do what's right for your family and your kids.
Sherronna Bishop: What's been the greatest experience of living in America since you became a citizen? What's that one thing that encompasses this whole experience for you?
Mayor Lori Lightfoot: I think it's freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For me, you know, I feel more vocal before when I wasn't a U.S. citizen, I couldn't speak. But now, with me being a U.S. citizen, I love this country. You know, my kids are here. And whatever I can do to help a little bit, I will do it. You know, I respect the flag. I respect the Pledge of Allegiance. And I might not have been born here, but in my heart, I am American.
Sherronna Bishop: Well, that's the gift. It's an idea. It's an idea that all men are created equally because of God. God has created us equally. And it's so important that we continue to observe that, protect that, defend it, just like you're doing. Salomi, thank you so much for being with us on America's Mom. It's been such a pleasure, and I look forward to following you on your journey as you secure your own backyard. Thank you for all that you do.
Salomi Gonzalez: Thank you. God bless you.
Sherronna Bishop: In America, when we pursue following the law, it always supports and defends our rights. It allows us to be public, be outspoken, and really challenge the status quo. This look back is an incredibly empowering opportunity for a mother in the Spanish community in the Latino community who decided to stand up and be vocal for her children. Many Latino mothers right now in America are hiding in the shadows because they have not yet been able to come out and be lawful and legal in the state that they live in. But look at the incredible power behind a legal, law-abiding, freedom-loving, truth-knowing mother.
Myrna Fletchall: For all our community in Spanish. I'm here for freedom. I come from a country where you don't have that, and I'm here now, and I'm not going to lose it. That's why I'm here because it's important for us to stand up. There is a quote that I read, and I cannot remember who wrote it, but the people who drop their liberty for safety deserve either. So you cannot drop your liberty for safety. That comes first. Liberty. So that's why I'm here.
Sherronna Bishop: Thank you for being with us today. If Myrna Fletchall does not inspire you to love America more, to stand up for her, to defend your rights, your beliefs, and your Constitution even more, what are you waiting for? Immigrants are going to save America, and mothers who are also immigrants are doing double duty for you. Thank you for being with us today. We will see you on Wednesday.