University of Wisconsin–Madison

America in One Day at a Time

Netflix Original Sit-com One Day at a Time features a Cuba-American family with a first-generation grandmother Nadia, a single mother Penelope, daughter Elena and son Alex. In season two episode 4 Roots, Elena tried to urge her grandmother Nadia to vote, claiming that “Voting is the single most important thing we can do as Americans.” Later the family found out that Nadia is not a US citizen and hence cannot vote. Nadia argues that being a permeant resident, she gets social security and pays taxes, the only thing she cannot do is to vote. Nadia believe that she came to the US for a better life but she was not ready to let go her Cabana roots.

Just like the discussion in the Key word essay America by Philip Nel and Nissa Paul. Even though in the essay, American was defined as people in the US who share same values such as freedom, bravery, liberty and democracy. However, whether citizenship should be of consideration is always up for debate. In the American girl book Meet Kirsten, Kirsten and her family move to America to help her Uncle’s farm searching for a better life. At Kirsten’t time, the idea of citizenship was not as rigid as it is now. Elena even worried that her grandmother Nadia would be deported even holding a green card. The two cases showed how America is an organic and fluid definition over time, hence very hard to defined.

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