May 18, 2021

Immigrant. Citizen. A Voice for True Freedom. – with Alma Rivera [Ep. 72]

Immigrant. Citizen. A Voice for True Freedom. – with Alma Rivera [Ep. 72]

Millions of people have chosen to legally immigrate to America, and our nation is enriched through their unique contributions. Many have fled oppressive regimes or conditions of poverty to reach our borders in search of freedom and their American Dream. What do legal immigrants think about what is happening with current immigration policies, economic policies, and the erosion of our Constitutional rights? What recommendations would they give native-born citizens, business leaders, and elected officials to preserve freedom for all?  Alma Rivera is a Mexican born singer, evangelist, and enthusiastic patriot who is celebrating her new citizenship rights as an American. She shares with Linda her love for our country, and what she believes is the source of true freedom for people everywhere. 

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Linda J Hansen: Thank you for joining us today.  My guest today is Alma Rivera.   Alma is an internationally claimed singer and speaker, evangelist and ordained minister.  Alma was born in Mexico City, where she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior at the age of eleven.  She now travels around the world sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She has performed and shared the Gospel in Times Square in New York multiple times, the most recent being reported by the Christian Post, a news website averaging ten million visits per month.  She’s been featured on many networks like TBN, TBN SALSA, TBN AFRICA, CBN and CLUB 700, where she gives her powerful testimony as how she was kidnapped in Mexico at gunpoint.  She testified to her assailants the love of Christ and that they could change if they chose to.  She was released six hours later unharmed.  


I recently became acquainted with Alma after I learned of her joy in becoming a U.S. citizen.  Her love for God, her love for people and her love of country, both her new country America and her home country of Mexico drew me to her.  Her insights as an immigrant, a new citizen and as an international performer add wisdom to all we are experiencing in America today.   


Thank you for being here, Alma.  Thank you.  Welcome.


Alma Rivera:  Thank you so much, Linda, for having me.  It is such a privilege.  I am very excited to connect with you.


Linda: Ahh, it’s great and for our listeners, we actually connected through social media. You had posted your celebration of becoming a U.S. citizen and there was just something in your eyes that drew me to you.  Your expression and the words you wrote about the joy of becoming a citizen really moved my heart and I wanted to reach out to you and get some perspectives.  So you were raised in Mexico?  Correct?


Alma: Correct.  Yes, I was born in Mexico City and I lived there almost, yeah, a lot of my life there, until I got married with an American guy.  His name is Richard.  He’s a veteran and he served in the Navy and then I always said that when I got married to him, he imported me to America. (Both laugh)


Linda: That’s beautiful.  And I know from speaking before the interview, you had no intension of moving to America or becoming an American citizen.  You loved your life in Mexico.  You didn’t really even realize the difference that would occur in lifestyle or opportunity from the two countries.  Can you tell us a little bit about the difference in opportunity and freedom for those living in Mexico versus those living in America?


Alma: Sure.  I never had in my mind, as I mentioned to you, to move to America.  I was like just comfortable in Mexico, you know, eating my tacos (chuckling) and working and doing what I…I was a business women in Mexico, too.  So I was just happy and when I met my husband I was like, I don’t know, I don’t know if I have to move to America and then I felt in me like God was telling me, “It’s time to move.  It’s time go and yeah, you’re going to leave, left behind everything in Mexico and new culture, new everything.”  And I was like…and it’s very interesting in that in Mexico I was traveling in Mexico, South America and everything.  You know, I was a singer.  I’m a singer and performing and singing in all Latin America and Mexico in Spanish.  So I said, “Well…” When I met my husband, he didn’t speak Spanish.  I didn’t speak English.  That’s something very funny.  We were communicating with Google Translate. (Linda laughing) That was crazy.  


So anyway, moving forward a little bit, so I said, “Okay, so I’ve got to move and that’s it.  I’ve got to just forget about what I was doing in Mexico.  I’m just going to forget about that I was serving full time ministry.  That’s it.  Now I’m going to be a wife, a housewife because I don’t speak English.  That’s it.  That time is finished for me and that’s it.”  


But God has another plan completely different than the plan that I had.  So when I arrived here and I started doing my thing as a housewife, we connect with this lady that I mentioned to you in the church.  That was very funny.  She asked me, so she goes, she’s part of the staff in the church, and so she goes, “Alma, what did you do for living in Mexico, back in Mexico?”  And I’m like, “Oh, I’m a singer.”  “Oh, you are a singer.”  And I said, “Yeah.”  She goes, “Can you do an [unintelligible {6:21}]?”  And I’m like, “No, no, no, no.  I don’t speak English.”  That was my thing, very bad English, like terrible.  My husband will tell he has to be in the back of me all the time with me just to try, “Please do not say something wrong.  Just come down.”  So he was helping me a lot.  Since that time, I started singing in the church was like 3000 people.  I sang in Spanish.  I used a translator, a guy, right? I started to do my thing and then after that they had me as a guest.  I sang as a guest for the three services.  TBN saw it and I got invited on TBN right away, like, “We want you on TBN.”  But I’m like, “I don’t speak English.  How are we going to do this?”  


So the difference between Mexico and here, I accomplished so much more than I would in Mexico.   In Mexico I was limited.  I was doing my thing with just my language in Spanish, but God when He brought me here, because I believe it was God who brought me into this beautiful, free America that I’m enjoying so much.  He brought me here to accomplish my purpose and I learned the language.  You can tell I have an accent.  I still have it, the accent, but America embraced me with all my accent.  (Laughs)


Linda: That’s beautiful.


Alma: (Laughing) They embraced me and I feel the freedom, the liberty.  I was sharing with you, in Mexico—this is very, very important that the listeners listen to what happened to me in Mexico—they invited me to go and preach into the mountains in Mexico and the religion there is very intense in the mountains.  So they invited me and we didn’t have the liberty to preach so we have to hide the Bibles, or my Bible, inside my clothes, my clothes because if they knew that we were there, they were about to kill us and they were guarding the entrance from the town 24/7.  They were taking turns 24/7 so they know to say alleluia, because they call us the alleluias, “The alleluias are coming.” So they have the speakers in the whole town so we hear that, and then we pack our Bibles inside the clothes and then we just went and go and preach to the mountains. 


So I was experiencing that type of persecution in Mexico.  So when I arrived here and just to have the opportunity to sing in Times Square, because I performed in Times Square here in New York City, or to sing in the parks.  Right now with the 2020 pandemic, they’re trying to take your rights away from you, right? So I have to figure out what I am going to do to keep sharing the Gospel and sharing the hope.  People they need hope.  So I went into the parks.  I went into the parking lots.  I went into Manhattan Village.  I went into the projects with my speaker.  I was crushing Trump rallies.  Yes, and I’m saying it, yes.  I did it and I compared those Trump rallies to worship events and it was amazing.  So I really value the liberty and the freedom that America has.


Linda: Well, that is really beautiful.  I know that because you saw that difference and you value that freedom and liberty, you have chosen to step into the political realm.  I know your husband is in business.  You have a business with your performing everything.  So you’re business owners yet you are involved in ministry.  It’s just beautiful, but you have spoken at a lot of political events and you’ve been a very outspoken defender of liberty and freedom for America, this country that you grew to love.  If you, well you and I talked before about how so many people that emigrate here from other countries, especially those who become citizens legally and they come through the legal process and they learn about our nation and our nation’s history, they become so appreciative and such patriotic citizens.  What would you tell the American citizens who maybe grew up here and are taking their freedom for granted?


Alma: Wow! To wake up and take a stand, take a stand.  We need to take a stand.  We have a voice.  That is, you know you’re right.  You have the freedom of speech and unfortunately, this administration is taking away our freedoms.  They are trying to control, taking away our guns, what they are trying to do with the abortion.  They are pro-abortion, anti-family, like they don’t want…the nuclear family is man and woman— marriage.  They’re trying to take away and do something different, now the open borders, completely open.  It’s like somebody coming into your house and saying, “Hey, listen, you don’t know me but I’m going to go into your kitchen and open the frig and I’m going to make myself a sandwich, and I don’t care if you live here.”  And this is what is happening with the open borders and it is so…and I’ve got to say it.  Listen; if I was loud when I was a permanent resident, now that I am a citizen, I’m going to be louder.  The only thing that I’m going to say is so hypocritical, right?  


Linda: Yes, that’s the right word.  


Alma: It’s hipocrita.  I’m saying it in Spanish.  So right now, this administration has a fence around the Capitol so that is not a free place for the people as citizens to go there. The White House is completely fenced off.  What is that?  And now they are complaining and now saying, “We aren’t protected.”  Protected from who or what?  And so they have open borders.  That’s what we need to be protected.  Because you don’t know what kind of…who are coming.  They are catching a lot of criminals coming into the borders.  I lived in the border.  I lived in McAllen, Texas, for two years, so I saw what is going on there.  I saw women, a pregnant women getting, crossing the border and have the babies in McAllen to have the benefits.  I saw that.  So I went through that.  I am Mexican and I am for the wall completely for protection.  What this administration is doing unfortunately…


Linda: Well, you brought up a good point.  I loved it the way you said it.  The fact that we basically have no borders, it’s like saying to people, “Come into our house anytime.”  So often people who are against borders or a border wall or any kind of border limitation on immigration or anything, they feel like everybody should just come in, but it’s just not possible.  It’s just not reasonable.  Oftentimes those are the people that are guarded by fences or private security.  The very same people who say no wall at the border are guarded with a wall or they have there, as I said, private security, but they want to defund police or take away our ability to defend ourselves through our Second Amendment rights.  And so this hypocrisy, like you mentioned, is so rampant now. 


The fact that you are speaking up through your music, through your voice, this is beautiful.  I thank you for speaking up as a business woman, as an entertainer, as a Christian who is speaking up.  I know on your website, it says, “Join us.  I will not be silent.”  I love that.  You say, “I will not be silent.”  We’ll give it at the end, but right now, could you give your website address so people could hear your music, follow what you do and be able to become engaged in what it is you are trying to do to help America and to promote truth and freedom around the world.


Alma: Yes, it’s  Music by Alma, Alma you spell it A-L-M-A.  Easy. Yeah, and I will not by silent and it’s why I started to doing it here. Because as a person who travels all the time, so what happened, the borders closed and believe me, you know that, whatever America does the whole world is going to follow.  So if America is, you know, because what they are trying to do is bring so much fear, too much fear.  Fear paralyzes you.  So obviously all my bookings, all everything completely stopped.  But you know what, I would not be silent.  You think that you are going to stop me, and I’m like, “No way.”  


So I grabbed my speaker.  I have sponsors, these guys from [unintelligible {15:15}].  They’re amazing, John and Lisa.  They are amazing people.  They say, “We’re going to sponsor you.”  They bought the whole equipment.  So they have a pickup truck.  So we went there to the parks, to the parking lots, to the villages, to the condominiums, wherever, because I said, “Okay, so you are trying to stop me.  I have the liberty.  I live in a free America, so I’m going to go and do it and do my thing.” 


I had antifa; I had BLM literally dissing me, in a way persecution, when I sang outside of the White House, when I was doing my worship.  Because I believe your worship is your weapon.  When you worship God it is something that’s going to shift the atmosphere.  And it was a lot happening right there in the day that I went.  I went a couple of times.  One of the days that I went was the fourth day, in November.  So I was singing there and I have antifa taking pictures of me with a flash in my face just to try to intimidate me.  But I’m like, “Oh really, you don’t know who you are messing with.  It’s more powerful the one who is in me than who is in you.”  And I have the authority so I was singing, “Your name is a strong and mighty tower,” in their faces.  They were backing off, backing off.  I had BLM smoking pot in front of my face.  I was, “Oh my gosh, these people are smoking pot. I’m going to be high now.  Are you kidding me?”  (Both laughing)


Linda: And the fact that you are brave enough to allow yourself to be confronted like that.  So many people now whether it is a business owner or a parent trying to come up against a school board that’s allowing critical race theory or 1619 Project or some of these sexual curriculums that are really exposing young people to things way too early.  You know parents are rising up and I think your example and the example of others who are speaking up without fear.  You know fear, like you said, it paralyzes people.  That is exactly what those who want control have tried to do.  


Even in…for those who maybe have never heard of this, but if you go to Project Veritas,  they’ve done a lot of absolutely great undercover work getting to the heart of the matter and how people are actually trying to distort truth and to control the narrative in the media and things.  They have media personnel saying, “Fear is what sells.”  So they really wanted to promote fear and this is why on TV you always see these numbers of the Covid constantly so people just always have it in their mind and fear.  But fear does not come from God.  So whether we are a business owner or an average person, a grandparent, whether we’re young or we’re old, we don’t have to succumb to fear.  Those of us who have Christ in us, we have like you said, the power that is greater than the power of darkness or the power of fear.  


On top of this we have an amazing Constitution.  For everyone, we need to defend that Constitution.  Like you said, “As America goes, so goes the rest of the world.”  You and I were talking about this before that if we don’t have freedom in America, if we don’t have freedom to create wealth, if we don’t have freedom to be philanthropists, so many orphanages, hospitals, domestic abuse shelters, schools, food programs, so many things would not happen because so often it’s Christians or just generous individuals who have created wealth and choose to share.  But if we can’t do that, if we are a socialist or communist nation, we can’t create that wealth and so the whole world suffers. And when we have the freedom to share our faith and we have the freedom to conduct our businesses in a manner worthy of the Gospel, in a manner that really lifts up and helps elevate our employees and those we work with, this helps everyone.


Alma:  It helps everyone.  It’s important for us to take, as a church as Christians, to take a stand.


Linda: Yes


Alma: And say, “No more.  No more.”  And you’ve got to do it locally in your communities.  So research, search who’s going to be the Congressmen, the people in your district.  You need to search and reach who is pro-life, pro-marriage.  So what you believe really, really goes for what he is going for.  So it’s very, very important for us to take a stand and to do our own duty, to do our own homework because we just … Another thing that’s very important in that is that people don’t rely on the media, on the news.  They’re going to bring the lies and that is the goal. This is the agenda for this administration.  You’ve seen the media manipulate the truth and to bring the truth, so do your own homework.  It’s what I’ve been doing with my husband and I.  So that’s why I have the courage and I’ve been bold, because you know what, you are not taking away my freedoms.  You are not taking away my freedom of speech.  You are trying to take away my freedom of getting together because now the churches have closed.  What is happening, they just put in jail in Canada this pastor.


Linda: Yes, for our listeners who may listen to this at another time, we’re recording this in May of 2021 and just recently there was a pastor, I’m sure the video went viral.  He was literally bodily carried away and dragged through the streets basically, in Canada, for having a worship service.  These things are happening all over the world and in some places in America.  You mentioned some places here in America before we were recording.  These are things we have to speak up against.  In America we’ve been free to have the freedom of religion.  We’ve had the freedom of speech.  We’ve had the freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, all of that.  And if we look, all of it is being oppressed.  They are using the Covid pandemic to manipulate and to control.  I’ve said often on my podcast, I’m certainly not disputing the fact that Covid is a real thing.  I know people who have passed away from it, dear friends.  I know people who have been ill from it and so it is a real thing, but so are many other illnesses or many other crises that we face as a nation and we have never destroyed freedom and liberty in our land like this.  We have just sat back and been too comfortable, shall we say, in our nation and people have been too unaware of what’s really happening.  


You said before that you never dreamt that you’d be involved in politics, but you find yourself involved in politics all the time now and this is great.  You mentioned being involved locally and create change and have a voice within the political structure of your local community.  People are attending school board meetings and talking about what they want in curriculum.  People are starting to attend county board meetings and city council meetings.  These things are important.  Democracy dies in darkness.  Those who want to hide truth; they do not want to be exposed.  So what we need to do is continue to expose truth and truth will reign.  Truth will reign.  People will see.  We just need to keep defending freedom and defending truth.  


And for listeners, a lot of what I do with Prosperity 101 is really helping employers to educate employees and really talking about how that connection is so critical.  But employers if you’re listening, it’s just simple.  It’s just talking about basic freedoms.  Simply put a copy of the Bill of Rights up on the walk next to the time clock so people are reminded of their freedoms and ask them, “Is the person you are voting for going to defend your rights?  Just think about that before you go to vote.”  No one’s telling someone how to vote, but just educating and helping people understand.  So many people have never read the Constitution.  They’ve never read any of our founding documents and they just get sold a lie about what our country was founded on.  I often say too, if it’s so racist and discriminatory, why are millions of people coming here from all over the world for generations now?


Alma: If this country, like the way the narrative, they say this country is so racist and everything, how in the world, okay, how in the world, are a lot of people from all over the world, they want to come here, into a racist country?  How come?  So and then in my own experience, because they call us a minority, I’m not a minority, okay.  I’m a citizen.  So don’t call me like that because I am not.  They are trying to put me on like attack, you know, and so I can walk with that chip in my shoulder, like, “Oh, yeah, minority you know, I am Mexican.”  No, no, no, no….you know what, I came here.   I barely spoke English at that time and I worked hard to learn the language.  I am a successful person now and I am Mexican, now an American citizen.  But America gave me the opportunity. America embraced me.  America, the people in America, like you, Linda, you embraced me.  I felt love.  I felt a hope.  I felt like if I made a mistake with my bad, bad English, you know, people they were so nice and so patient with me.  So that is just garbage.  I’m sorry.  I’ll just say it. It’s garbage.  The whole narrative with the whole racist card, that this people they’re trying to do.  What this people are trying to do, they’re trying to segregate in different groups because that is the goal for Marxist thinking.  Marxist, they think that way so they can put you and put you in different groups, “Oh, you are here and you are here and you are here.  Now we can control you better.”  No, we are all Americans.  We are all Americans.  I never, I never, never in Mexico, okay, I never saw like, “Oh you are this color.  You are that color.”  I never.  I am like, what do you call it, color blind.  


Linda: Right.  I grew up.  Obviously the Civil Rights era, everything, it was just amazing to watch that all happen and I was raised to never discriminate.  It does not even occur to me to think of someone’s color.  It’s not about color; it’s about character. And now they’re trying to segregate again.  What a disservice we’re doing to young children and creating victims and this victim mentality.  I know as I’ve talked to employers and I’ve talked to educators, there is so much of this victim mentality.  Congratulations to you for coming in and not adopting that, not swallowing that lie because, (Alma laughing) one thing I’ve said often on the podcast, America is so amazing because it provides equal opportunity.


Alma: Absolutely.


Linda: It does not guarantee equal outcome.  It provides equal opportunity.  Anybody can rise in America.   People have the most amazing stories, from “rags to riches” stories, that have been from every country on the globe, people who have made a beautiful life in America for themselves and their family and contributed to American society.   That’s not something possible in all of the other countries of the world.  In some places it might be a little more possible, but America is that place for opportunity.  But now the administration and other voices, they want it to be equal outcome.  You know everybody has to be equal.  We see that schools are saying they can’t have the gifted and talented programs because it’s favoring a race that might do better.  It’s like, “No, we don’t want to dumb down, we want to raise up.”


Alma: Absolutely.


Linda: We help bring people up; we don’t bring others down.  It’s equal opportunity, not equal outcome.  And so we just want to really protect that equal opportunity to protect that freedom of speech, religion, assembly, economic opportunity, and protect the right for families to raise their children as they see fit.   It’s an amazing time we’re in now, because so many people like you, you’ve said you never once thought you would be involved in politics, but then as before you became a citizen you were becoming more aware and more involved, and now that you are a citizen, now you’re going to be more involved.  And that’s great.  We need your voice because so many American citizens who grew up taking this freedom for granted need to be awakened to what is actually happening.


Alma:  And be bold and do not allow fear to control you.  Do not allow fear because fear …what people, what are they going to think?  Oh, my gosh, my friends…you know what, right now is a time that you need to take a stand and be bold and be bold as a church  because what we are seeing right now in Canada and it’s our neighbor.  It’s very close to us.  We are not talking about what is happening overseas.  It’s right here.  For me it is very close.  I’m in New York, right? And they are doing that.  If we are not taking a stand, it’s going to happen here in America.  I’m sorry.  You know they are trying to take away our freedoms to be free to assembly.  They are closing the churches.  They close the churches.  You don’t have the right.  I have the right to assembly; it is what the Constitution says.  It’s what it says, and I have the right to do it.  So while you are taking away my rights… so they are starting with one thing and another thing and another thing—now with the masks, now with the whole thing with the vaccine.  Oh no, you have the vaccine, they were saying, now you need to keep wearing the mask.  So what is the point?  What is the point to have a vaccine? Because you want to keep me silent, that’s why.  That’s why you want for me to wear a mask. [Crosstalk {30:00}]


Linda: And they are using a lot of these things to divide people.  It’s dividing families.  It’s dividing friends.  It’s dividing workplaces.  It’s dividing communities and you know, “Divided we fall, united we stand.”  And so we can’t allow these divisions to occur.  The whole thing about the masks and the vaccine, I know my senator, Ron Johnson, just recently came under fire from the left, I should say, because he said that people should really investigate whether or not they want to take the vaccine. He had Covid and his antibodies proved to higher than someone else—I can’t remember if it was a colleague or not—proved to be higher than that of someone who had the vaccine, so why should he get the vaccine?  He’s already immune.  And I really respect him for standing up and going against the narrative and saying not everybody needs the vaccine.  This is not…we’ve never done this in America ever before.  Why?  Why are we doing this?  So let’s look beyond and say, “Is it really about the vaccine?  Is it really about Covid?  Or is it about money and control and power?”


Alma: And power.  Yeah.  Absolutely.  Money and power and control is what they are trying to do with a vaccine passport now.  How in the world?  That is terrible.  That is very bad.  They are trying to take away your freedom to think and make a decision for yourself.  So I don’t need a babysitter.  I am a person who can think by myself and make a choice and make my own decision.  I live in a free country.  That’s it.  It’s what can I say.  (Laughs)


Linda: And that’s beautiful.  Our time is actually coming to a close, but that’s a great closing statement, shall I say.  You live in a free country.  They know you and I are united in our desire to protect that free country and to help people to have the freedom of Christ in their lives.  I’ve always said my goal is to know Christ and make him known and to promote liberty and freedom throughout the land.  So my podcast and my Prosperity 101 materials aren’t necessarily Christian, shall we say, but I know that when there is better communication in the workplace or in the family, the Gospel is more free to be shared and people are more open.  That’s a beautiful unifier is the Gospel of Christ.


Alma: The only hope that you can have in these crazy times is Jesus, to have a relationship with Him, no religion because a religion can’t set you free.  The only one who can set you free is Jesus.  So when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your whole life is going to change.  If you have a lot of questions about what is going on, fear and etc., the only answer is when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and he’s going to transform your life and you’d going to be protected.


Linda: That’s amazing.  Well, that’s beautiful.  How could people reach you?  Could you give your website again?


Alma: Yes, you can go to, A-L-M-A, Alma, like that, dot com.  And then you can go to Instagram.  You can follow me on Instagram.  You can see all the things that I will not be silent. We are doing it right there.  So you can take a look and what I did in the past.  I traveled overseas and doing women’s conferences in English and everything.  You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook—all the social media.


Linda: Well, that’s wonderful.  Well, thank you for spending time with us today and thank you for encouraging employers and employees and all citizens to not only stand up for their constitutional freedoms, but to stand up for their religious freedoms.  Thank you, this immigrant voice is so important because you bring a unique perspective that is really similar to so many immigrants who come to this country.  We’re so glad you’re here.  Thank you for choosing a legal path to immigration.  America opens our arms wide to immigrants and we are so thankful for immigrants who chose to come here and become a legal part of society and add your beauty and your gifts to the fabric of our nation.  So thank you.


Alma: Thank you so much.