No, that headline is not a joke. One of the men who guarded President Lincoln was an illegal alien. There is even at least one photograph of the illegal alien in question guarding President Lincoln in the National Archives.
I must admit, every time I see people screaming about "illegal aliens" in the United States I think about that man and I laugh. You see, the man in question was a man by the name of Albert Cooper. He was born in Ireland and moved as a child, with his brothers, to Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. When the Civil War broke out, he and his brother David, traveled to Detroit, Michigan to join the Union Army. David was killed during the Civil War. Albert survived.
When President Lincoln was killed Michigan's Fifth - the most decimated of Union Troops - was chosen to be the Honor Guard. The picture below is a photograph from the National Archives. The man standing with his arms crossed on the right is Albert Cooper.
I'm certain someone is asking how I KNOW that Albert Cooper was not a US Citizen. The answer is simple.
Following the end of the Civil War, Albert Cooper went home to Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada and married Lady Margaret Owen (whose life story and history is equally interesting). From owen Sound they moved to Lakefield Township, Saginaw County Michigan and had a pile of children. One of whom was Sylvia Elora. Sylvia Elora married a man by the name of Alfred and they had eight children - 6 girls and 2 boys. My grandmother was their youngest child.
My grandmother does not appear in this family photograph taken in July of 1912 - and yet she does. She was not born until late August of 1912.
Albert Cooper and Lady Margaret Owen are in the middle row of people... Albert is the second one in on the left, Margaret is the third in from the right. My (pregnant) great grandmother is in the back row - 3rd adult from the left.
Somewhere around here (actually I know exactly where it is at) there is a photograph of my grandmother's class when they graduated from high school. Interestingly enough, my grandmother - the baby of 8 children - graduated from high school with her oldest nephew - who happens to be the infant in the back row of the photograph up there.
When people complain about "illegal aliens" and how they "take from" Americans they forget contributions such as those made by that young man who was born in Ulster and who lived in Ontario - who fought in a war that had nothing to do with his country - who watched his descendants go off to fight other US wars - who, very literally, BLED FOR this country. The blood of that particular "illegal alien" has been shed in EVERY war since the Civil War... and yet there are those who would claim his descendants are "unworthy" of being Americans JUST because he was an"illegal alien."
Funny - Albert Cooper has given MUCH MORE to the United States than most and yet he was, undeniably, an "illegal alien" until the day he died.