Thursday, August 12, 2010

Citizenship and un-Americanism

It's all over the blogosphere and on cable TV "news" shows -- folks ranting and raving about illegal aliens' children who are U.S. citizens because they were born in the United States. It's an un-American rant and it's silly. Here's why.

America is the most remarkable political and economic experiment in the world. It is constantly reinventing itself and adapting to a fast-changing world.

Part of the uniqueness of America and the American experience was shaped by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Formerly, people were citizens of their countries based upon "race" or "blood" (consanguinity) or "ethnic group".

Let's start by quoting the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Here's the first sentence. Probably the first sentence for a reason, like the First Amendment was the first amendment for a reason.

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

So there are three ways to become a citizen of the United States. One, you can be born on United States "soil" (terra). Two, you can be "naturalized" through a U.S. government bureaucratic process. Three, you can become a U.S. citizen by being "born to" a U.S. citizen (consanguinity).

No longer would race or religion or ethnic group be a requirement for U.S. citizenship. It was a revolutionary break with the rest of the world and made America unique among nations.

Change the Fourteenth Amendment? Not me. I do not want to be accused of being un-American. Do you?

No comments:

Post a Comment