Immigration remains a hot topic for much of America. Most disquieting is how much "demagoguery" has slipped into the discussion!
At the center is "birthright citizenship." Over the decades, the idea that "if you were born in the U.S., you were automatically a citizen," was strategically spawned. Yet, in returning to that 1868 Reconstruction Congress and examining the actual intentions of the authors, a different meaning becomes plainly evident.
Two groups were included. "People who had been previously engaged in involuntary servitude." And, "people born in the U.S., who held no previous status." That's it! No other groups were included. No outside circumstances were considered.
Case in point: The Native American did not gain citizenship until 1924. Case closed!
Chain Migration is a bit more subjective. Was it intended for immediate family members only? Or, were extended families afforded the same inclusion?
Herein lies part of our nation's emerging "clash of perceptions."
Two points of view: (a) Open borders, anyone can come and bring along their distant relatives. (b) We should be more selective with whom we allow into the country, because half the planet would love to be here.
Those supporting "A" are quick to call "B" supporters, "racists."
Those supporting "B" respond in saying, "we need immigrants who can immediately assimilate and contribute; not
jump on the entitlement rolls!"
In 2008, then Louisiana Senator, David Vitter introduced legislation that would base Congressional representation on "U.S. citizens and not persons." To the average American, this amounted to nothing more than "semantics." A deeper look acknowledged that if adopted, California would lose six house seats, New York two and Illinois one. Nine different states would gain seats.
What does the Constitution say?
It says "persons." Because, at the time of it's writing, there was no such thing as a U.S. Citizen. You were a citizen of your state. Many U.S. residents held citizenship in another country as recently as 1900.
Senator Vitter's proposed legislation never made it out of committee. Yet, there remains strong support for it's adoption. So strong that if advocates of an Article Five Convention were smart, they would make this measure their top initiative! I have no doubt that the necessary 34 states would vote to adopt this standard!
Perhaps this is where our immigration discussion needs to begin. The United States was always meant to be a "melting pot." Not a "salad bowl!" We are a nation of immigrants. We need immigrants. The question becomes, "do we want immigrants who want to adopt our culture?" Or, "are we looking for immigrants who want to bring their culture to our shores?"
Hence our "clash of perceptions!'
Most disturbing is how one side, when sensing that they are losing the argument, readily turns to "racism" as the true position held by the other side. This is the worst kind of demagoguery!
Our country is unique. Most of us can claim ancestry that came from another land, seeking something better. In doing so, we have founded the greatest nation in the history of the world.
Those who disagree, probably don't need to be here.
Oops! I recently recall the current President suggesting something along those lines. He was called everything from a bigot to racist to a NAZI to a white supremacist!
From childhood, I recall a popular assertion: "America. Love her or leave her!" Never heard was the cry of "racist or bigot or NAZI or White Supremacist!"
My, how things have changed!
Maybe it's because there is an agenda behind this belief that it's okay to trash out country. Perhaps there are those who are inwardly embarrassed by our success as a nation. I do recall a previous president rushing to Europe to launch an "apology tour."
What I still can't fathom is "what was he apologizing for?" Saving it from Hitler?
When seen in this light, a new question emerges: "Are those who prescribe to position "A" the true fascists?" Jonah Goldberg thought so! In his book, "Liberal Fascism," he revealed a chilling hint that through political correctness, AKA "Cultural Marxism," those proponents of position "A" would ultimately squelch all opposition.
Riding point in this discussion is Immigration.
Should we open our borders and allow anyone who can make it here entry? Should these "newcomers" be afforded the right to participate in elections? Should they gain access to entitlement rolls?"
The "A" camp would proclaim, "absolutely, positively, definitely."
The "B" camp proposes that immigration be "merit based." Or, in the words of the current House Speaker, a plan to "white-a-size" America.
Is there no end in sight?