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Pathway to citizenship

By Jim Killebrew

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[May 16, 2014]  Citizenship is something to be cherished, loved and honored. Citizenship in a country is automatically bestowed at a person’s birth; this person is a natural born citizen with all the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship.

We read about the citizenship rights and privileges granted to citizens of ancient Rome; no matter where they were in that known world a Roman citizen maintained his or her rights under the Roman law. They were protected and revered; they had status because of their association with their country even if they traveled outside of their local area. Roman garrisons were established throughout the entire world to ensure those rights of Roman citizens.

In the United States of America under the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States there are expressed in such terms as, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Then under the Constitution the Amendments grant rights to the citizens as Constitutional Laws which ensure those rights not be infringed. Of course it should go without saying that those rights bestowed by the laws of our land are extended to the citizens of our country. However, there are some lawmakers who wish to make policies that would infringe on the citizens of the United States by abridging those rights under the Constitution.

Earlier in the month the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation annual economic summit in Washington, D.C. stated, “As a country, we cannot, let me say, we cannot prohibit a path to citizenship.” The House Minority Leader was talking about those who have entered the United States illegally and remain in the country illegally. She continued, “I don’t think we as a country want to be a country that says, ‘You can do our work, but you can’t have the rights of a citizen in our country.’” Her sentiment was, “It’s more about who we are as a nation.”

To the House Minority Leader immigration reform seems to represent a change in the Constitution of our country. She seems to espouse a reasoning that if a person decides to illegally, through the cloak of stealth, darkness and misadventure plan an illegal entry across the borders of the United States, begin to work in the country without proper papers and remain in the country illegally, that should be a ticket to citizenship because in her words it is unfair to let people illegally enter the country, work in the country and then deny them all the rights of citizenship. Again, “You can do our work, but you can’t have the rights of a citizen in our country?”

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On the surface of the statements the House Minority Leader made it almost seems fair and humanitarian. But when those statements are examined within the context of the conditions in which she speaks them and the ramifications of the negative effect the outcome of her policies would have, it becomes clear she is not thinking from the perspective of protection of the citizens who legally reside in America. Of course people from all over the world want to come to America. Many world leaders and many peoples in the world castigate America for many reasons. Nevertheless, millions try to do everything in their power to leave those castigating countries and make their way to America. With the laws already in place for legal immigration people from all over the world have achieved their dream to arrive on the shores of America and build the American Dream for themselves and their families. Neither our laws nor our people deny those who follow the laws of the land in their attempt to enter legally.

For the life of me, I cannot understand the beating cry of the liberal persuasion that insists that even those who enter the country through a porous border made that way by a tepid enforcement policy from the federal government should have all the rights and privileges of citizenship bestowed on those who break the law coming in, break the law with less than legal papers to find jobs and break the law by remaining in the country illegally. That disservice extends not only to the United States citizens who are born in this country and have citizenship rights under the Constitution, but it does a disservice to those who are waiting in line who have come legally and are moving through the process of becoming citizens legally. Further, it does a disservice to all those throughout the world who have a dream of someday being able to migrate legally to the United States to follow that dream of freedom.

Most importantly, however, the liberal persuasion of lawmakers like the House Minority Leader does a disservice to the actual Constitutional form of government established in the United States. In order to bend the laws or refute them in favor of circumventing them to include those who are lawbreakers from the very beginning of their entry into the country, seems to negate the power and effectiveness of the Constitution by opening the borders to all who would enter with motives other than gaining their freedom to live in a country established on freedom.

If the House Minority Leader insists on wanting to extend the rights of citizenship to those who have broken the laws of the land and continue to break the laws of the land, perhaps her position of being a lawmaker in this land should be questioned.


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