Friday, June 16, 2017
Verble Leans on the Counter and says...
There are several reasons for having children born on US soil to have automatic citizenship.
From the time they are born, we have begun to invest in them. Our society in one way or another pays for their birth, their care, and their welfare. As they grow, they take part in our public school system, and as such, I pay to educate them. It only stands to reason that I should have a return on my investment, by having them become a functioning member of society: a productive worker/a defender in the armed forces, etc.
Most children who are born here are raised here, as their undocumented parents have little economic ability nor the mobility to go back and forth (contrary to popular opinion, most undocumented have been living here for over a decade, having overstayed their visas). Therefore, these children are culturally American, just like you or me. Having mentored many children of the undocumented, I will attest that they have few, if any, cultural ties to their parents’ birth countries. For example, I myself was born on the Isle of Man to an English mother and Greek father, and brought here as a toddler. I speak no Manx, and very little Greek. I am an American, and this is my country, and this is the place to which I owe my allegiance and my fealty. The majority of children born here to undocumented parents feel the same way. To send them back would not only be cruel, but it would also be sending away people who believe in America and want to do all they can for America. Why should we cast away those who only want to contribute to this country, especially when this is the only home they have ever known?
I believe in the “melting pot” history of America, and the idea that successive waves of immigration both add to the cultural diversity of the country, and is part of the strength of this social experiment. By bringing other countries’ ideas and genetic material into America, we strengthen our enterprise by a continued influx of “new blood.” The history of America is the story of the world coming to these shores and weaving their strands into the fabric of our culture, our economy, and our society. In a sense, we inhale the breath of other countries, and exhale freedom and unity through diversity. And yes, I understand that this is a romanticized view of history. But I’m an old romantic, so …
Fourth: Legal Precedent
Since this has been the “norm” for over a century, the norm should continue. Additionally, we should be able to point to a number of citizens born to immigrant parents (both documented and undocumented) who have contributed positively to our society. This last statement also encompasses points 1 through 3.
These are my reasons for continuing automatic citizenship for those born on US soil. I understand that they may be open for debate; however, these have been developed over decades, so I must advise a contrarian to expect much “movement” from me. Again, I’m old and crotchety and even though I believe in American citizenship for all, I will still tell you to GET OFF MY LAWN! ( in English AND in Spanish!)