It’s hard to find any ground on which one can stand in regard to the issue of immigration, illegal aliens, and citizenship. The first real snag that comes to mind in thinking about citizenship is that it’s probably the most asinine concept we human beings have ever come up with. If we place two houses along the Mexican/U.S. border, one house exactly one foot to the North of the border (and thus in the United States) and the other exactly one foot to the South of the border (and thus in Mexico), this difference of a mere two feet become a distance that might as well be two thousand miles.
A person born in the house one foot south of the border will be a citizen of Mexico and visiting his neighbor two feet to the north on a whim would be a crime. I have a hard time finding anything more inane than labeling people based on the geographic location of their birth, especially when the label is theoretically so clarified that a distance of one foot can be the difference between a Citizen and a Criminal.
I find it hard to believe that there is anyone who truly believes that the person born one foot to the south is any different from the person born one foot to the north. Even over a span of millions of years, natural selection and adaptation wouldn’t cause two human beings who were geographically separated by only two feet to show any real differences. Is there some difference between the two people that should label one as a criminal for not filling out mounds of paperwork just to travel to California? Of course there isn’t.
Since one’s geographic location at birth has no more impact on a person than the position of the constellation Aquarius at the time of birth, it follows that the only real difference between these two people would be the label that we stick on them: one is, by an arbitrary distance, a Citizen and the other is, by an arbitrary distance, not a citizen. These are simply labels, though, and we can choose to apply or not to apply them however we see fit.
We’ve chosen so far to apply them, despite the fact that a person’s birthplace has no impact on the person beyond that label that we apply. We can’t use the argument that the person’s parents weren’t citizens of the United States, either, because the same problem applies to their supposedly being non-citizens (I.e., we’d be judging their parents’ citizenship status based on the location of their birth).
All in all, there are only two differences between a “natural U.S. citizen” and a “non-U.S. citizen.” The first difference is that the latter’s parents were not U.S. citizens. The second difference is that the latter was born in a geographic location that is not part of the arbitrarily-defined borders of the United States. To the first, judging the individual’s parents as “non-U.S. citizens” is based exclusively upon their birthplaces and their parents’ birthplaces and their parents’ birthplaces, ad infinitum. Since this is asinine from the start—because a person’s birthplace is probably the most irrelevant detail we can use in judging a person—we have to look at the second reason the individual is a “non-U.S. citizen.” And… look at that! The second reason is exactly the same as the first reason: it is based entirely on a person’s birthplace and is completely inane and arbitrary!
Is a man born in California any different from a man born in New York? Is a woman born in Florida any different from a woman born in Washington? Of course not, to both questions. There will be cultural and manner differences, but these will be slight. They’ll also be insignificant, having no impact whatsoever in how society “values” that particular individual.
I am stricken with confusion when I think about the fact that the “Land of the Free” doesn’t grant citizenship to everyone who enters its borders. Why should we have requirements that must be met before a person can become a citizen of this country? The tests that must be passed are difficult enough that the vast majority of naturally-born U.S. citizens would fail them. Should we not give the Citizenship Test to everyone, even those who are born within the United States—if we are going to give it to anyone? Should we deport to somewhere else everyone who fails the test, even if they were born in the United States? If not, why should we deport to somewhere else anyone who fails the test? Why require a test at all?
Natural U.S. Citizens didn’t earn their Citizenship. I didn’t earn my citizenship. I was born within the United States, and that apparently gives me the right to live on the part of the Earth that is called the United States. I did nothing to earn my Citizenship. If I had been born as a Mexican, then it would be a crime for me to live on the part of the Earth that is called the United States. What madness is this? If anyone must “earn” their Citizenship, then everyone must earn their Citizenship. If not everyone has to earn it, then no one should have to earn it.
Why should my being born in the United States make it any easier for me to live and function in the United States? Is it because I pay taxes? Well, if we got rid of this asinine Citizenship concept, then anyone who wanted to could come to the United States and be equally qualified, because they’d have to find a job and with that job they’d be required, just like everyone else, to pay taxes.
We shouldn’t simply allow anyone who wants to come to the United States and be a Citizen. We should go further and treat everyone on the planet with the same rights, privileges, and respect that we would extend to other United States citizens. We shouldn’t place any significance in where a person was born or what the citizenship statuses of that person’s parents were, because this is the most irrelevant and meaningless factor that goes into defining “who” a person is.
Citizenship as a whole divides the world into “Us and Them,” which, if you pay attention to the things I write and say, is a gigantic problem and a mentality that must be abolished. That mindset is an abomination to our species; we are better than that. Citizenship and immigration divide the world into two groups: Us… and Them.
If you ask a conservative what their problem is with illegal immigration, they’ll rattle off some bullshit about how they don’t like it when immigrants break the law. You can easily reveal their underlying “Us and Them” mentality by following up with a simple question: “Okay, so what if we just made it legal for them to walk over here? What if we got rid of all the red tape, and let them just walk over here legally?” They’ll reject the idea. They’ll scream about how “them dang illegals, they done went and
What are they really saying, though? They’re saying “No, we want to be able to control who allowed to be one of Us. We want to control who can be in our group. We want to keep them out. We want to keep Us doing better than them.” I mean… There’s no other way to slice it. That’s simply what they are saying.
Detour: Me and “They”
I say “they” a lot. It’s something I’ve known for a while, and I’ve just kinda ignored it. I criticize people all the time, though, for thinking in “Us and Them” ways. What’s the difference between them saying “they” about some people, and me saying it about all people? Well, it makes me a minority of one, first of all, and means that my only loyalty is to myself.
Groups demand loyalty. My god, do they demand loyalty. And if you do anything that suggests you aren’t loyal to the group, they will turn on your instantly and viciously. The “Progressive” group is tremendously guilty of this, and they do it brazenly and openly, justifying everything from religious bigotry to outright racism because their group is the one doing it, and they are loyal to their group.
But it’s not really that they see others as “them” that is the problem here, is it? As I said–the problem is that the group demands loyalty. The problem is the mob mindset of us. It’s okay to see everyone as they when you are a minority of one, not forced to go along with a mob. It’s the mob that creates the problem; it’s the Mob of US that causes the division, intolerance, and bigotry. After all, if you’re just a you, just an individual with no group membership, then you lack the mob that is necessary to enforce division.
They isn’t the problem.
Us is the problem.