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Immigration

 

There has been much contentious debate on immigration over the last decade. This discourse often erupts emotionally, both sides entrench … and nothing gets done. Immigration is a smoldering issue that brings heated clashes. In this climate, statutory changes or reform is unlikely.

Recent emotionality [June 2018] includes the allegations of “separating families”, a polarizing bolt that angers and (again) discourages any discussion or compromise. My position on immigration has evolved moderately amidst this vitriol. My pre-June thinking... for the record.

At this time, two bitter camps hunker down to wage political war. It is time to acknowledge the impasse and look for a workable solution.

I certainly want to try

 

Do NOT Separate Families

Disrupting families is counter to our domestic fabric... a bad idea. Yet, family stability is NOT the core theme of immigration law. To be sure, we should have a humane system of immigration.

A workable, legal solution should be reached concerning:

  1.   DACA
  2.   Dreamers
  3.   Anchor Babies

 

Immigration Precepts

Rational, predictable immigration policies must primarily have a strong legal foundation. If these precepts trigger a debate, let that dialog center on the precepts/legality.

Existing Laws

Congress has passed immigration laws; they should be enforced. If these laws are "bad", they should be amended or repealed. Until then, they should be enforced. There is no room for prosecutorial discretion.

Open Borders

To limit entrance to our great nation is contradictory to our exceptionalism. Let me explain.

The United States is exceptional, specifically in our Freedom and our unmatched opportunity. Foreign nationals (like my ancestors) are drawn to our shores. IMHO, there is a true yearning to live the US Dream (a.k.a. American Dream).

Citizenship

Questions of citizenship boil down to either:
  •   Jus Sanguinis - right of blood, predominant in many international treaties
  •   Jus Soli - right of soil

Regrettably, the US follows both legal precepts. Hence, the immigration conundrum.

 

Three Specific Cases

DACA

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is only an active Executive Order. It is NOT US law. On this fact alone, there is NO enforcement. DACA children should be reunited with their parents living outside the United States.

From both Jus Sanguinis and Jus Soli these children are NOT US citizens.

Dreamers

A child born on US soil (Jus Soli) to foreign-born nationals straddles legal understanding. Per Jus Sanguinis the child is NOT a US citizen.

Via US v Wong Kim Ark (1898) a son born on US soil to foreign-born parents was deemed a US citizen. The status of the alien parents, longtime US residents, was NOT rendered. This SCOTUS decision introduced Jus Soli 100 plus years after our nation's founding.

I judge Dreamers, when parents are longtime US residents, to be US citizens. Otherwise, the child is an Anchor Baby (see below).

Anchor Babies

Children born on US soil (Jus Soli) to foreign-born national parents (excluded by Jus Sanguinis) are the most nuanced situation.

Does a just-born infant infer citizenship to his/her parents? Should these parents be rewarded with (a form of protected) US residency ahead of others who dutifully following US immigration law? Should they benefit from a quirk/loophole?

To keep the family intact, the child should be deported with his/her alien parents, per existing law.

 

Open Borders...

Immigrants live in a community within a state – NOT in federal territory. As such, immigration is a state decision. The federal gov’t is NOT directly involved with the immigrant; the "authority" of the federal gov't is limited.

I favor an Open Border policy, with the following provisos:

No Federal Assistance

IMHO, many immigrants are drawn to the United States for an instant bump-up in their standard of living. Federal assistance (benefits, welfare, …) is a strong magnet for struggling and destitute people from around the world. I see why many ignore our immigration laws and slip into our nation. In their situation, I might attempt the same.

Immigrants have not sweated with us, nor contributed to our society. They should NOT receive instant security – especially when other legal immigrants patiently endure onerous, immigration laws. Also, citizen taxpayers pursuing the US Dream should NOT have to subsidize immigrants. It is basically an issue of fairness.

The States as Gatekeepers

Each state has costs of and responsibilities to its residents… each state should have a voice in who resides within its territory.

Texas should NOT dictate terms of immigration (or anything else) to California, and visa-versa. Why does a distant federal gov’t dictate to both? The federal gov’t does adequately NOT know the concerns of individual, sovereign states.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison say Sovereign States preside over immigration.

My Story

I am grateful that my ancestors gambled on the United States. My father is the first generation born on US soil. My mother is a second generation US citizen. Both families took a great risk and assimilated into US culture. Today, I am most blessed to be a US citizen.

 

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