DREAMERS And Fair Immigration

To The Reader’s Forum:

I kept hearing politicians, pundits and progressives say that that we’re a nation of immigrants. Something didn’t sound quite right about that. It sounded more politically correct than true. Still, I couldn’t put my finger on it, until I heard someone slice through the slippery sound bite and soundly say, “We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of citizens.”

Who are “We, the people,” according to the Constitution? Immigrants or citizens? Our governing document written by citizens and for citizens presupposes that we are a nation of citizens. The Constitution additionally declares the purpose of government to “provide the common defense” and “secure the blessing of liberty for ourselves (citizens) and our posterity (citizens).” The citizens of the nation vested in the federal government the authority over immigration. No matter how charming it may sound, a statement carved on the Statue of Liberty shouldn’t be exploited to justify unsecured borders with sloppy helter-skelter immigration as a substitute policy for constitutional border-secured law.

Like a lie repeated often enough, the line of us being a nation of immigrants subtly supplants the significance of citizens. Does the tail wag the dog? You feel that way when you’re constantly told, “We are nation of immigrants.” Yet, to publicly say, “We’re a nation of citizens,” puts you in the crosshairs of liberals labeling you a racist.

In liberalizing immigration, it’s the dreams of the illegal residents that have the distinction of DREAMERS, but the dreams of American citizens — not so much. (Thank you, Mr. President, for saying in the State of the Union speech, “Americans are dreamers too!”) Granting what the DREAMERS demand is rationalized by some as America applying the Golden Rule, but to applicants painstakingly waiting to legally enter our country while observing favoritism for the DREAMERS, it must feel like the Rigged Rule. Appropriately applying the Golden Rule to illegal residents is not synonymous with granting them citizenship.

We’ve gone from no-fault divorce to no-fault insurance and now no-fault immigration. Claiming that a person who crosses the border by no fault of his own qualifies him for citizenship is immigration’s extreme version of “every-child-gets-a-trophy.” That’s essentially the argument for DACA and DREAMERS. I’m not saying to cruelly kick them out, but no-fault border crossings should not be a qualifier for citizenship either. A pathway to some form of legalization is a fair and unrigged compromise. Otherwise, for equality’s sake, they should apply for citizenship the same way everyone else does under the law.

The Rev. Mel McGinnis