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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Is it Really a Choice Between Being a Nation that Offers Sanctuary or is Sovereign?

Is it Really a Choice Between Being a Nation that Offers Sanctuary or is Sovereign?

LatinaLista — It used to be that the United States of America represented both a haven from persecution for different religious and political beliefs, economic and ethnic oppression – the list goes on, and a place that was not just sovereign but could be both a sovereign nation and a super power country.

After all, the inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

But unfortunately, there’s a growing number of political pundits who would have us believe that we have to choose between the two elements that have always stood side-by-side in representing to the world what made this country great.
We’re being told that we have to choose between being a sanctuary nation or a sovereign nation, but the real choice has nothing to do with that.
It’s between deciding whether to surrender to manufactured fear and hate — or not.


The latest attack strategy against immigration reform is trying to imply that those who favor a fair and humane reform of the immigration system are endorsing the criminal activities of those few undocumented who commit them.
The example being touted is the Newark, New Jersey murders of three bright, college students at the hands of an undocumented immigrant.
There is no mistaking that what happened to these students was a crime of capital proportions, but there is a difference between a capital crime or felony and a civil offense.
Most undocumented immigrants don’t commit capital crimes. Those that do should naturally be punished — but to condemn a history built on having the common sense to know the difference between a capital crime and a minor offense can only be seen for what it is — to stir public opinion against undocumented immigrants.
Should undocumented immigrants that commit felony crimes be imprisoned?
Yes, no question. There’s no excuse as to why our legal system loses track of some of these criminal career-minded individuals.
Should they be immediately deported?
The natural answer would be yes but when we look at the history of what happens when we deport known criminals to countries that aren’t equipped to handle the influx of bad genes, then it always has a way of biting us in the ass.
Something needs to be done to address the problem of undocumented immigrants who commit capital crimes but there’s no reason to think that one of the pillars this country was built on needs to be taken away.
It just needs some reinforcement.

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Comment(6)

  • Avatar
    Frank
    August 23, 2007 at 8:07 am

    When the statue of liberty was erected we still were a largely unpopulated country. As time went on we had the common sense to know that we could not take in immigrants in large numbers indefinately without depleting our natural resources and stressing our social infrastructures, so we implemented immigration laws with fair quotas. Was the intent of the poem at the bottom of the statue meant for us to commit national suicide by unharnesed population growth? I don’t think so.
    Immigrants in the past came in measured numbers from many countries and they came legally for the most part. We were able to funnel out the criminals and the unhealthy through Ellis Island. When you have people crossing our borders at will, there is no way of doing that. We have enough of our own home grown criminals, we don’t need to add more to the mix. That is not to say that all who enter our country illegally commit other crimes after they are here but just entering our country illegally in the first place says something about their character.
    IMO, entering our country illegally should be a major offense, not a minor one in view of the threat of terrorism in particular but also because our soveirgnty as a nation should not be treated is something frivilous.
    These are things we need for immigration reform. We need to enforce our current immigration laws and secure our borders. We need to enforce our labor laws at the employer level. We need to take away any incentives for illegals to come here. Such as not providing them with education, welfare and healthcare. We need to clarify the 14th Ameendment that any child born on our soil has to have at least one parent legally in this country to gain birthright citizenship. We need to pass a law that no sanctuary city for illegal aliens will be tolerated by the U.S. government.
    The pillars of this country were founded on the rule of law and morality, not lawlessness under the guise of humanitarism.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    August 23, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    We need to clarify the 14th Ameendment that any child born on our soil has to have at least one parent legally in this country to gain birthright citizenship.
    Let me clarify the 14th amendment for you. Here is the relevant section:
    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
    If you are arguing that U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, then yes, you would have a point. I don’t know under what interpretation of statute or common law you could determine that the U.S. did not have jurisdiction to, for example, detain or try U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants for crimes they committed (children of diplomats, even if born in the U.S., have such immunity). But if that is your argument, you are welcome to make it.
    What you are saying is not that you want to clarify the 14th Amendment, but that you want to change it; in other words, amend the Constitution.
    Now let’s reflect, why was the 14th Amendment approved in the first place? Well, because before that time, many states did not recognize blacks as U.S. citizens, and the right of blacks to vote was not constitutionally protected. So we fought a bloody war and amended the Constitution to ensure that this particular population would not be subjugated and exploited by the majority.
    Now you’re saying you want a re-do, you want to go back to the pre-Civil War Constitution for the explicit purpose of disenfranchising a population of U.S. citizens based on the nationality (and usually ethnicity) of their parents?
    That’s quite a proposition, and I think you’ll have trouble selling that to the American public.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    August 23, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    we had the common sense to know that we could not take in immigrants in large numbers indefinately without depleting our natural resources and stressing our social infrastructures, so we implemented immigration laws with fair quotas. Was the intent of the poem at the bottom of the statue meant for us to commit national suicide by unharnesed population growth? I don’t think so.
    If you had the slightest acquaintance with economic principles or current mainstream economic thought, you would realize that “old” Europe and Japan (and soon China) are facing a dire population problem–they have too many retirees and not enough working-age people. The U.S., due in part to a higher birthrate–but mostly due to high levels of immigration relative to the rest of the industrialized world–is forecast to avoid the brunt of this problem. You’re saying we should cut off the inflow of immigrants to strengthen our economic position; actual economists are saying the exact opposite.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    August 23, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    The 14th Amendment can and should be either clarified based on “under the jurisdiction” or changed so that the scam of the illegals giving birth in our country to gain citizenship for their children is brought to a halt.
    Americans are procreating at replacemnt level. We already have 300 million people in this country. We have one baby boomer generation to get through. Do you really want to perpetuate a unending new baby boomer generation forever in this country by constant huge increases in our population? We need to stabilize our population. A population driven economy is not a healthy economy nor does it make for a healthy country. Sorry, but I don’t value money above everything else like some do.

  • Avatar
    George
    August 25, 2007 at 9:25 am

    The concept of universal birthright citizenship based solely upon where one’s born is absurd for several reasons. For one, it’s an imposition on parents who are not citizens. Not everyone who comes to this country is in love with it or would wish to have imposed upon their children all the obligations required of our political system. Some strict Islamists eschew tolerance of others religions, so the idea of becoming part of a society of unbelievers is objectionable. There are persons from Arabs states not friendly to this country who would be appalled if their child were declared a member of our society by virtue of birthright citizenship. Shouldn’t we recgonize their right to determine which sovereign nation their child holds allegience? Who are we to impose citizenship upon a child of foreign nationals? And looking a the issue through the other end of the microscope, would Americans wish that their children have imposed upon them all the obligations of citizenship due a country whose value system is anathema in our society? Having a child in such a country would be problematic. Children of U.S. citizens have been born in Saudi Arabia and being Saudis, these children become subject to being detained from returning to their parents homeland. I suspect that many birthright citizenship advocates do not consider the difficulties and impositions that their arguments present. Birthright citizeship is a blessing or a bane, depending upon one’s perspective, but the state should never have the power to impose or bestow it unconditionally. And foreigners who have never been vetted as to their qualifications for legal residency under our immigrations laws should never be permitted to use their child as leverage for their own presence in this country.

  • Avatar
    Visitor379
    October 17, 2007 at 3:06 am

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