Intermission Review: Americans Don’t Understand Immigration

I feel it is necessary to review the material I have written so far, put into the context of a real-world example. Here I will use the responses of a typical American, a married 61-year-old woman (whom self-identifies as “Christian”) that lives in Kansas with her husband and youngest son, an adult with Down Syndrome that they adopted. Her older son is even married to an immigrant, a naturalized Filipina who has a child by her previous marriage.

Thus, she should have an exposure to immigration topics, at least more than many Americans that aren’t naturalized and/or experienced immigration for a loved one. If you have learned from the misconceptions I have exposed so far, don’t feel ashamed: Many Americans don’t understand immigration, often they don’t even understand how they have gained their own U.S. citizenship.

Like the fourth myth, Americans that have been born in the United States will say that they come came from a long line of Americans that originally came “legally”, sometimes even relegating that they are descended from Amerindians. Ironically, immigrants from Europe could become U.S. citizens when the indigenous people already present for centuries were prevented as a class from gaining citizenship! There were ethnical boundaries to who could become a U.S. citizen, it took the Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes abbreviated “SCOTUS”) to determine someone of Chinese ancestry born here (Wong Kim Ark) of legal immigrants would be considered a U.S. citizen, while a U.S.-born child of Irish parents merely visiting the United States (Julia Lynch) would be a “natural-born” citizen under law.

As such, the vast majority of U.S. citizens gain that status by their birth on U.S. soil (known as “jus soli“, or colloquially as “immigrating through the Birth Canal”). Their heritage or citizenship status of their parents doesn’t matter one whit. Let me say that again: For close to 150 years, the American way has been that it didn’t matter who your parents were when you were born here, whether they had been slaves, immigrants, or those visiting without intent to immigrate, you were a U.S. citizen from the mere fact of being born here.

By all means, comment that the intention of the 14th Amendment was only for the children of former slaves, or only for parents under the jurisdiction of the United States (re-read Lynch vs. Clarke, as linked above), it is as it has been adopted by the ratifying states, implemented, and determined by the Judicial system of the United States…

On to the topic at hand, our example of an elderly woman that feels (I realize I cannot dictate how someone feels, but explain why I think it is a phobia) overwhelmed by immigration. I’m not going to put that into the context of legal versus illegal immigration (despite a link that she offers, detailed later) because the resistance is to Hispanic and Muslim immigration, not necessarily based on its legality. There’s even the irony that I know her younger son was adopted from within the United States (knowing that they had checked internationally) because he was born when individuals with Down Syndrome were not allowed to immigrate to the United States!

I commend her and her husband for having notable belief (I won’t limit that to “Christian” behavior) of adopting a special-needs child. However, I believe she has a mistaken position (as many others) to immigration. Let’s move on to some of her quotes, remember I am using her example of how many Americans feel:

I know that cuts are constantly being made to finance the anchor babies with both pre and post natal care for the producer [yes, she actually calls an illegal alien mother a “producer”, and the child an “anchor baby”] and the “emergency” care of which illegals avail themselves 3 times more often than a US citizen.

I know that both my husband and myself will have to arm ourselves unless something is done. Crime is increasing at an unbelievable rate. There are no jobs here and the illegals keep coming and every time Obama opens his mouth and speaks amnesty, the population increases.

She believes crime is increasing, although statistics show a steady decrease in reality. Much of the time, people like our example believe that crime is strongly linked to immigration, although immigrants (including illegal aliens) commit less crime per capita than the native-born. Even usage of the term ‘crime’ can be contentious, as entry into the United States ‘without inspection’ (the official term is abbreviated as “EWI”, Entry Without Inspection) is not necessarily “illegal”, and never “criminal” in itself.

11 million is what Obama wants us to believe which would mean that illegals haven’t really been coming in for a few years since that is the 2005 estimate. Any of us that live around the places they “congregate” for public assistance, know better.

Although not mutually exclusive, it’s a common belief that illegal aliens are both collecting “welfare benefits”, yet working (“off the books”) by taking a job from an American at the same time. Legal immigrants must be present five years before they could apply for benefits based on economic needs, including ‘SNAP’ (food stamps). There is an exception for children before that five-year criteria, but that child must be legally present.

At a later point, I plan to write an entry discussing children having “at least one” illegal alien parent. I do want to close with another quote, ironically (if you think I am using that word too much, you will find that immigration is full of ironies) linking a 6th to 8th Grade website to help teachers compose lesson plans that I feel (remember, someone cannot tell you how you are supposed to feel) is very inadequate. This is the website: Legal vs. Illegal Immigration, and her quote we can discuss in the comments:

To help those that don’t understand the difference between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants, this website goes into detail, in very basic terms, what the difference is and it is actually very informative: Legal Immigration vs. Illegal Immigration It has some basic information on immigration to the US, which also seems to be often misunderstood here in [the City-Data forum section] “Illegal Immigration”.

I think most of us know that if we have broken the law, at any time, the law may come knocking on our door or if we are stopped by law enforcement, we will have a problem. We just want EVERYONE held accountable for the laws they break, not a “pick and choose”.

We established laws for reasons and we, the legal citizens of the United States of American, had and have a right to do that.

If it seems I am being contentious as if to invite discussion, I am. Comment below. I welcome rational discussion, and can expand upon feedback received in later articles.

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