In today’s morning news, I see that Joe Biden, in yet another episode of pandering, said that ‘11 Million Undocumented Aliens Are Already Americans in My View’
“Eleven million people living in the shadows I believed are already American citizens,” Biden said. “These people are just waiting, waiting for a chance to be able to contribute fully, and by that standard, 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans in my view.”
Yes, it’s a free country, and yes, Joe has a right to his personal opinions, but the fact remains that citizenship is a privilege granted to few, either by birth, or by a lengthy and expensive process.
Biden took a quote from TR,
“Teddy Roosevelt said it better. He said, Americanism is not a question of birthplace or creed or a line of descent. It’s a question of principles, idealism and character,”
while bypassing this part of TR’s True Americanism speech, which emphasizes the importance of national cohesiveness (emphasis added),
It is this spirit of provincial patriotism, this inability to take a view of broad adhesion to the whole nation that has been the chief among the causes that have produced such anarchy in the South American States, and which have resulted in presenting to us not one great Spanish-American federal nation stretching from the Rio Grande to Cape Horn, but a squabbling multitude of revolution-ridden States, not one of which stands even in the second rank as a power. However, politically this question of American nationality has been settled once for all. We are no longer in danger of repeating in our history the shameful and contemptible disasters that have befallen the Spanish possessions on this continent since they threw off the yoke of Spain.
Indeed, the mission statement for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, whose 2014 Legislative Summit Joe was addressing, clearly states “While the USHCC advocates for business owners who happen to be of Hispanic descent, we are first and foremost American businesses.”
Rather than jump to the conclusion that “11 million undocumented aliens” are “already Americans”, I’d recommend that Joe look into a number of possibilities:
1. That integration into “American principles, idealism and character” is essential.
2. That legal residents who share “American principles, idealism and character” can be contributing fully to American society, without wanting to become citizens. Every person has different circumstances and reasons to immigrate. Some have their reasons to not get full citizenship.
3. And that comprehensive immigration reform may not be the optimal way to maintain broad adhesion to the whole nation, to use TR’s words. For instance, read about The Red Card Solution,
The basis of this solution is simple. Separate the guest workers and immigrants in the debate, and in the legal system, on two completely different and unrelated paths. And use the powerful incentives of the free market system to guarantee the success of the guest worker program.
As to Joe’s other statement that aliens keep coming here, where “no one seems to want them”, the evidence points to the contrary.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.
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