Flutterby™! : Immigration

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2002-07-09 18:48:56+00 by TC 5 comments

Columbine brings up the issue of immigration and if you look at the stats it's contributing a person every 30 seconds net. It's my thinking that these people (in a vast generalization) are a good thing. They are willing to work harder for less to create a better life for themselves and their children. I think it would be a good thing to allow relaxed immigration and legalize them provisionally and tax them to help offset the burden they place on domestic infrastructure. Now if we could only do something about current citizens that are not helping, perhaps make citizenship a priveledge instead of a right? Maybe the Brits had the right idea with Australia? C'mon people, someone has to be in agreement or honked off by the above statements...

[ related topics: Children and growing up Politics Work, productivity and environment ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-07-10 02:52:41+00 by: FnDragon

Unfortunately it's already happening. John Ashcroft has the right to revoke citizenship at will by declaring citizens as "enemy combatants", and as such their citizenship is automagically revoked or something. I know the specifics are out there, but I don't have 'em right now.

#Comment made: 2002-07-10 13:24:59+00 by: ziffle

I agree immigrants are good thing if -- we eliminate all welfare (for everyone), ask that they learn English (and use it!), and put them on a probation period (10 years) whereby if they hate America, or are criminals, they are returned to sender....


(and wishfully thinking, we give priority to non - religeous people)

#Comment made: 2002-07-10 13:41:51+00 by: petronius

Two possibilities for differential citizanship:

Heinleins Starship Troopers concept of public service before a grant of voting citizenship. In the book the plan was a tad more liberal than in the film version.

In Nevil Shute's 1953 novel In The Wet he describes a multiple vote system, where people with more stake in a stable society or more knowlege get more votes. For example, if you have a university degree, a military commission or have earned your living abroad for a time, you get an extra vote because you have a broader base of knowlege.

As to Ashcroft: the authority to declare citizens enemy combatants has been in US law for many years. One of the Nazi saboteurs captured in the US during WW2 was a US citizen, but the court declared that taking arms against the US was a de facto renunciation of American nationality. A military tribunal tried him and he was hanged.

#Comment made: 2002-07-10 18:00:52+00 by: other_todd

The STARSHIP TROOPERS requirement has been misinterpreted by thousands of people, some of whom even bothered to read the book first, and the movie didn't help. I have permanently retired that book from my topic list because I got tired of defending it and getting nothing but bruises to show for it.

Anyway, Heinlein wasn't the first to propose that if you want to vote, you should probably serve the public - via the government - in some capacity first. (Not necessarily as a soldier, which is the point that always gets lost!) In fact, one of Heinlein's essays in EXPANDED UNIVERSE notes a number of reference sources for ideas on Improving the Electorate, among them an essay from one Mark Twain.

And if you think the idea that made it into STARSHIP TROOPERS is unforgiving, you should see some of the meaner ones Heinlein proposes. Some of them appeal to me too, on my bad, misanthropic days - like having a basic intelligence/awareness test of some kind as a requirement in the voting booth.

Thing is, narrowing the scope of people who are given the right to vote wouldn't do a damned thing; it would produce better voters maybe, but a lot fewer, and few enough people vote already. And what does one get as a tangible right of citizenship besides voting? Even Heinlein predicted, in S.T., that the vast majority of the nation's residents would be "permanent resident non-citizens" - legal aliens - and would never bother to deal with the requirements for citizenship (including many very wealthy and prosperous people, such as the hero's father, who is a tycoon but not a citizen).

Heinlein guessed too optimistically, I think. I think the only reason a lot of people in this country care about being a citizen is to avoid the legal hassles of not being one. And of course people who were born citizens don't really think about their citizenship at all.

Color me cynical.

#Comment made: 2002-07-10 18:29:08+00 by: Dan Lyke

The problem I see with requiring some sort service for voting is that it plays hash with the notion that our government exists to serve people, and not vice versa:

...to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Not wanting to spawn another Objectivism flame war, I'll leave tying that back into a consistent philosophy as an exercise for the reader.