Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th and U.S. Immigration

In rereading the Declaration of Independence of the United States on the anniversary of its signing, I’m struck by a phrase I’d forgotten was an important part of the text. The signers objected to the king of England preventing the naturalization of immigrants to the thirteen colonies: “he has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of foreigners…”
That phrase keeps ringing for me, “obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of foreigners…” particularly in the light of Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent dissenting opinion when the Supreme Court struck down parts of Arizona’s law on immigration. Scalia attacked President Obama’s executive order of June 15, 2012,  blocking the deportation of approximately 800,000 young people who came to this country as children, who are not yet naturalized citizens. Isn’t Justice Scalia doing exactly what the founders of our republic criticized the British monarch for, “obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of foreigners”?
If there are people living within the borders of the United States of America, working hard in our economy, raising their children here, shouldn’t they and their children have the right to become citizens of this country? Why should those people, who are active members of our society, live in daily fear of deportation?
Recent Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said of the young people who grew up here who are not yet citizens, that they should “return home, apply and get in line with everyone else.” But this country is their home.
Let’s join with the founders of our country in extending a welcome embrace to those who are living in the United States and wish to become patriotic Americans. Don’t we still “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights”?

Other recent posts about writing topics:
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10
Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
Working with a Writing Mentor: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
How to Get Published: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Why Write Poetry? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Using Poetic Forms, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: The Sonnet; Part 3, The Sestina;
Part 4, The Ghazal; Part 5, The Tanka

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