The recent report about the elimination of the American-born Islamist terrorist and the one about Hispanic children vanishing from Alabama schools, I think, are two sides of the same coin.
Both revolve around the issue of U.S. immigration policies and attitudes.
Starting with Anwar al-Awalaki, I think the debate about whether or not the U.S. government has the right to hunt down an avowed and dangerous enemy without the due process to which U.S. citizens are entitled, has two answers. Yes and no.
We should have the right to hunt down and eliminate proven enemies of the state, but since he was a citizen by virtue of being born here, legally, we probably can’t. We probably, legally, owed him a trial on charges of treason.
And that’s the crux of the problem with our immigration policies.
The automatic citizenship clause in our constitution, while a wonderful, generous policy that made sense once, has become a terrifyingly dangerous liability. And since the main reason for it – to build population needed during the industrial revolution – no longer applies, it should be replaced with something that makes more sense.
The recently disposed-of al-Awalaki is the perfect case in point.
The man, believed responsible for several terrorist attacks and attempted attacks on us and of recruiting other attackers, only lived in the U.S. until age 7 when his father, having finished gaining an American education, took his family back to Yemen.
He may have been born here, but al-Awalaki was never really an American.
His situation speaks to the heart of the problem – enemies of the United States, our way of life and everything we stand for, giving birth here but raising the child as a weapon against us, often in another country.
The child born here but raised abroad to hate us and sent back to do us harm with a legitimate U.S. passport, is a serious dilemma that must be dealt with urgently.
It is yet another way the Islamo-Fascists can and clearly are fighting us with our own culture.
The other side of that coin is the issue of millions and millions of mostly south Americans sneaking over the border to set up housekeeping here, sending their children to our schools for free and often receiving all sorts of government assistance, making that same assistance less available to U.S. citizens who pay for it and for whom it is actually intended.
Obviously, the pre-terrorist anchor baby is more malevolent than the other kind, but the second type is infinitely more common and presents a possibly insoluble problem.
The way I see it, the difference between immigration and invasion is attitude, behavior and permission. Immigrants come seeking to become Americans. They learn the language and the culture and before long, the family is basically indistinguishable from millions of fellow American families, free to cherish and practice the old-country customs they hold dear.
Invaders come intending to take advantage of whatever they can, while steadfastly clinging in every way to the nationality they left, and demanding at every turn that it be recreated here.
I’m aware that within the vast and ever-increasing number of illegal stowaways are both types, and that they are virtually impossible to distinguish at first glance.
But, if after a generation, a family still speaks no English, flies only the flag of their country of origin and works under the table, paying no taxes and sending their money south and their relatives north, they’re probably invaders.
The invaders make what’s reportedly going on in Alabama as a result of that state’s tough new immigration law, practically inevitable.
Associated Press reports that Hispanic students have started vanishing from schools there. Parents are concerned their children will be targeted for scrutiny with the state’s new crackdown on illegals.
What does it mean that so many Hispanic families fear sending their kids to school in Alabama now?
Obviously, it means that even if the student was born here, the family is here illegally, that they don’t belong here, that they are taking advantage of limited resources meant for people who do belong here.
The new law reportedly requires officials to check the immigration status of newly enrolled Hispanic students, which is distasteful on its face. Maybe the immigration status of all the children should be checked, to avoid singling anyone out. Anyone born here or whose parents are naturalized citizens have nothing to worry about. The others should have their cases considered on an individual basis.
In Alabama, the story says, many Hispanic families say they’re leaving for other states, despite authorities assuring them no one will be arrested for being in school, and that they’re only trying to gather statistics.
I wouldn’t believe that, either.
I mean, at first blush, it’s scary-sounding to imagine having to fear officials finding you and sending you away. But, I think it has to depend on how each individual family came to be here – if they were escaping something or if they’re here only to draw our benefits – that should determine the disposition of each case.
If the family is found to be of the invader type, they should go home and start demanding their home country provide them the kinds of benefits they’re stealing from us.
And the United States should help them, if a way can be found to ensure that whatever aid we send is not used to line the pockets of corrupt officials. In the long run, that will be a huge bargain.
On the other hand, what will our schools look like if all the children of stowaways were being educated in their home countries?
Would there be more money to improve the education of those legal residents left behind? Would the cost of health care be able to come down? Will unemployment recede? And are these enough reasons to go after those illegally sucking up the resources? I don’t know. My kids are grown. Ask someone whose children are in a public school.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here