If Citizenship and Law Don’t Matter, Our Country Doesn’t Either

John Vinson's picture

By John Vinson

John is a Senior Writing Fellow with CAPS. A long-time advocate of conservation and responsible use of natural resources, John is president of the American Immigration Control Foundation.

The writer's views are his own. 

October 29, 2013

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed bills approved by the State Assembly to help make California a sanctuary state for illegal aliens. One enables them to obtain driving licenses; another one helps protect them from federal law enforcement, and another even allows them to practice law if they pass the bar exam.

So why does the state of California see fit to treat lawbreakers as if the laws they break really don’t matter? The reason is the outworking of a legal viewpoint expressed by Attorney General Eric Holder. Advocating amnesty and citizenship for illegal aliens, Holder stated, “This is a matter of civil and human rights. It is about who we are as a nation. And it goes to the core of our treasured American principle of equal opportunity.”

Is he saying that law-abiding citizens and law-breaking non-citizens should have equal opportunity in America? Yes, it seems he is, which suggests that he doesn’t regard citizenship as anything particularly special. By referencing civil rights, he gives credence to the notion popularized by illegal alien advocates that the struggle for amnesty is akin to this country’s black civil rights movement.

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, rightly called Holder’s statement “a bizarre understanding of – if not an insult to – the history of the civil rights movement.” Its central premise was equal opportunity for citizens under the law – a premise that affirmed the significance of both citizenship and the law. The movement for illegal aliens, in contrast, degrades the worth and importance of both.

The civil rights movement aimed to end second-class citizenship. Amnesty makes citizens second class to foreigners who – unlike citizens – can break laws and then receive benefits rather than face punishment. Illegal immigrants are not hiding “in the shadows” as their supporters claim. They openly and brazenly make demands, which, unfortunately, many of our state and federal legislators are more than happy to grant. Those compelled to stay “in the shadows” too often are citizens who must keep quiet about opposing illegal immigration for fear of retaliation from the enforcers of political correctness.

The failure of so many of our politicians and pundits to uphold our citizenship and law raises one very disturbing question: just where do their loyalties lie? If they won’t affirm the distinctions that define our nationhood, are they in fact loyal Americans? The citizens of California should pose these questions to their governor and the appropriate legislators. If what they’ve done isn’t in fact treasonous, they need to explain why it isn’t.

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