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What’s so great about citizenship?

March 13, 2018

From the oath of U.S. citizenship:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;…” 

Which leads to the next point…how can you vote in a Mexican election while living in the United States if you have taken this oath, and still remain a naturalized U.S. citizen?

This question arises after listening to Jorge Ramos expound on the subject, and legally it isn’t against the law, assuming he claims dual citizenship.

Obviously if you are still a Mexican citizen, then voting in their election is no different than our citizens casting an absentee ballot if they live outside the U.S.

Not all countries allow people with dual citizenship to vote in another country’s national election, and until 1967, the U.S. was one of those countries, as mentioned in the above-referenced  2014 article from the L.A. Times.

At that time SCOTUS declared that a law forbidding a U.S. citizen to vote in another country’s national election was unconstitutional if it resulted in loss of one’s U.S. citizenship.

The question of dual citizenship takes on a different focus when viewed in the context of illegal immigration.

One of the main objections to granting citizenship, rather than legal permanent residency to persons who entered the country illegally is that they may then acquire voting rights in two countries.

That’s probably fine if the other country is friendly to the U.S. If not, it could be problematic.

For instance, if there are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. If all of them were from Mexico,  they would represent almost 10%of the population of Mexico. That’s more than enough people to swing an election in favor of a candidate who might be openly hostile to our country.

That’s a lot of suppositions, and certainly isn’t a true representation of the entire undocumented population.

Still, it does bring up the question, what good is citizenship if it doesn’t result in at least legal fealty  to the country?  Well, for one thing it means you can vote in this country.

That might be great for one political party or the other, but it might not be so great for the country.

Assimilation is one of the buzzwords of this era, but if your loyalty lies with your country of origin, then citizenship in this country is no more than a fancy work permit, no assimilation needed.

Which leads to one final question. Do we need to fix our definition of the responsibilities of citizenship before handing it out like a school lunch pass?

From → op-ed

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