Terrorists and racial profiling/civil liberties (simple answer)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I don't know if I am missing something here but what I don't understand is why hasn't anyone just said we are going to limit the rights that non-citizens have when they are a guest in our country. These hijackers were not citizens of the U.S. To me we should be cracking down on what freedoms non-citizens can have when they are in this country. That way we would not be taking away the rights we all enjoy as citizens of this country.
Here is the way I see it. If someone comes over here on a VISA, they should have identification cards that they must use at all times just like we do our drivers' license. They should have to report in to some government agency on a regular basis to update their status, i.e. they are still in school or pursuing whatever their original VISA was granted for. It would be similar to someone on parole. They could be subject to search and seizure if they are doing anything suspicious, etc. If they are a visitor to our country, they are not entitled to the rights we as citizens have. If they become a citizen, then they can have those full rights. Until then, tough. It is similar to being a guest in someone's house. It doesn't entitle you to go through their dresser drawers and refrigerator and help yourself. You are at the graciousness of the host. The same should be true of non-citizens. They should not be entitled to get on our welfare rolls or get other benefits that citizens get until they become citizens. The way I see it, a visitor is subject to closer scrutiny and is not entitled to the same rights as our citizens. If they don't like it, go back where they came from. This would allow us to still retain all of our civil rights and freedoms as citizens but allow for better tracking of outsiders who may wish to do us harm. The good ones will behave themselves and eventually be able to become citizens. The bad ones will be deported and barred from re-entry. Seems pretty simple to me. I realize that a tracking system and issuing a card, etc. will require manpower and money but to me it is a much better solution than taking away our own rights just because of some people that are acting up. Let's go after the culprits, not the victims.
-- Colleen (email@example.com), October 02, 2001
What about resident aliens who marry US citizens, but choose not to be US citizens themselves? Not everyone gets married to US citizens to go on welfare or even to become a citizen. They might just love their spouse, but they still have a soft spot for their own country. Would you give up your citizenship just because you lived somewhere else?
I agree with you on the welfare aspect but welfare should be abolished for most people anyway, citizens or no. There are a lot of CITIZENS in the welfare system now who've never paid a dime in taxes, and never will. Please do not blame immigrants for abusing the welfare system, our school system, with its "entitlement mentality" is really to blame.
-- GT (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 02, 2001.
People do not necessarily have to renounce their citizenship of their mother country. They can get dual citizenship in many cases which is what a lot of married people do. Also, I did not intend to particularly target the welfare system, I was just using that as an example of the benefits we receive as citizens. Another example that a lot of people don't realize is that people who come from other countries and never paid into the social security system can become eligible for social security benefits anyway if they are over a certain age yet our own citizens can't. It is kind of looked at that they didn't have the opportunity to pay into the benefits because they didn't live here so since it is not their fault, the payment gets waived and they can collect. Another example is people that cross the border from Mexico to deliver their babies in the United States. Once the baby is born in one of our hospitals it is a U.S. citizen for the rest of its life unless it renounces it. I don't think that should be allowed either. I could go on and on with examples of benefits that non-citizens get that I don't think they should. But the crux of my issue is the fact that we should have separate rules for non-citizens which does not grant them the same rights that we enjoy unless they want to become a citizen.
-- Colleen (email@example.com), October 02, 2001.
Dual citizenship is not the answer.
Not only do you now have the potential to scam two countries' welfare systems (just one example), but at the end of the day there is still the loyalty question: whose side are you really on? Some countries do not recognize dual citizenship. In the wrong country during a draft for example, and whipping out your other passport is not going to help you.
Permanent resident alien status is one thing, but dual citizenship is wrong. Most of the people I know who have dual citizenship do so completely for convenience reasons e.g. traveling in Europe is much easier with a passport from a European country than it is with a US passport. The idea of someone saying "I'm a citizen of this country during the good times but when the bleep hits the fan I'm a citizen of somewhere else" is disgusting. Dual citizenship is wrong--either you are a citizen of such-and-such country or you are not.
-- GT (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 02, 2001.
What about the Timothy McVeigh problem? If we make it tougher on non- citizens, then the terrorists will just become citizens, or recruit citizens. It wouldn't be that hard, as there are plenty of neo-Nazi, anti-government, any-cause-that-let's-me-kill folks who could be used to further Bin Laden's (or anyone else's) political agenda, with or without the knowledge of the "soldiers" as to who, exactly, is funding it.
-- Soni (email@example.com), October 03, 2001.
Colleen, I agree I have felt for many years even before the Trade Center, that when we grant our constitutional protections and rights to noncitizens we devalue citizenship. Being a US citizen should set me apart from the rest of the people on earth.
-- Del (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 03, 2001.
The degree of rights for non citizens is pretty hard to define . . . when you go into a foreign country, you are subject to their laws. When foreign citizens come to our country, they are subject to our laws. I totally agree with the foreign citizen not being eligible for our welfare programs, (we have enough American citizens scamming us already), but keeping "tabs" on ALL foreign nationals in our country? Virtually impossible, unless you decide to double / triple our INS resources, such as manpower, and technological resources like computers.
I live in deep south Texas, where illegal immigration is a fact of life. The reason illegal immigration occurs is because the opportunities for advancing their lives occur on this side of the border. I have seen groups as large as 14 - 15 walking through the desert scrub on our property, headed north. 99% of these people are just hard working people trying to get some money to send to their relatives. The abject poverty there is incredible. And they have NO ONE to fall back on for lean times in their countries. Sink or swim, just like most of the countries of the world.
The only foreign nationals that would likely do us harm are the ones who came here as borderline criminals already. Many of these citizens are already trained in guerrilla warefare, in Guatemala, El Salvador, and even Mexico. You can't just pick them out, they look like everybody else. Yet that 14 year old boy may already have killed several men in their country. How would you propose INS pick them out?
For that matter, how would you identify ANYONE being from a foreign land? Funny accents, color of their skin, traditional ways of dressing a crime now? We going to man checkpoints checking your "Engleesch"? And which countries do we target as potential troublemakers? Everybody?
-- j.r. guerra (email@example.com), October 03, 2001.
Jr I think you missed the part about having to have identification as a foreigner in this country. When detained, just like our citizens, they have to produce a driver's license or other form of legal ID and if they are a non-citizen their driver's license would identify them as such and they would have to show their non-citizen id card as well. The issue was about controlling the legal immigrants who obtain VISAs to enter this country. The illegal immigrants is another kettle of fish. Terrorists for the most part are going to have to have the identification because they are going to want to be involved in things that would require showing an ID such as driving tractor trailers, flying on airplanes, going to flight school, etc. We could go a long way to stop the illegal immigration if we cracked down on the Americans that hire them. It is the greed of the business owner to get cheap labor that feeds that market. We already know patrolling the borders is next to impossible so we have to make it undesireable for them to come here illegally by not providing jobs unless they are legal. As a nation, while we can certainly have empathy for people of other nations who have a hard life, we can't right all of the wrongs of the world and bring them all here. As to following the laws of our country, the problem now is that as soon as they are charged with a crime and released, they go back to their own country and are out of our reach to prosecute them. If they are then put into a master database, they would be prohibited from ever coming back to the U.S. legally. I would rather inconvenience a lot of non-citizens then have our own rights and freedoms given up because of them. To me the trade off is very obvious.
-- Colleen (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 03, 2001.
You are right Colleen, I didn't read the original question well enough and apologize for that, I do that sometimes. So correct me if I am wrong if I am assuming the following:
I am under the impression that ALL citizens who are in a foreign land the world over are ALREADY REQUIRED to carry their VISAS (passports) when they are "out and about". This allows foreign officials to identify these foreign visitors if there should be some mishap. But HOW do you identify ONLY THE FOREIGN VISITOR, without inconveniencing the oridinary U. S. citizen?
In our region, we have many people who pass as Mexican citizens. They even speak only the Spanish language. In many regions of the country, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Jamacain, Cubans and a myraid of other nationalities abound, all assumed to be U.S. citizens. Will profiling occur because you don't look like an American citizen? What does the typical citizen look like anyway?
When I go to a sporting event, will I be required to carry my citizenship card to prove I am a citizen of the U.S.? If I attempt to walk into an airport, the same requirement? Don't mean to beat a horse to death but to check on citizenship, we ALL WILL HAVE to show our pedigrees to the persons checking them. And that is my beef with the approach you propose.
My counterproposal? Everybody carry a baseball bat. We see someone being bad, lets just beat the hell out of them right there on the spot.
Again, my aplogies for assuming some information that was not given. Thank you for the correction.
-- j.r. guerra (email@example.com), October 03, 2001.
Hope you're not serious with this phrase, JR: "My counterproposal? Everybody carry a baseball bat. We see someone being bad, lets just beat the hell out of them right there on the spot."
I want someone else's idea of "bad" being imposed on me. That's why Afghan Muslim women are stoned if they're out and about without a male relative, because they're being "bad" and the other folks are punishing them for it. Just one example. No, not a good idea, IMO!
-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (CatFlunky@excite.com), October 03, 2001.
My experience of being 'out and about' in the US is practically nil however without even that I might have concluded from various posts to this site that 'everyone' in the USA carries a gun for the purpose of 'taking out' bad people! (tounge in cheek of course :-) )
-- john hill (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 03, 2001.
Water guns Do not count John. :o)~
-- K & S (email@example.com), October 03, 2001.