The Meaning of Citizenship Essay The Meaning of Citizenship according to the author is what we make it mean. What a bunch of malarkey! The history of how the definition of citizenship has evolved was well done but I kept having this feeling that she was trying to get me to subscribe to some new world order of citizenship. I like the Dictionary definition of citizenship is the state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen. The character of an individual viewed as a member of society; behavior in terms of duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen.
She suggested that citizenship was inconsistent from the very beginning of the United States. Yes it was because we were all immigrants from the start. Women were still seen a property to their husband, Africans was slaves, Native American conquered, and a lot of old world racism was in full swing. America was the great experiment by its founding fathers. Never had it been tried to bring all people together as one country of citizens, well at least what they consider “as people” at that time.
Some may argue that the romans were doing the same thing but they were doing it at sword point then by volunteer. Even though some of the founding father was still behind in their thinking others were not. They build the constitution so that future generations could learn from their father’s mistake and improve America for everyone. I was very surprise that the Supreme Court did not rule that the power of husbands over wives is no longer recognizable in law until 1992. Wow that took 216 years to figure that out.
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Also that if a woman got married to a noncitizen she would lose her citizenship and be seen as a citizen of her husband country but on the flip side of the coin if the wife married an American husband they became a US citizen until the law change in 1934. Currently the married spouse has the option to either become a permanent residence or naturalization. Naturalization is no easy task either. Under the Path to citizenship on the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the spouse has to take a naturalization test. Sad part according to US News and World Report Weekly poll done back in April of 2012 1 in 3 Americans would fail this test.
Another big issue today is illegal women having children in the United State in order to not to get deported. This loop-hole has become to be known as “baby anchor”. In a way they gain citizenship though the kids. Many countries have closed this loop-hole and I think it time for America to do so too. I would give amnesty to all kids and parents here now then set a deadline date 10months out that one of the child parents is must be a U. S. Citizen otherwise that child will be consider as the citizen of one of the parent foreign citizenship.
The history about race factor on citizenship was pretty much dead on. Of all the nationalities from around the world the people from African have had it the worst. Even till this day I don’t see why people looked down on Africans. African American has had the hardest time integrate in to American society. It was mostly because their immigration was forced to America by slavery. When they won their freedom they were still treated like 2nd class citizens. Even today most of the culture seems torn about where they fit into America society. The Chinese and Japanese were treated just as badly.
They were seen as rats or beasts to use till they dropped over dead. If anything they weren’t even seen as human beings. They fought back hard to earn their rights and somehow moved forward as a culture to integrate with American society. Then the author goes into class warfare for three pages. Most of it did not make sense other then she trying to make the argument that social security is some kind social citizenship. Now the way I see it with immigration most moving from one country to another are lower or poor people. When they move into a very well off country they can bear the cost of it.
America is at a point where immigration is collapsing local government fiances. More people are pulling from the system then put in. The states along the Mexican border are suffering majorly from this due to illegal immigration. Immigration is a good thing for a country but it must be controlled. In Europe many countries are having negative birth rates meaning more people are dying faster than babies are born. In a capitalism economy they build the social program are design to be funded by future population grow who pay into the social program.
The problem is that most of their growth now is from immigration that are almost doubling unemployment in European country but benefiting from the host country social programs. (See http://www. migrationpolicy. org/pubs/TCM-integration. pdf) Linda Kerber once again starts to ramble on for another five pages. It covers the Boston Tea Party, Dred Scott decision of 1857, Yick Wo the laundry guy vs. Hopkins, War Brides Act of World War II, and a few other Supreme Court rulings to support her views, California Proposition 187, the Cold War, Iran-Contra, Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and something about Peter Pan vs.
Captain Hooker. Well not that last thing. All of this was a setup to give you a right hook to the head about her post national citizenship idea. And so she opens up with “Do we need citizenship? ” This is where the final punch gets you. She starts to make hidden points to being a one world citizenship because like as she stated from the start citizenship means what we make it mean. This will not work as many cultures that have such polar views of each other.
An example would be that Islam faith is so tie into it governing system that is Islamic law which is set by the religion is law via in United State religion is kept separated from government laws. She is right that we are one world family but we live under different homes with different rules and values. To me illegal immigration is like having the uninvited family member visits you. They say they are only going to be visiting for 3 days but end up staying for years. We can’t just join with other people if they don’t believe in the Bill of Rights created by our founders.
What would be the point of freedom of the press if you can’t write about something that will offend a person or group? In the end I think most people keep mixing citizenship and culture together. Becoming a citizenship must mean more then I was able to sneak into this land. We must close the loop-holes in immigration to remove some of the arguments on citizenship but not eliminate immigration itself. We have to end this feeling of it means whatever it means to you. It’s a cop out. We must stand firm that this is what it takes to be a citizen of the United States.
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