The Value of American Citizenship

The Supreme Court's mostly adverse decision on Arizona's immigration law was stark in the latitude it granted to the federal government to neglect enforcement of immigration and naturalization law.  As the case yielded discretion to the executive branch to discern when it is desirable to deport "illegal" immigrants (if there are such persons any longer), we have become less a nation of laws and more a nation of men. 

Failing to defend the rights and interests of the citizenry is an inappropriate dereliction of duty on the part of our Supreme Court.  Expecting persons to obey the legal process of immigration is not a byproduct of a lack of "empathy," but a matter of respect for the laws, culture, traditions, and government of the nation. 

A century ago, millions of immigrants flocked all over the world to America, the beacon of liberty, through such ports of entry as Ellis Island and San Francisco.  The diverse backgrounds of the immigrants, which represented all the historically quarrelsome nations of Europe, as well as far-fledged corners of the world from Africa to Asia, blended into American society, learned the language without complaint, and got to work without expecting a government handout.

The result?  America became stronger because of the contribution of immigrants to the society, culture, and economy.  Now, the Democrat Party is trying to turn immigrants into yet another victim group, whose grievances are to be harnessed for yet more economic and political control. 

Over the course of the twentieth century, immigrants were largely grateful to make it to America, where they could seek refuge from overly domineering and dysfunctional societies.  What made the country exceptional is what also made it desirable: liberty.

And second- and third-generation sons and daughters of immigrants were well aware of the value of American citizenship.  They had heard the horror stories of their German, East European, and Asian parents and grandparents and were among the most patriotic of Americans. 

Every Independence Day, one could count on immigrants speaking broken English to proudly fly their bright red, white, and blue flags, to belt out the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner by heart, and to blow a wad of cash on spectacular fireworks.  Now the Fourth of July has become just another day on the calendar when Americans don't have to work, and it is barely more revered in the culture than May 1st, Labor Day, or Earth Day.

Whereas immigrants used to cry out of pride and gratitude at citizenship ceremonies, immigrants are now virtually made to cry from believing that most of the country hates them, seeks to oppress them, and will probably deport them by stealth of night if they don't vote Democrat.

Such ideas are insinuated in their minds by a president whose background displays shallow American roots indeed, and who has gone so far as to call Republicans "enemies" to a Hispanic audience.

The president has been shy displaying his supposed pride in the nation.  Proclaiming his desire to "fundamentally transform" the country, declaring himself a "citizen of the world," failing to salute the flag at public ceremonies, bowing overseas to foreign heads of state, and alienating our historical allies are all signs that point to someone who has more than a slight grudge against the nation.

How someone can be as blessed as President Obama, even so much as to be elected the president of the most influential country in the world, can have so many grievances about that same country is a bit of a paradox.  But whatever the reason, his lack of faith in the veracity of the founders' vision and his obvious belief of the unfairness of the market system have a deleterious effect on the culture.  Immigrants pick up on the vibe, and instead of esteeming their new home, they learn to disdain it.

While previous immigrants were expected to learn American civics, including facts about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and to pick up the language, today's immigrants are catered to in their host language, given open access to all manner of taxpayer-funded social programs, and pandered to as a potential election-winning political bloc.

The cynicism and lack of appraisal for this country on the part of Democrat Party is glaring.  The modern left is doing a tremendous amount of damage to the nation by not advocating cultural immersion for immigrants or insisting that foreigners learn our common language.

The reason for this is clear: having lost the intellectual argument supporting their positions, the Democratic Party has resorted to recruiting illegal immigrants, who are predominately shielded from the broader culture by their foreign language and by their lack of familiarity with our political discussion.  And if the Democrats are opposed for their destructive policies, they can tell their adopted victim groups that the majority is being "racist" or "bigoted" or some other fallacious tripe.

The Democrats have also taken to bribing immigrants with taxpayer money while feigning to be their protectors from our system of justice.  They have eroded respect for our constitutional government by failing to teach it, and undermined it in practice by failing to preserve, protect, and defend it.  They have trampled on the rights of American citizens to have their property protected by the government and to have their safety ensured.

The Supreme Court's decision to let Arizona's borders go unprotected is more than a lapse in judgment; it is an abdication of duty.  If we don't esteem our nation enough to preserve it intact for future generations, we can't expect immigrants of any kind to respect it when they voluntarily decide to become part of it.

Obama's executive order effectively implementing the illegal immigrant-friendly DREAM act, though he knew it was unconstitutional, is a stark example of disrespect for our system of government.  And just after the Supreme Court's ruling on the Arizona immigration law, the executive branch signaled that it was not interested in receiving deportation requests from state and local law enforcement.  This is not the behavior of someone loyal to constitutionally legitimate government. 

And it shows.  Just 22% of Americans think that the government has the consent of the governed.  Fewer citizens are feeling positive about their American citizenship under our lawless and reckless government.  This is more than just an academic point.  When a government completely loses its legitimacy, catastrophic things tend to result.

Kyle Becker is a commentator at Own the Narrative talk radio and can be followed @rogueoperator1.

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