Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 8 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/10/10

Anti-immigrants don't know their own history

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   4 comments
Message Robert O'Connor
In their quixotic attempt to create their shining white city on a hill, anti-immigrants have decided to try and remove citizenship from "anchor babies" - children born to migrant workers in the US, who are US citizens, and thus eligible for various government programs.

This granting of citizenship to children born in the US - regardless of what nationality their parents are - is in the first section of the 14th amendment to the Constitution. That section also bans the denial of rights without due process and forbids states from giving anyone unequal protection of the laws. Good luck at overturning that.

Wil Wilkinson tries defending this in the normally intelligent The Week.

But here's my question: suppose everyone had to earn citizenship the same way immigrants do? You couldn't register for the army, vote, or do any of your civic duties unless you pass the same tests that immigrants do? How would Americans measure up to the standards they place on those wanting to become Americans?

(here's a list of sample questions)

In a 2006 survey held by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, 23% of respondents knew freedom of religion was one of the freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment. 21% thought the right to own a pet was one of them, and 17% thought the right to drive a car was one. Only one tenth of one percent was able to name all five (speech, press, religion, assembly, petition for redress of grievances).

2/3rds of respondents in a later poll couldn't name a single branch of government.

In 2007, 37% knew that John Ro berts was the Chief Justice of the United States. The same poll found that 54% of viewers of the Daily Show/Colbert Report had a high knowledge of politics, while 35% of Fox News viewers had the same level of knowledge.

And so on. How many Americans know what we purchased from France in 1803 or what Susan B. Anthony did or name one Indian tribe?

To be fair, the people who take the test have studied, and presumably everyone else would have to study hard too if it meant being a full citizen. But wouldn't it be nice if everyone actually KNEW civics and weren't fooled by radio blabbermouths who think that a clause in the constitution about slavery was actually about immigration?
Well Said 2   Must Read 1   Interesting 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Robert O'Connor Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert O'Connor is a journalist from St. Paul, Minnesota. His work has been published by the Chi-Town Daily News, Newcity Chicago, The New Indian Express, the Twin Cities Daily Planet and others. He's also worked in radio at Radio K (University of (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Glenn Beck doesn't do his homework - again

Symbol Obsession

Robin Hood today

Glenn Beck makes fun of an 11 year old

Anti-immigrants don't know their own history

Minnesota republicans flirt with secession

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend