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How Legal Americans Will Become Illegal Immigrants

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Many American citizens fight illegal immigration and demand stricter laws. Yet, what most legal Americans do not realize, they too could become illegal immigrants. There are at least 2 ways it could occur. First, if some country invades our soils and overtakes us by force, we could all become illegal immigrants in our own land. You say that is far fetched. Well, think about it for a moment. Isn't that what Americans did to the Native Americans? Second, all we have to do is revoke citizenship to legal Americans for a variety of reasons. That one is not so far fetched. It's already on the agenda.

When Christopher Columbus sailed to America from Spain in 1492, unlike what the history books claim, he did not discover America. America was already inhabited by many tribes of Native Americans. Following Columbus, over a hundred years later, English settlers came, invaded and occupied America. Over time the new Americans forcibly removed the Native American people, already living here, killed and raped them. We created laws that gave us the legal authority to remove the Native Americans and place them on reservations. Native Americans had no immigration policy in effect. They probably didn't think they needed one. Now, they know better. Every American that is not a Native American or a descendant of a Native American is already an illegal immigrant.

Early English settlers were from backgrounds not unlike what we perceive the backgrounds of many of the brown immigrants. Many of our early settlers were not aristocrats but from a sultry mix of diverse backgrounds. Many persons living illegally now in our country came for the same reasons as the early American settlers or first immigrants. They came for a better life for themselves and their family. They came because they were prosecuted in their country. They came for economic, religious and political freedom. They came yearning to be free. Every illegal immigrant is not a criminal in the same way that not every early American immigrant was a criminal.

Since our history proves that we could become illegal immigrants in our own land, maybe that's why Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and the Tea Partiers are so critical of immigration laws in this county. Perhaps, they fear that illegal immigrants will someday outnumber us and take over our country.They may also fear becoming the minority. Estimates claim that white Americans will be the minority around 2040. Maybe, the tough stance on immigration is to hold the tide back.

Some harsh critics of present immigration laws propose laws that would change the US constitution to revoke citizenship to babies born on American soil to illegal immigrant parents. If we make this change, children living here as legal citizens will become illegal immigrants.Will laws be changed one day to send African Americans back to Africa? Will we move towards revoking citizenship of Muslim Americans forcing them to return to a majority Muslim country one day? Will Asian Americans' citizenship be in jeopardy as it once was during World War II? During World War II, America removed over 100,000 Japanese Americans and placed and confined them in internment camps. Where will we stop? No one knows the answers today. Whatever the reason, changing laws and the Constitution to make already legal citizens illegal is not the way to go. We must stop that terrible tide from rising. If not,many legal Americans will end up illegal immigrants.

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Washington DC based Debbie Hines is a lawyer, former prosecutor and legal/political commentator. She frequently appears on television commenting on gender and race issues in law and politics. As an ivy league educated woman of color, she speaks (more...)
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