Sunday, August 18, 2019

Too much confusion about immigration laws all around.

OK, this is one of the more complex aspects of law and most people have no idea that some things are a lot more complex than they appear. People talk about the "dreamers" as if they were like the people in Britain who were "Windrushed".

I have no sympathy for the Dreamers, but I have a lot of sympathy for the victims of a "Windrush".

But any serious discussion of immigration law requires some explanation. This is highly simplistic, but it gives an idea of how all this works.

First principle is that only citizens of a nation have a right to enter and exit the nation freely under international law. Everybody else enters and exits a foreign nation does so under condition. It is not a right for someone to enter a foreign country: especially unlawfully.

There are two ways to get citizenship: by birth or naturalisation. Birth can work by jus soli or jus sanguinus.The United States uses jus soli, which means someone has citizenship merely by being born inside the US. It is in the Constitution (14th Amendment).

Like most countries, the United States also has jus sanguinus, which means that you can have citizenship through your parents registering your foreign birth. People can inherit citizenship depending on the other countries' laws (e.g, Italy, Ireland, The United Kingdom, etc.).

Most countries have combinations of both jus soli or jus sanguinus. Some do it in such a way so that simply being born in a country does not result in citizenship (Ireland now requires at least one parent is an Irish Citizen or resident alien for citizenship). The US can't do this without changing the Constitution to require some parental connection to the United States. That was something that made sense after emancipation of the slaves, but doesn't make sense now.

The US is one place where the laws are fairly static, for what that is worth. One cannot lose, or renounce, citizenship without some serious consequences. The people who usually lose citizenship are people who became citizens under fraudulent circumstances (e.g, war criminals).

Another thing to explain is that Asylum is regulated by International law.
Asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the international law definition of a “refugee.” The United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol define a refugee as a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980.
Asylum is an incredibly complex topic. I could easily do a very large book on the topic. The bottom line here is that not everyone qualifies as a refugee: no matter how sad their story may be. People escaping Central America's gang violence is a case in point: especially since most of those gangs were formed in the US!

Coming to the US to escape gangs in Central America makes as much sense as going to Sicily to escape the Mafia.

I'll add in that A valid passport is required for entry into most foreign countries. More than 80% of all countries in the world require a passport for entry. Some countries require foreign nationals to have a visa. Even if a passport is not required for entrance into a foreign country, it is required to re-enter the United States in most cases. Additionally, there are visa requirements for entry into the US for some foreign nationals. Not having the proper visa is another violation of immigration law.

Lack of the proper documentation as a foreigner means the person is in violation of immigration laws and unlawfully present in the country.

As I said, this is highly simplistic, but it explains the basics.

The real bottom line is that the law is the law. It doesn't matter whether one agrees with it or not. One must obey the law as is.

Or work to change it.

See also:

Monday, July 22, 2019

American English: Racist?

One thing that makes a nation is a common heritage and culture, which is often shown by a common language. After all, communicating is what language is all about. And people can't communicate if they are speaking different languages. Quite a few countries require prospective immigrants to demonstrate proficiency with their language: Canada and France come to mind.

Map of US official language status by state before 2016. Blue: English declared the official language; light-blue: 2 official languages, including English; gray: no official language specified

While English is not an actual official language, there are some who consider it the de facto national language. It is the sole, but unofficial, language of the federal government. the United States federal government has recognized no official language, even though nearly all federal, state and local government business is conducted in English

There have been attempts to make English the official language of the US with the first major one being in 1923 with a bill drafted by Congressman Washington J. McCormick. The U.S. House of Representatives passed English as the official language in 1996, but the Senate did not act on the measure before the conclusion of the 104th Congress. English is the official language of 32 states as of 2019.

Proponents of this movement include US Senator S.I. Hayakawa and Mauro E. Mujica, who is a naturalized citizen, Mujica was born in Antofagasta, Chile, and moved to the United States in 1964. Is someone who speaks multiple languages who berates someone for speaking Spanish really racist or just pointing out that it's rude to speak another language (e.g, Aaron Schlossberg).  Could he have made his point in another way.

Contrary to what is often believed, most of the world's population is bilingual or multilingual. Monolingualism is characteristic only of a minority of the world's peoples. On the other hand, it makes more sense to speak the common language instead of another language.

Would it take the US making English the official language to end this debate, especially since currently it seems that people who are "Trump supporters" are being accused of the being the crowd who support speaking English.

On the other hand, having a common language would be a factor in a national identity.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Reparation for slavery is not a simple topic.

As I said before it was the Transatlantic Slave trade, which means it goes beyond just the United States: especially if you are discussing the people who traded slaves.

You can listen to this episode here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csynsp. The person in question is Spanish and his family was trading slaves after the trade became illegal.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

And now that you are distracted by the concept or reparations...

What exactly is the status of The Voting Rights Act of 1965?

Serious question since this is something which happened recently enough to be in our lifetime. It also has a real impact on current events where as reparations are pretty nebulous.

 Wouldn't it make more sense to be discussing this since it has a very real effect on minorities and US politics?

 Which leads to the next question: WHY isn't it being discussed?