Writes Randy Vollrath on Set the Bar Low for Immigration but High for Citizenship:
Questions about immigration and citizenship are front and center now that immigration legislation is being actively debated by Congress. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744), which has passed the Senate and is currently pending in the House, contains a controversial provision which would allow undocumented immigrants currently residing in the US to legalize their immigration status and eventually to obtain U.S. Citizenship after 13 years of residency. This bill raises a question: what should be required to be a United States citizen?
Public debate often ties the issues of immigration and citizenship together, with one used as a bargaining chip for the other. While there is some overlap, the two issues need to be viewed separately. To put a common misconception to rest: one can vote in favor of an open immigration policy without supporting citizenship for all immigrants. Indeed, in order to preserve American values, citizenship standards need to be high.
Some argue that people should have the right to move and have legal residence wherever they can manage to travel and make a living. If that is so, does moving to a country entitle people to citizenship? What is citizenship, and who should have it?
Read the rest at The Undercurrent.