Despite moving to the back burner for the last few months, the fury of middle-America at the ongoing problem of illegal immigrants continues unabated. The recent housing downturn, sporadic but well-publicized ICE raids, and all manner of do-it-yourself approaches from local jurisdictions have combined to fuel self-deportations and limit the inflow, but we are still left with many millions of lawbreakers on the wrong side of the fence.
Today's news brings us yet another reminder of just why the Democrats are so adamant on welcoming all comers, in the face of the opposition of 80% of American voters: they want to create more of the kind of voters who vote for Democrats. The New York Sun reports:
A federal judge in Manhattan will decide, as early as tomorrow, whether to force the federal government to process a backlog of tens of thousands of citizenship applications in time for Election Day. The backlog is partly attributable to a spike in applications last year prompted by an announcement of fee increases. It is also due to a bottleneck in the naturalization process related to FBI reviews of its investigative files for adverse information about applicants. Such reviews - which were made more comprehensive after it was discovered that the federal government in 2002 had naturalized a person with ties to Hezbollah - are at the heart of a class action in Manhattan on behalf of as many as 55,000 immigrants in the New York region who have citizenship applications that have been pending for more than half a year.
This case relates to people who have applied for U.S. citizenship. Are they law-abiding, legal residents who have earned that privilege? Are they criminal illegal aliens with forged documents? Nobody knows - and that's precisely the point.
As the article notes, in 2002 an immigrant received naturalization and U.S. citizenship despite having ties with a known terrorist group. It's simple common sense that we ought to know who we are allowing into our country; it's even more necessary to know who we are giving the rights and privileges of American citizenship. We've noted before that immigrants whether legal or illegal have no civil constitutional rights; they have human rights, of course, and ought not be tortured or otherwise abused, but as a sovereign nation we have every right under international law to send them back from whence they came, for any reason or for no reason.
But once an immigrant becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen, they have absolutely the same rights and privileges as any other American, save only that they cannot become President. And that's the way it ought to be - America has never been about discriminating between different kinds of citizens, and the story of America is the story of our long path to equality as citizens all under the same law.
For this to work, though, we have to have confidence that our immigration and naturalization services are doing their job properly. This includes investigating the background and papers of the applicants.
Not only do we need to make sure they are who they say they are, we also want to avoid letting in America's enemies - terrorists first among them, but also lesser criminals, people with hazardous diseases, and so on. At the most base level, we don't want to make more Americans that will go straight onto the welfare rolls; they ought to at least have the ability to support themselves and their families by their own efforts.
And that's exactly why activists are wanting to short-circuit the process. Despite the media's best efforts, the 2008 election looks to be just as much a squeaker as the last two; every vote counts.
To these people, all that matters is raking in votes for Democrats; they don't care if unearned privileges are given to criminals, terrorists, and sponges, at vast expense in money if not lives, as long as their anointed candidate wins. The suit doesn't allege any bias, illegal activities, or wrongdoing on the part of the government agencies involved; simply that it's taking longer than is convenient for the activists' political agenda.
Our concerns about fraud aren't just a random accusation; they're well-founded in history. In 1986, Ronald Reagan made one of the worst mistakes of his presidency: he announced an amnesty for illegal aliens who could prove their residency in the U.S. Just as is happening here, the open-borders crowd refused to allow an orderly, thorough investigation - agents were told to rubber-stamp all applications and naturalize the illegals as quickly as possible. As a result, writes Ed Meese, Reagan's Attorney General at the time:
...The 1986 act did not solve our illegal immigration problem. From the start, there was widespread document fraud by applicants. Unsurprisingly, the number of people applying for amnesty far exceeded projections. And there proved to be a failure of political will in enforcing new laws against employers. After a six-month slowdown that followed passage of the legislation, illegal immigration returned to normal levels and continued unabated. Ultimately, some 2.7 million people were granted amnesty, and many who were not stayed anyway, forming the nucleus of today's unauthorized population. [emphasis added]
There is nothing of "justice" or "human rights" in this latest attempt to devalue Americans and American citizenship; it is entirely about partisan political advantage. Is the word "treason" too harsh?
At least with a traditional invasion, the enemy is of another country; with this modern immigration invasion, its supporters within our borders work to provide American papers for the invaders. If the judge decrees that the process must be skipped and citizenships be issued willy-nilly, that's exactly what he will be doing - certainly some of the applicants are deserving, but it's equally certain others aren't, and by avoiding the background checks we'll never know. We'll be repeating the history we refused to learn from.
Besides, this isn't really necessary. Both Obama and McCain are all in favor of handing U.S. citizenship to all comers, as is Nancy Pelosi's Democratic majority which is almost certain to increase next year.
Maybe it's just as well that these activists are so impatient to have action on this in time to affect the election. If the fury shown around last year's amnesty bill can be re-energized in time for November, the election might just turn out differently than they expect.