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All men are not created equal

Yesterday on the radio, I heard this schmuck argue in favor of the current proposal to grant illegal aliens in-state tuition in Massachusetts. I'm not going to rehash what was said then, but one of his remarks got me thinking.

He said "they just want the rights everyone else has, and they deserve them."

Rights are odd things. In the ideal world, everyone has equal rights, and no one is better or worse than anyone else. But that's simply not the way things are. All people are not equal in the eyes of the law -- and I happen to agree with that.

At the top of the food chain are native-born American citizens. They have the greatest claim on government efforts, as they have a firm stake in the future prosperity of the nation. Further, they (or, rather, "we," as I fall into this category), are specifically mentioned in the Preamble of the United States Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The next level is that of naturalized Americans. Their rights are virtually equal with those of us who were fortunate enough to have been born here. In fact, there are only two differences -- one legal, one more abstract.

The legal difference is that, in addition to being liable to the same punishments for breaking the law, naturalized citizens can be stripped of their citizenship as well, and deported -- a fate I never have to fear. And the other one is that naturalized citizens, as a group, tend to value their citizenship and cherish this country a bit more directly than those of us who have never known different. Sometimes I envy them; their citizenship is the result of a conscious act, not a mere accident of birth as mine is, and they can rightfully take pride in their achievement.

The next level is those of legal resident aliens. They have many of the rights as citizens, but not all. They cannot vote, for example. I agree with this -- they have considerably less of a stake in the future than those of us who are citizens. If they voted, they could screw up things as best they could, then bail out and go home again, leaving the rest of us to live with the consequences.

Below them are temporary visitors. Tourists, students, and others who come to the US, but don't plan to stay. They have the barest of rights -- they can't work, for example, let alone vote.

At the bottom of things are illegal aliens. They know that the US has clearly established procedures for coming here, for whatever reason, but choose to ignore those and do as they please. They cross the border illegally, come as "tourists" or "students" and refuse to leave as they promised, or "cheat" and "cut in line" in some other way. I heard recently that last year it finally reached the point where more people entered the US illegally than legally last year.

Yes, illegal aliens are human beings, too, and entitled to basic human rights. But no more. They are not entitled to any of the privileges reserved for those who obey the law. They are not entitled to driver's licenses, in-state tuition, free or subsidized education, social services, or any of the things that many try to appropriate for them.

Because to do so is to denigrate and cheapen those things, and a gross insult to those who have worked so hard to obey the law and play by the rules to come to this country. I think it's on their behalf that I get the most angry about illegal aliens.

Comments (21)

One more difference: natura... (Below threshold)

One more difference: naturalized citizens cannot be President or VP of the US.

I have no particular opinion on that difference, just wanted to note it.

There is no 'right' to in s... (Below threshold)

There is no 'right' to in state tuition. It's a tuition rate charged to legal residents of the state. How hard is that to grasp?

I completely agree with you... (Below threshold)

I completely agree with you, Jay Tea, in all that you opine here.

Illegal aliens have gone about systematically destroying the worth of citizenship and continue to do so. How many times have I and everyone else, it seems, heard/read, "We just want to work and earn money for our families" from illegal aliens to explain their presence in the country?

I respond to that: I'd just like to drive a nicer car so I am going to take that car of yours because it will help me earn money and support my family.

I used to sympathize with the movement of illegal immigration -- they "just want to work and provide for their families," after all, so it's alleged -- and then I realized that sympathizing was the plight of the victim, the sucker. If you've ever had your wallet and/or pocket pilfered by a person pleading for your sympathy, you start to look a lot differently at what it means to sympathize, to what extent and with whom about what.

It's all fine and well to want to "work and support (a) family" but the motivation does not therefore assign the added layer "by any means possible."

If it did, then all of us could walk outside right now, find the nicest car we wanted, break into it and drive it away, and just tell the police afterward (and society, thereby) that we "just want to work and support our family." And he'd give us a big meal and free healthcare because of it, and the guy who owned that nice car could just be out the property.

If it did, then all the rest of us could walk outside and find a nice group of diamonds in any window display, break open the window and take what we thought would help us to "support our family" and "work." And anyone who stopped us and asked what we were doing would be "a racist" for refusing to allow us to go on our way with the "found" property, turned into cash later to "support our family."

There is no moral, civic or social justification for illegal immigration. People have been getting a lot of mileage out of the "I can have it because I need it" rationalization about their illegality for a long time, to everyone else's disadvantage.

No illegal alien in the U.S. is "supporting their family," but the United States is, in assists in various types all across the country. By the looks on the faces of people stopped at the border while engaged in illegal immigration, most of them still think our U.S. border and U.S. citizenship is a big joke, that their illegal actions are "funny."

I don't. A lot of Americans feel as I do, too.

If they "want to work" in the U.S. and "support (a) family" by doing so, then they can do it legally. Interesting that so few even try and just opt to steal the cars, the diamonds, the country's resources. And smile while they're doing it.

You missed that illegal ali... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

You missed that illegal aliens are criminals engaged in criminal activity. Criminals engaged in criminal activity have even less rights. Like the right not to get shot by the police and/or carted off to jail. I'm a little hesitant to give college tuition breaks to criminals engaged in criminal activity, based on the fact they are criminals engaged in criminal activity.

I, too, used to think that ... (Below threshold)

I, too, used to think that the issues involved here were one of us, the United States, just not being clear enough, not explaining issues well enough, not SYMPATHIZING adequately with enough goods and services and freely offered things, changes to ourselves inorder to better explain, be clear, be available to act on the problems.

But, no, it's not about issues not being clear enough, it's not about the U.S. not being available enough, it's not about the issues being too complex or confusing or unavailable by language or whatever else to people who enagage in illegal immigration.

They do it despite what they know to be wrong. They are engaging in a persistent and intentional lifestyle and actions with planning, forethought and full awareness that what they are doing is considered wrong, against the law, offensive to citizens, a violation of many laws of the country, that they are being socially, morally and legally offensive to the couuntry.

They do it despite all of that...it's not a case of issues not being clear, or explained well or adequately, but about an effort to seize access and presence in the country without regard for how it's done, without regard for the requirements otherwise.

Illegal immigration is intentional criminal activity. And all the demands that are made afterward are just more of that, same, by those assisting in the illegalities. It's time for the U.S. to assert itself and begin effectively penalizing people who participate in every.single.aspect of illegal immigration and illegal.aliens once they're here because it's not proving beneficial to the country to indulge social sympathy for crime and criminal behavior.

No "benefits" for those who have already established their questionable character, if not bad character: illegal aliens.

If they have a sincere story about their circumstances, some exception that justifies illegal immigration (do they, really? because so far the "asylum" routine rebuff has been proven over and over again to be deceit, to be usery), then they can make a good case for it but, so far, we have to start turning people away who are not documented.

If the highway patrol can stop someone going 80 m.p.h. on an empty interstate 10 between Palm Springs and Phoenix -- and they do -- then they can stop illegal immigration, or at least, capture most of it and turn them away. Border security today is necessary. Effective border security to include airports, VISA moderation, ports and actual land.

Jay I agree completely. I k... (Below threshold)

Jay I agree completely. I know several Legal immigrants. People who came to this country and followed all the rules. They became citizens. Illegal immigration, and pandering thereto, makes their sacrifices worthless. My state of Illinois allows in-state tuition for illegals. This is so wrong. A student from a neighboring state, IA, WI, MS, IN, KY or TN must pay out-of-state tuition to go to an Illinois school, but someone from Chihuahua, Mexico, here illegally, gets all the benefits of in-state prices. I am not against immigration at all. I am against those who will blatantly flout our laws and then they expect the state to provide benefits as well. In California, state Sen Gil Cedillo (D) wanted to exempt illegals from the confiscation of their car when caught driving without a license. Citizens of California are subject to this confiscation. But Sen. Cedillo felt that it would be too burdensome for the poor illegals. They weren't allowed to get a driver's license in the first place, poor things. Since they weren't allowed to get a driver's license, why burden them further when they are caught driving without one?

We need to start fining companies that hire illegal aliens. Large fines. More than the "salary" that the illegals are earning. If we can make it not worth it to hire the illegals, then perhaps they will stop coming in the back door and try to do it correctly.

"Both Bushes embraced the “... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

"Both Bushes embraced the “open borders” immigration policy the Wall Street Journal has trumpeted for two decades. Result: We have 10-15 million illegal aliens in our country, among whom gangs like the murderous Mara Salvatrucha are proliferating. Native-born California taxpayers are fleeing the Golden State, as Third World tax consumers pour in. So great is the crisis on the Mexican border even the liberal Democratic governors of New Mexico and Arizona have declared states of emergency" From Patrick Buchanan's column today not exactly a bleeding heart liberal..I would be interested in Jay`s take on this. "Many people are coming to this country for economic reasons. They're coming here to work. If you can make 50 cents in the heart of Mexico, for example, or make $5 here in America, $5.15, you're going to come here if you're worth your salt, if you want to put food on the table for your families. And that's what's happening".. George W..Is the president too much in the pocket of agri-business?

Someone, preferably some bl... (Below threshold)

Someone, preferably some blogger, needs to attempt to outline a solid immigration plan. Then put it out, get comments, and refine it a little.

We're all out here as an unformed mass knowing _something_ needs to be done, but screaming 'we need immigration reform' is a far cry from 'we need Jay Tea's Immigration Plan'. One has details.

I personally think the term 'guest worker' needs to have a more concrete term. 'Red Card'. I don't have a problem with a fingerprinting, hair samples, and photos to get a Red Card. The bureaucracy needs to go the heck away - how long can you spend peering at a foreign countries documentation for someone they're trying to get rid of before concluding 'hey, maybe they're lying'. Run it past the freaking FBI & CIA, give them just two weeks.(If they can't give an answer in two weeks, then they need to start sacking people by the dozens).

You can also set it up such that Red Cards are mailed frequently enough, and expire often enough, to provide both proof of employment and habitation.

There's plenty of ways to satisfy the 'national security' people, the 'big business needs labor people' and the 'we can't deport everyone' people. The only people its tough to please are the open borders people. Kos em.

Someone, preferabl... (Below threshold)
Someone, preferably some blogger, needs to attempt to outline a solid immigration plan. Then put it out, get comments, and refine it a little.

Al, that's a great idea! This might be the next step in the evolution of blogging. Get a lawyer from Powerline or somewhere to convert a good plan into the legal mumbo-jumbo required. Then tweak it with some of the better thought through comments, and get it on the ballot. It would work better in state laws, but it's a start.

As powerline has the only vocally conservative lawyers that I'm aware of, I'm going to drop them an email and see if they bite. My apologies to any vocally conservative lawyer that I should be aware of but am not.

I'm not a lawyer, but I put... (Below threshold)

I'm not a lawyer, but I put up my proposal a while ago, and I'm egotistical enough to think it still could be a good starting point.


This was an excellent post,... (Below threshold)
Tom M:

This was an excellent post, Jay Tea. Very clear and well put together. Thank you. Is the distribute with credit thing in play?

Sorry if I'm out of line, its my first post here.

Tom M

Illegal aliens have gone... (Below threshold)

Illegal aliens have gone about systematically destroying the worth of citizenship and continue to do so.

I wouldn't put it quite that way. How about blaming the far-left, the Ford Foundation (funders of MALDEF, NCLR, etc.), most Dems, many Repubs, etc. etc.

How many times have I and everyone else, it seems, heard/read, "We just want to work and earn money for our families" from illegal aliens to explain their presence in the country?

You wouldn't hear about that if the news media didn't seek that out and if pundits didn't say those same things.

Those given above are the culprits, and if you want to do something about this matter work to discredit them.

Someone, preferably some blogger, needs to attempt to outline a solid immigration plan.

We already have the plan: the current laws. Perhaps with the addition of ending birthright citizenship.

From the Republican side, the root problem is corruption: politicians are in effect paid to look the other way. Unless you do something about that you won't get anywhere. That's going to perhaps require Republicans to vote for Democrats just to send a message. I'd suggest looking into Political Human Sacrifice to see how difficult that apparently is.

And, Arnold is generally opposed to illegal immigration, and his enemies in the California legislature are open borders nuts. If his propositions had won he would have taken a huge chunk of their power away. Where was the widespread R support for him? Some idiots where whining about him not being conservative enough.

The third para above should... (Below threshold)

The third para above should be in italics.

"Yes, illegal aliens are hu... (Below threshold)

"Yes, illegal aliens are human beings, too, and entitled to basic human rights."

As you may be unfamiliar with human rights, here's a reminder:


Article 26 and article 4 are relevant for the discussion. Children of so called illegal aliens that are inside a foreign country do have a basic human right to education. The - imho rather insidious - plan to bar children from education leads to uneducated workers with no rights in the future; something which used to go under the name of slavery.

Due process of law? Abolished.
Human rights? Abolished.

Well, good thing you've still got Hollywood and the military going, as the whole "land of the free" shtick apparently doesn't work anymore.

Kai,There is a huge ... (Below threshold)

There is a huge difference in "bar[ing] children from education" and making those 'children' pay the full rate. No one is saying they can't go, just that they don't deserve a discount designed solely for legal residents of the state.

"Children of so called ille... (Below threshold)

"Children of so called illegal aliens..."

They are "so called" because that is what they are.

Article 26 and article 4... (Below threshold)

Article 26 and article 4 are relevant for the discussion. Children of so called illegal aliens that are inside a foreign country do have a basic human right to education. The - imho rather insidious - plan to bar children from education leads to uneducated workers with no rights in the future; something which used to go under the name of slavery.

From Article 26(2): Education shall... further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

We'll be right on that.

The children of illegal aliens do have a right to a discounted education: in the countries of which they're citizens.

The "liberals" and corrupt corporations are in effect working together to enable the serf-like system of illegal immigration. If you oppose serf-like systems, oppose illegal immigration.

I realize it's hard for some "liberals" to think things through, but sit down for a few hours and try.

As long as there's illegal immigration, those illegal aliens will be abused by some employers. And, unless we declare open borders and give everyone who comes here the same rights as U.S. citizens, illegal aliens will have fewer rights and won't be able to take discounted college educations away from U.S. citizens.

If you don't like serf-like systems, you have no other choice other than opposing illegal immigration.

Opposing illegal immigratio... (Below threshold)

Opposing illegal immigration - that's a point where I agree with you - is different from what you said in the rant, though. So yeah, I am all for reducing illegal immigration, but taking it out on the children, who aren't even there by choice, is something that I don't happen to agree with. Voiding human rights of those children, because they are "illegal aliens" is not a course of action I'd support.

If by discounted college education you're merely referring to the universities, then I'd agree as well.
My main concern is with education of minors at school, though - everyone should be given the opportunity to acquire basic skills like reading, writing, mathematics, English language and such.

The bill in question refers... (Below threshold)

The bill in question refers to tuition at Massachusetts state colleges/universities. There is a Supreme Court decision requiring K-12 education benefits regardless of immigration status.

taking it out on the chi... (Below threshold)

taking it out on the children, who aren't even there by choice, is something that I don't happen to agree with.

In addition to what BEHUMP said, it's their parents who are to blame: they shouldn't have brought minors here with them expecting... what exactly? Isn't that a bit irresponsible of them?

And, those "children" (actually most of them 18+) are not stateless: they're citizens of their home countries, and those countries will provide them with whatever benefits they have.

And, if we take discounted college educations away from citizens and give them to illegal aliens, aren't we setting an extremely dangerous precedent? Namely, that citizenship is worth less than the status of someone who's here illegally?

And, if we do that, won't that encourage even more people to bring their children here? And, won't we need to deal with them in some way too?

Kai and everyone who thinks the same: you really need to read up on this whole matter and think things through.

Dear Jay TeaI thin... (Below threshold)

Dear Jay Tea

I think you are right when it comes to your legal reasons for opposing in-state tuition, but I think it is really a bit more complicated than that.

You said you enjoyed your rights as a United States citizen merely because you are your parents' child, who happened to be America. We can't help who our parents are. A little scenario: Let's say you were born to very poor, Eastern European parents who couldn't stay in their country, for political or economical reasons, so they fled to America when you were a toddler. The usual reasons for obtainining a permanent visa (or even citizenship) didn't apply to them, and in America, they now work for horribly low wages that no American would even want. And you, you are a very smart kid, always worked hard at school, etc. You want to go to University, but your parents can't afford out-of-state tuition. Should you be forced to take on a lowest-of-wages job without any prospects, like your parents, just because you happened to be their child and not the child of some Massachusetts middle class couple.

I am not saying I am in favor of granting every illegal immigrant in-state tuition. I am just saying that this issue, like many others, is not simply black-and-white, and therefore deserves some more considerate legislative treatment than just "yes" or "no".






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