Dating an illegal immigrant
The Balkans, Rwanda, and Iraq remind us that states without common citizen ties, affinities, rights, and responsibilities become fragmented and violent, as their diverse populations share no investment in the welfare of the commonwealth.
What plagues contemporary Iraq and Syria is the lack of clearly defined borders, and often shifting and migrating populations that have no stake in the country of their residence, resulting in competing tribes that vie for political control to aid their own and punish the Other.
They should not interrupt more natural ebbs and flows of migrant populations.
More concretely, an array of vested interests sees advantage in dismantling the border: employers in hospitality, construction, food processing, and agriculture prefer hard-working low-wage immigrants, whose social needs are often subsidized by the government and who are reluctant to organize for higher wages.
Citizenship instead demands that unpopular or unworkable laws be amended or repealed by the proper legislative and judicial branches of government, not by popular neglect or violation.
In reductionist terms, when an immigrant’s first act when entering the United States involves breaking the law, then all subsequent violations become only that much easier.
Besides secure borders and respect for the laws, a third tenet of citizenship is the idea of equal applicability of the law.
Residency is also confused with citizenship, but they are no more the same than are guests at a dinner party and the party’s hosts, who own the home.
A country reverts to tribalism unless immigrants enter it legally—often based on the host’s determination of how easily and rapidly they can become citizens, and the degree to which they can benefit their adopted country—and embrace its customs, language, and habits.
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Once immigration law goes unenforced, there are pernicious ramifications.