Everyone has the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We all know that basic fact. However, basically living in a country and being a citizen of that country are different things. Citizenship requires a reciprocal allegiance, the citizen defends the country and the rights of the people therein and the government reciprocates in the same manner. We already recognize a separate human status within our borders, that of a legal immigrant. Such a person would be here for business or pleasure, would enjoy the ability to travel throughout our country, work, provide shelter for himself, would have the standard protections under the law such as those enumerated by the Bill of Rights, pay taxes, etc. However, such a person would not have the right to vote or serve in responsible positions of government. That is the status that the illegal immigrants should hold once they are granted amnesty, not that of full citizens.
The people of the United States really need to revamp whole parts of our governance and the rights and privileges of citizens should be one of the first areas we focus on. A citizen should be anyone who has attained the age of 18, who has satisfied requirements of education and who has formally taken the Oath of Citizenship. As a citizen he would have certain rights and privileges that a non-citizen would not, such as the right to vote, the right to own real property situated within the United States, the right to own stock in United States corporations valued above $5,000.00, the right to hold political office, the right to serve in the military as an officer, the right to be a judge and the right to serve on juries. A non-citizen would be everyone else who is within our borders and who conducts their affairs in harmony with the civil order. Such a person would enjoy the full protections of the law a citizen would concerning his person and property. He would have the right to work, the right to contract for shelter, the right to private personal property, the right to travel and to hold a driver's license, the right of trade, the right to voice his opinions and concerns in the public arena, the right to operate a business; in short, the right to live.
Our tax laws are a mess. We all know this and we must change this injustice. One of the central arguments against the "undocumented" worker is that they fall through the tax collection cracks and do not pay their share of the taxes. On top of that they collect a disproportionate share of the welfare monies. Our failure to create a just system is not sufficient reason to lock them into destitution and desperation. Our tax system should be changed to a consumption based, anonymous one. A sales tax on end consumer items, split between the state wherein the sale happened and the federal government, would insure that everyone paid their share without anyone needing to file any papers with anyone. The income tax must be abolished. In addition to that, the War on Poverty can be labeled as a complete failure and these welfare programs must be ended. Everyone within a country must pull their weight, to the best of their ability, citizens and immigrants together. The creation of a welfare system has only created the "under privileged" class who remain as such as if being under privileged was a permanent physical birth defect. Our people deserve better, they deserve work and skills. They deserve to keep the rewards of their labors. Such skilled workers facilitate economic action which raises the human condition. Another consequence of ending the welfare handout would be to insure those immigrants who do cross the border into the United States would be the ones who have come to produce and not merely to take. Charity is the greatest of the virtues, however it only works for good when the giver gives of his own heart, never when he gives by taking goods away from another by force. As we have learned the hard way since the administration of Lyndon Johnson, such false, coerced charity only makes things worse and it kills the economic engine.
Every human is created in the image of God. When we help the least of our brethren, we help our Lord Jesus Christ personally. When we recognize our responsibility to those who were forced to leave their native land, seeking a better way of life, we are truly acting as the good stewards of this great country of which we find ourselves responsible and hope to hand to others down the line in a better condition than it was given to us. May we live up to our reputation as being the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.