Posted on July 31, 2010



The continual divisive debate over illegal immigration has consumed national attention for years. But it rarely focuses for very long on the central problem of over 10 million people living here without legal status or means to obtain citizenship.

There are two principles governing the granting of citizenship. The “right of soil” confers it on anyone born within a nation’s territory. The “right of blood” requires one or both parents of a newborn to be citizens. Most other immigrants came to America on the quota system.

Roman ideals shaped  our Founding Fathers’ thinking on citizenship. To understand the value of the status in ancient Rome, one need only to look at the experience of the apostle Paul. Arrested on arrival in Jerusalem for his preachings, Paul would have been condemned to death if tried there. But because he was a Roman citizen, he was able to appeal to Caesar and be tried in Rome.

A common Roman practice continues today by granting citizenship to those who serve in the military.

America is at or near the height of its power. Ironically, in A.D. 212 when Rome was at the height of power, an imperial edict extended citizenship to all free men in  the empire in order to increase the tax base. That led to the decline in military enrollment, power, and civic pride. Citizenship lost its value.

Today amnesty offered to illegal immigrants could result in the same conditions for our nation.

We must first close the borders and enforce current federal immigration laws. Second, we should enable the 10 million lacking legal status to become full citizens, but on the condition that they earn citizenship.

Let them serve in the military for basic training plus one  year. Or they could perform community service for 18 months.

Also they would need to learn English fluently, and they need to have a knowledge of American history and government.

We are a nation of free citizens, and that privilege must be earned by the millions of future citizens living here in limbo. We owe that opportunity to them, to ourselves and to all those who shaped, defended and saved this great nation.

Posted in: Uncategorized