A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tear Down The Statue of Liberty!

Recent anti-immigrant rhetoric has reached new heights of absurdity. The latest idea being floated — and gaining momentum — among conservative politicians is changing the citizenship status of anyone born in the United States to illegal immigrants. The argument here is that the illegal parents could no longer claim they have to stay in this country because their offspring is a legal citizen. I don’t think these legislators have a clue as to what they are proposing.

First of all, granting citizenship status to children born in the US regardless of their parents’ status is guaranteed in the Constitution. It’s called the 14th Amendment. Changing this law is not as simple as the conservatives make it out to be.

Their proposal would entail repealing this amendment, which is a long, arduous process. Some amendments are introduced, debated, and voted on without passage for years. Two-thirds of the states have to ratify it before it becomes part of the Constitution. Perhaps that fact alone will discourage this idea from going any further than the ratcheting radical rhetoric we’re hearing today.

The saga of the Equal Rights Amendment is a classic example. The ERA wasn’t ratified by the required number of states before its June 30, 1982 expiration and the amendment died. Boy, do I remember that day! I clearly recall my mother yelling at me (like it was all my fault the ERA failed) that she was still a “second-class citizen” on the day after the expiration.

An implementation of such a law would mean entire families are sent back to Mexico. Let’s face it - when conservatives target illegal immigrants, they are referring to Hispanics crossing from south of the border. I’ve never heard any of these legislators rail against those hockey-happy Canadians or any illegals from any of the Asian countries. Given that the Mexican government is waging war on the drug cartels, and given that the result is many innocent people are dying in the crossfire (one estimate runs as high as 23,000 people since 2006), perhaps the illegals should start requesting asylum as war refugees.

However, just in case we really want to do this, then we should be prepared to go all the way! We should not limit our actions to implementing an actual law. We should also do something symbolic to show the world that, yes, this time we mean business. That’s why I am proposing tearing down the Statue of Liberty.

I wrote about this idea before*, but now it should be taken more seriously than just some odd ramblings from a blog filled with satirical musings. We should dismantle this icon of freedom, sell the copper for scrap metal (given the price of copper, this sale could make a sizable dent in the deficit), reassign the Park Service workers at the Statue to other areas of the United States, and put something profitable and capitalist worthy on the land where the statue stands now, like a Super Wal-Mart!

It would be the height of hypocrisy — not that the rest of the world hasn’t accused us of that before — if we kept Lady Liberty with her solemn oath to accept the tired, the poor, and the weak yearning to be free while we’re chucking babies out the other end. It just doesn’t look good.

Is this an outlandish idea? Of course it is, but it’s no more outlandish than legalizing racial profiling like Arizona has done. It’s no more outlandish than the Republican lawmaker who wants to place land mines along the border. Oh yeah, losing whole body parts would be a nice welcome to the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! Such ideas might just make Liberty rust again, not from acid rain, but from tears when she realizes that the ideals she’s stood for are no longer wanted or welcome.

*”There Was A Time When Strangers Were Welcome Here” (June 2, 2006).

(Thank you for reading. Remember, freedom and liberty is for everyone!)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're an idiot

June 23, 2010 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous arteejee said...

Yeah, well, I half expected that criticism. Thanks for writing, anyway....

June 23, 2010 at 7:46 PM  

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