Birthright citizenship

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by russmuller, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    I completely agree. Most of my family speaks a minimum of three languages, my father actually speaks four. Arguments were always fun! Learning new languages opens us up to the world and different cultures.
     
  2. estabon37

    estabon37 Melodica Attack!

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    I'll ignore the barbs and attempt to answer the questions.

    The first may seem to be unrelated, but it kind of 'loops' back on itself in a way that should theoretically assist immigration: bring civics and citizenship education back to schools in a big way. This is an idea I've been chasing for a couple of years, and I'm trying to write a research proposal through my university to find a means of making this a bigger part of the senior school curriculum in my state. The short version: since the late 70s, education systems (outside of Asia and Scandinavia) have been cutting back on time spent studying societies, cultures, and politics, because it seemed like a better idea to feed the labour market and post-compulsory education. In other words, schools have been redesigned over time to create good workers and good academics, but not good citizens / people. We're at a point where unemployment is rising, and university is inaccessibly expensive and high-skilled jobs now often require more than a bachelor's degree. There's no social requirement for schools to churn out automatons any more (it's a shame that it ever seemed necessary), so what do we teach students instead? Culture and cultures. Languages. Society and the social spheres. Politics and philosophy. The things that will allow them to shape the places they live, and communicate effectively with places they don't live. Essentially, we've realised that teaching specific skills and knowledge has limited usefulness; we're better off teaching students how to teach themselves and each other. With more and more businesses emphasising communication and creative / critical thinking skills over job-specific skills, it would seem that everybody would win, including migrants and those that live in proximity to large groups of migrants. A little understanding goes a long way, and if we had a generation of young people that were decent communicators and critical thinkers, then every interaction with a migrant would be a potential learning opportunity. Going to an English class once or twice a week couldn't possibly be as effective as being surrounded by people that understood the language well enough that they could help you learn as part of every conversation.

    So, as a few others have said, education reform in public schools would work wonders. Unfortunately, this means getting politicians and voters to see the 'bigger picture' in order to make the necessary changes to the curriculum, which means getting it into the public consciousness, which usually means making it prominent in media / social media, which usually means making it entertaining / interesting. That's tough. In this sense, the only 'solution' I can think of would be to 'raise the standards' in the entertainment industry. I'm hopeful Colbert might go some way towards achieving that goal in a mainstream setting, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Apart from that, I guess it's about looking at the thought process that supports strict border control. Joseph Carens makes some very compelling arguments in favour of open borders. For one thing, it would increase individual liberty: if an individual and a business come to a mutually beneficial agreement, and neither is engaging in illegal activity, why should nationality matter? Economically, the taxes stay in-country, and the disposable income of the employee would likely stay in-country. It's also possible (or even likely) that loosening migration laws around the world would drastically increase GDP on a global scale.

    Then again, maybe we're thinking too 'internally'. Why do people want to leave their nations? In all likelihood, it's because they're not enjoying a high quality of life. So wouldn't it make sense to increase their quality of life to lessen their incentive to leave? Is there anything that our countries are doing to theirs to cause them grief? Having participated in the recent wars in Afghanistan, I'm of the opinion that Australia has a duty of care to the people of that country, and if we're not going to increase their quality of life within their own borders, maybe we should be allowing more of them to live within ours. For all the money we spend standing on our borders pointing weapons in every possible direction, the amount we spend trying to improve the lives of those trying to get in is fucking abysmal.

    I'll admit that I don't know much about the subject, and that maybe nothing I've offered in this post actually constitutes a 'solution'. Having said that, pouring more time and effort into controlling borders has clearly not worked in the past, and we have no reason to think it will work in the future. As JSanta said:

    Those that dedicate their lives to studying and reforming immigration have generally come to the same conclusion. Why would a successful country built on the opportunities given to immigrants be fearful of what might happen if they continued the trend?

    EDIT: Spelling (oh, the irony)
     
  3. asher

    asher So Did We

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    Sorry, bone to pick:

    Why does nation matter?

    Labor regulations.

    I'd like to live in the libertarian ideal world where employers don't hold almost all the power in the relationship, especially with low skill low wage labor. And a pony.
     
  4. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Well we could incentivize businesses to stay put by simply mandating that what they pay Americans is exactly what they would have to pay their outsourced labor. That would remove some of the incentive for moving production to other nations.
     
  5. asher

    asher So Did We

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    this is going off topic, but:

    I'm not sure how that doesn't lead them to move EVERYTHING.

    Is the idea that American workers will complain too much (aside from the fact that it'd be light years below federal minimum wage)? Or that the minimum wage floor will raise the outsourced labor wages?
     
  6. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Not sure what you mean. I'm saying that we could regulate outsourced labor so that it will cost US companies more to pay their outsourced labor (the pay would be the same or more, but the product would be further from its customers). This would keep companies from building facilities arbitrarily in other nations, unless done for a viable reason (like maybe assembling vehicles in the country they are going to be sold for instance).

    They move labor across borders to pay laborers less 9/10. If they can't pay them less they have no reason to move.

    [EDIT]

    This removes some of that power you referred to from the employers.
     
  7. asher

    asher So Did We

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    That's really easily defeated by setting them up as contractors, which a lot of apparel companies do anyway.

    But I really do think this is a different thread topic, sorry!
     
  8. UnderTheSign

    UnderTheSign SS.org Regular

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    In response to Tim, here in the Netherlands and I think a lot of other European countries English is taught as a second language. We started in the last two years of elementary school, age 9-10. In high school, at least the highest two levels (high school is divided in 3 levels here), French is mandatory in the first 3 years. German is added in year 2 and the last two years when you choose your 'direction', you have to pick one of them.

    In Finland and Sweden it depends on where you live. There's a large area of Finland that borders Sweden where they pretty much all speak Swedish and other similar areas they have Swedish as a second language. I think (but am not 100% sure) the same goes for the areas bordering Russia. I know Germans that leave in towns that border France and they have France as a second language. So yeah, it's pretty common here.

    Hell, when I was still in university studying English and worked at a college, students following trade related courses had German as a mandatory language as well. Their reasoning? We deal with the Germans a lot, learn their darn language, you're gonna need it. The same colleges taught Spanish as an option as well.

    That said I can resonate the points made here earlier about students cramming the night before and not remembering dong later on. I still help out on oral English exams at that college and the students are only a few years younger than me (18-22ish) which means they've been taught English for at least at 10 years. Some of the middle eastern students, I can imagine if they have some trouble - for many it's their third or fourth language. But it's mostly the Dutch kids, who literally don't know anything but Dutch after those 10 years, that screw up all the time. And that's after a lifetime of not only being taught the language but also having it in their lives through TV, the Internet, games, etc...
     
  9. Millul

    Millul SS.org Regular

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    Here in Italy, English is taught starting from 3rd grade, but not many hours a week are dedicated to language lessons, nor many of the kids care.
    From middle school on, we can also choose to study other languages (German, French or Spanish), but only English is mandatory.
     
  10. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I know we're kinda moving away from the language topic, but as a former ESL teacher I just wanted to say: some people can't learn another language. I think that as we're all people who enjoy reading (online, at least) it might be easy for us to forget that many, many people only barely have a grasp on their first language. People pay a lot of money and get quality education for YEARS and still can't speak. And to suggest that somehow they don't deserve the opportunity to live here because of that is kinda heinous.
     
  11. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    It's moved away from more than that lol. The original topic was about "birthright" citizenship and it turned into an all out general immigration discussion :lol:


    Rev.
     
  12. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    It wouldn't be SSO if the topic didn't drift. :lol:
     
  13. asher

    asher So Did We

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    I actually think birthright citizenship is intricately tied with immigration as a topic and extremely difficult to untangle - especially in the particular political context that started this topic.
     
  14. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    I think it's very easy to discuss one without the other. The question was how do you feel about birthright citizenship?, meaning anyone regardless of the situation that is born here has instant citizenship. I'm ALL for immigration, my mother came from Germany! Most of my best friends had parents or family members that came from Greece, Italy, Poland, Norway, Ireland, etc. My mother-in-law came from Poland with her brother when they grew up and my father-in-law is from Croatia. That said, do I think a birth that occurs on a vacation or stop over flight should be considered in instant citizen? No, not really, sounds silly to me. But again, what harm does it really do? The OP also presented the question, "What did I ever do to deserve citizenship in the USA besides being born here?" which is an excellent question! The only thing I can think to say is his parents were likely already living and working here and paying taxes and he obviously is living here and most likely grew up here, so he spent his life here. Perhaps the clause can be modified to something still very open and flexible but not so "Tada! You're in instant citizen". Why couldn't they make it that if you are born here and spend the first year, or whatever arbitrary number of years, of your life here then you become a citizen?

    Again though, it really depends on what exactly we gain out of citizenship other than the common factors such as right to vote and all that. Think about this... a person that is not born here but has spent all of their life here cannot run for President of the United States... but a baby born on a stop over flight or on vacation and that has never lived a day in their lives here can? Again, just sounds silly to me.


    Rev.
     
  15. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    This is what I've always thought, too. I was wondering what some other people's thoughts on this are? I'm sure there has to be some amount of people who want to deny this.
     
  16. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    This was a non-white nation to begin with.
     
  17. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    I think this is a huge factor especially among older conservative types. I'm sure if you talked to them strictly about immigration from predominately white regions like most of Europe they'd respond positive and open mindedly. The instant you start talking about Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern immigration forget about it. Their immigration "opinions" will likely be the opposite. There are some factors though that lend to that prejudice. Not suggesting it's right or valid!, just pointing out the obvious that there is definitely bias based on several factors.


    Rev.
     
  18. Dog Boy

    Dog Boy SS.org Regular

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    After the Election the whole issue will go away...jus sayin
     
  19. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Why do you think so? I mean, I get that that is a pattern--but you could also say it about pretty much any topic people bring up while campaigning.

    More and more and more people are coming to this country. I get the impression that immigration is going to be kind of a big project for whoever wins the next election, kind of like ACA for Obama or War on Terror for Bush. If it isn't, it's probably going to turn into an issue pretty soon, as the margin of immigrants will gradually become too much of the population living within the USA to be swept under the carpet. Especially if you look at how fast Mexicans and Indians have babies. And I know THAT too is something people have been saying for years, but you gotta remember this is one of those graphs where the line has an exponential curve.
     
  20. tacotiklah

    tacotiklah I am Denko (´・ω・`)

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    Here's the real heart of the issue...
    Census Data Confirms: Hispanics Outnumber Whites In California : NPR


    It all comes down to the fact that rich white politicians are scared to death of the fact that white people will become a minority in this country, thus changing voting demographics. So the campaign to demonize what is likely to be the voting majority very soon is on. Even traditionally "red" states like Texas, are about to switch over to blue if this demographic trend continues.

    So now with the moneybags southern career politicians, they realize they may get the boot out the door and are whipping people up into a frenzy that hispanics are bad people. They're even trying to convince people to deport NATURALIZED American citizens just because they have darker skin. Jerkfaces like Trump think that we should have a scaled up version of the berlin wall all across our southern border, but is okay with having plenty of places where you can walk freely to and from Canada with no oversight at all (which I'm all for, but am making a point here).

    How are atrocities committed? The first step is always the same; dehumanize a class of people so that consciences and cognitive dissonance can be averted. :2c:
     

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