In much of the writing about Newt Gingrich's "humane breakthrough" on what to do with our current legions of illegal aliens, Americans are assured that ol' Newt won't open any "path to citizenship."
The proper — but rarely expressed — retort is: SO WHAT???? ILLEGAL ALIENS DON'T CARE ABOUT U.S. CITIZENSHIP!!!!!
They just want to be granted the status of legal permanent resident [LPR] so they don't have to return to their crappy countries-of-origin.
Thus denying them the possibility of citizenship denies them nothing that really matters to them. (Yes, yes, there are second-order effects, like not being allowed to vote [supposedly; but see this 2.5-MB PDF] and limiting their chain-migration potential. On the other hand, they're not liable for jury duty, presumably a plus for most of them.)
What's the basis for my assertion that they care about legal status, not citizenship? It's indirect: There was a large rush to naturalize among existing LPRs — most of whom could have naturalized long before — when the 1996 welfare-reform law was passed, because the new law cut off several significant benefits previously available to non-citizens. Mark Krikorian wrote about this here, and Norm Matloff wrote about it here.
So being here legally without being a citizen was just fine for a large bunch of folks, but if one has to naturalize to keep the goodies coming .. well, they'll deign to join our polity.
As Christopher Manion has written, memorably, we shouldn't expect any greater civic virtue from illegal aliens, at least not those of the Mexican variety.
So ... this point — that granting illegal aliens "only" legal status, not citizenship, is akin to throwing Br'er Rabbit into the briar patch — needs to be made everywhere we might expect our inattentive fellow citizens to see it.
That means VDARE readers should be doing this at any relevant articles posted on the web that allow comments from readers. I've done this quite a bit myself, and offer up the following four examples:
- Citizenship is irrelevant. They don’t care about that.
What we need to deny them is any path to legal residence, which is precisely what they do care about — they don’t want to have to go back to their own dysfunctional countries.
Attrition by enforcement is the answer. Google “attrition by enforcement” and start reading to educate yourself.
- Illegal aliens don’t care about becoming citizens — that lets them vote and makes them liable for jury duty. Whoop de doo.
What they want is legal residency (so they don’t have to return to their own crummy countries), which is what the devious and/or foolish Gingrich is suggesting.
And anything that gives legal residency to illegal aliens is amnesty, no matter what euphemism you cook up for it. So: NO WAY.
The real answer to the problem of mass illegal immigration is “attrition by enforcement.” Google the phrase and start reading.
- Anything that lets an illegal alien stay here legally is amnesty and unacceptable, no matter what fog of words you use to obscure that.
Look up “attrition by enforcement” and start reading.
- Many people don’t grasp a basic point: Illegal aliens don’t care about citizenship — it merely allows them to vote and subjects them to jury duty.
What they care about is LEGAL RESIDENCY, so they don’t have to go back to their own crummy countries.
**Anything** that grants legal residency to illegal aliens is amnesty, no matter what euphemism or obfuscation is served up to obscure this truth.
Thus, the only “end of the line” that matters is the one in front of the U.S. embassy or consulate in the illegal aliens’ native lands.
We owe them nothing.
Please feel free to mix, match, and edit. Or simply plagiarize!