Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
Arizona’s illegal-immigrant controversy is personal to me because my son-in-law is an immigrant. He came to the United States on a work visa, gained his green card, then went over all the necessary jumps to become a citizen.
His naturalization ceremony in San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium was a moving experience, and not just because he was taking the oath of citizenship.
The huge auditorium was packed with individuals from all over the globe. We learned the San Francisco district mints about 1,200 new citizens – twice a month. In Los Angeles, the number is about 6,000 – twice a month – and there are similar numbers in similar ceremonies all over the country.
In 2009, the United States of America was enriched by the addition of nearly 750,000 new citizens, and the nation contributing most the growth of our legal population was Mexico.
In all the debate over the Arizona law – in all the debate over immigration in general – I have not heard a single voice raised in objection to the vast numbers of people becoming citizens of the United States legally.
Lady Liberty still beckons, and she embraces all races, ethnicities, religions and philosophies. Now her new Americans include those who are branded “anti-immigrant” and “racist” by the enablers of border lawbreakers.
The name callers fall into two broad categories. The first, including the leaders of rallies on behalf of illegals, are simply and undeniably America haters. These are the hurlers of racial epithets who hope for and work for an influx of illegals to destabilize our nation. At the most extreme, they yearn for revolution and the establishment of “Aztlan,” homeland of the “bronze race” in the American Southwest. (One may reasonably conclude this makes them racists.)
The second group comprises the merely soft-headed, who believe America is a bottomless well of resources, capable of absorbing and taking care of all comers. To them, any immigration control is “mean spirited.”
We can be thankful that despite the agitators who encourage illegal entry, America last year gained 111,630 new citizens from Mexico who resisted what amounts to exhortation to break the law. Instead, they showed respect for their new homeland by going through the tedious, but not overly difficult, process of naturalization.
It is for them and others to come that Liberty yet lifts her lamp beside our golden door. May they bask happily in its light.
The lightweight nominee: Back when Elena Kagan was going through her confirmation hearings for the job of solicitor general, she said, “I think a judge should try to the greatest extent possible to separate constitutional interpretation from his or her own values and beliefs.”
One wishes she had said the Constitution represents her own values and beliefs. However, that would be too much to expect from a nominee who believes free expression under the First Amendment should be weighed against its “social consequences.”
It’s enough to make one yearn for another Harriet Miers.
Come. Let us reason together: The following is from a letter to the Christian Science Monitor: “If Republicans want to broaden their tent, they have to remove the tent poles of greed, selfishness, flag-waving jingoism and deceit.”
This is typical Democratic Party verbiage, because Democrats, through long usage, have become comfortable dealing out insults. Yet the Obama administration laments the comparatively mild rhetoric of the tea partiers.
Law of the sea: Why is there so much hand wringing over what to do about Somali piracy?
Sink the freebooters or capture them. Have warships’ captains try the captors and then hang them from the yardarms. (If ships no longer have yardarms, install them.) The piracy problem will diminish rather quickly.
Obscure literary reference: You’ve heard those ads for the anti-tinnitus drug Quietus. Does anybody else wonder if they make it with a bare bodkin?