Today, as the United States debates the immigration crisis, it is wise to think carefully
again of the inclusion of "naturalization," and "migration." Naturalization is the final
step in migration whereby an immigrant becomes a new but full citizen of this Nation.
To resolve the current immigration conundrum, perhaps it is helpful to ask: "What
has changed since naturalization and migration became part of our Declaration of
The new Nation fought and won the war of independence. Under the security of
victory, our Constitution enacted in 1789, again spoke of naturalization at § 8 of
Article I. In 1857, the Supreme Court affirmed the power of the United States to regulate
naturalization of foreign persons born under foreign powers. Perhaps this Dred Scott
decision raised more questions than it answered; after the Civil War, in 1868,
Congress passed the 14th Amendment, the first Section of which is the Citizenship
The Declaration is also a political document with flaws to be aware, for example, the
acquiescence to slavery and the characterization of the Native Americans as
"merciless Indian savages." Nevertheless, since Independence, the United States is
sovereign and has powers to regulate our national borders and to conduct business
with other Nations. So dear was the powers to regulate naturalization and migration
to the founders that they were listed as reasons to go to war. Again in the 21st century,
our wisdom and fortitude concerning immigration are being put to the test.
The United States is the biggest beacon for democracy and hope in the world.
Accordingly, we must continue to confer naturalization and to regulate immigration.
Humanitarian needs must be practically accommodated, and at the same time,
reasonably balanced with the best interests of a sovereign nation. Our best interests
include the longer term economic needs for talent and labor, even as our population
ages and the demands for social security continue to rise in the coming decades.
Under our Constitution, the Congress must promulgate legislation, which the President
will carry out, and questions of interpretation of laws are to be answered by the
|Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq., Publisher
WANGNEWS OPINION PAGE
Declaration of Independence, Not Unregulated
Immigration is Our Way of Life
On July 4th, I read again the Declaration of Independence in
which the Continental Congress, 238 years ago, presented a
list of grievances to George III. Among them is that the King
"has endeavored to prevent the population of these states;
for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of
foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their
migration hither, and raising the conditions of new
appropriations of lands."
Imperfect as we are and the founders were, we must believe
that the Declaration together with the Constitution set forth
ideals, including the concept of naturalization and are alive
just as this Nation is alive and well. We must do our best, and
the worst we can do is to allow acrimony over immigration to
give rise to incivility among ourselves, or to lose the will to
regulate immigration as a Nation and within the limits of our
Constitution. An Opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang, 8/1/14.
|In front of the Federal Courthouse in
Cleveland, Ohio where the U S
Immigration Court for Ohio is located