Take Back Your Tired, Your Poor...
by Jan Baughman

...It was an accident! Last year nearly 5,000 immigrants were naturalized by mistake. They slipped right through the system, without thorough background checks and in spite of criminal records. Mind you, it is possible to have committed certain crimes and still become a citizen, as long as you're honest about your past.

Here is the breakdown: 4,946 "problematic" cases were identified, of which 296 were convicted felons and shouldn't have made it here in the first place. Another 2,507 lied about their criminal record and may have something that disqualifies them, and 2,143 are out because when asked if they had ever been arrested, they said "no" instead of "yes". Their actual crimes were not bad; but they lied, and that's bad. Honesty is a bigger virtue than civility and, God knows we can use additional moral citizens, even if we have to import them.

The denaturalization process will be an expensive one, not to mention all of the manual labor jobs that will be lost. First, the INS needs to provide Congress with an analysis of how long this process will take. Next, they will ask Congress for more money because they'll need more attorneys and staff to decitizenize the wrongful citizens. (Oh, and by the way, there are about 180,000 people whose criminal background may not have been properly check but became citizens - they'll need to be checked as well. One could expect about 900 felons in the lot.) Then, Congress will appoint a special independent council to conduct an audit of the INS. Finally the RNC will demand a review of the campaign contributions of all naturalized citizens. Somewhere in all of this is the cost of all those one-way plane tickets - always exorbitant without that Saturday stay over...

Here are some tips for those of you thinking about applying for U.S. citizenship:

Felonies such as murder and rape are reasons for denial of citizenship (or deportation, once you make it here) - try Cuba instead.

Arrest for prostitution, though only a misdemeanor, can result in revocation of citizenship (we want to save those jobs for the real Americans).

If you make a campaign contribution, do so anonymously and in U.S. dollars.

If you commit adultery, you will get in bigger trouble for lying about it than you will for actually doing it and will face a dishonorable or, at best, a general denaturalization.

Finally, don't even think about bribery. Not only is it a thing of the past, it's not even tax-deductible anymore.

Published May 27, 1997
[Copyright]-[Archives]-[Main Page]