Immigration advocates are rallying around a new tool in their arsenal to legalize aliens. However, the move in fact does have precedent. New York is attempting to provide citizenship status to illegal aliens who can prove three years of tax payments to the state. They would receive driver’s licenses, the right to vote, ability to sit on juries and more.
It is a historic fact that the states reserved the right to grant or restrict citizenship to whomever they desired. However, the privileges of citizenship were not uniform and citizenship in a state did not confer national citizenship. According to early U.S. law, a state could grant citizenship to a free black person, but he would still not be a citizen of the United States and would be a subject not a citizen if traveling into another state and he would not necessarily retain the same privileges reserved for white citizens in his home state.
This has important implications if it is found that one can have state citizenship, but not national citizenship. As the nation becomes increasingly balkanized along racial lines more states may assert their right to bestow citizenship on racial aliens. However, as the white population shrinks and becomes concentrated in the Heartland of America, we may see states likewise maintain that they can deny citizenship to certain racial groups.
As the racial continuity that existed throughout America’s history is radically undermined and the demographics shift dramatically in the next twenty to thirty years, the so-called pluralistic society that has been applauded in recent years will be viewed for what it is; schizophrenic and unstable.
Immigration Reform Moves to States; New York Eyes Citizenship After 3 Years of Taxes
The frustration with Washington’s inaction on any type ofreform has forced proponents to shift their attention to states such as New York where a new plan was offered Monday to grant citizenship and voting rights after an illegal immigrant pays three years of taxes.
The Washington-based Center for Popular Democracy said the New York legislative effort to provide citizenship benefits to three million immigrants is the result of the fallout of congressional gridlock and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat last week, which pundits blamed on his support for reform.
The New York legislation, titled “New York isAct,” sets requirements for immigrants to meet before they can apply for citizenship with New York’s Office for New Americans, created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
• Proof of three years of New York state residency.
• Proof of three years of New York state tax payments.
• Commitment to abide by New York laws and uphold the state constitution.
• A willingness to serve on New York juries and to continue to pay state taxes.
In return, said Friedman’s group in a release, immigrants would get New York state citizenship,for higher education, health care, drivers’ licenses, professional licenses, the , the right to run for office, and protection against racial profiling.