Monday, March 6, 2017

Is the Right to Live in America a Right for All?

  An argument rising up has it that undocumented immigrants are wrongly feeling a sense of entitlement about living in the U.S.
  "The hubris they are demonstrating shows they view America as a giant entitlement. Disgusting," writes an online commenter to a Deseret News story.
   I wonder if we should consider that they do, indeed, have the right to be here. I, for one, feel they have the right to be alive and to simply exist on American soil. They are -- or should be -- "entitled" to freedom. And, it is not "disgusting" that they seek this freedom. Entitlement? All people should be "entitled" to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, regardless whether they start in America or come from abroad. Borders do not -- or should not -- take rights away. Freedom should not enclose its blessings on those with American birth certificates. One person might be born into high society whereas others are not, but one is not born with greater right to liberty than another person. Freedom is not to be decided by borders and bloodlines, and it should not be exclusive to those with American birth certificates. I think of dogs breeds that have pedigrees, and horses. Fine breeding might get you into a horse race, but it should not get you into America. Nor should it determine whether you have freedom. Freedom is not just for blue bloods.
   You might argue that we are not talking about the level of society, but the location of your society in determining whether you can live in America. I suppose I don't make such a distinction. If a person were born on the "wrong" side of the tracks, on the "wrong" side of town, would we argue he has no right to move to the other side of town unless those on the rich side gave him their permission?
  Nor should we argue that we must take care of our own, first. Freedom does not have "its own."
  When we say freedom for all, we should consider whether there are exceptions. I suggest this freedom for all extends to all without exclusion. Freedom, by definition, is not exclusionary.
   It has been suggested certain freedoms are unalienable. Can we then toss the word "alien" on someone and they magically lose their God-given rights? Can we draw a line, and say, "For you, freedom ends when you cross this line. All the freedom on this side of the line belongs to us, not to you."
   It does seem funny that they should lose their freedom by crossing into the land of the free.

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