U.S. citizenship is not a human right, but a governmental privilege

Letter date: 
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Letter publisher: 
Statesman Journal
Letter author: 
Timothy Reiser
Letter body: 

One of the most basic duties of our government is to protect its citizens.

Cities and states that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants violate this duty, and politicians who support it for political gain are dangerous, naive, and grossly negligent.

Perhaps enlightened leaders like Gov. Kate Brown can explain how sanctuary zones promote safety and justice to the families of victims like Kate Steinle, the young woman  (allegedly) killedby an undocumented immigrant deported five times, yet protected by the city of San Francisco.

According to a recent report by the United States Sentencing Commission, “non-citizens” account for about 22 percent of all federal murder convictions and 72 percent of federal drug convictions, an appalling statistic, given that undocumented immigrants account for about 7 percent of the U.S. population.

As a society, we should have empathy for foreigners wanting a better life for themselves and their families and should provide a path to citizenship for those who can lawfully contribute.

But the reality is that we can’t accept everyone who applies for citizenship. And we shouldn’t. U.S. citizenship is not a human right; it is a privilege extended by our government.

And it is our responsibility to determine whom we welcome as fellow citizens.