Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rights

Tonight in class the professor said something that caused a curious visceral reaction within my body. It was like someone lightly punched me in the gut and then I got all tingly. I'm not sure why I had the reaction I did and it was because of something I had never thought about before. I won't say which way my reaction was leaning just yet because I'm really curious about what other people's reaction will be. So please respond and let me know your thoughts. Or (for some of you more private people) emailing me will be fine too.

Do people that are in the United States deserve the rights afforded to Americans under the rule of the Constitution? This could be anybody. You, me, people here on visas, people here on vacation, illegal immigrants, anybody. If you are physically in America, for any reason, should you be protected under the U.S. constitution? The right to free speech, the right to bear arms, all of it.

I'm not talking about the legality of the question - I am really not concerned with whether or not the Supreme Court has ruled on this issue or if Congress has had something to say about it. I'm really just wondering about your initial fundamental response to these questions.

5 comments:

Traivor said...

The rights to vote, hold office, and bear arms don't seem appropriate for non-citizens. Everything else I can think of seems like stuff that should be considered human rights that just happen to be documented in our constitution.

Dave-o-ramA said...

The right to arm bears, however, is sacrosanct wherever you are, and wherever you may hail from, regardless of sex, race, or creed - even nihilism.

Anonymous said...

Right to vote and hold office, I could see as being kept just for citizens. But the rest?

The way I see it is that when I go to some other country I am expected to behave by their laws and if I do something wrong, I go through their system, right? They don't change it just for me. You know like that poor little rich boy who screwed up in Singapore and got caned.

So why should our laws change just for people who aren't citizens.

But the other half of my gut is saying..."But Legally..." or "The Supreme Court has said..." :D

Jenn

Dave-o-ramA said...

I would certainly say that the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and the parts of the 14th that apply US constitutional restrictions to the states, apply universally to any function of the US government, regardless of citizenship status. The only case where this might not wholly apply is in a declared war. WoT doesn't count in my book.

I am more ambivalent on the issue of government services to non-citizens, although I feel that we should certainly apply them to any legal long-term resident.

Dave-o-ramA said...

I honestly don't even see that much point in denying 2nd amendment rights to furriners, either.