Tuesday, July 04, 2006

On Becoming American

The SF Chron describes a naturalization ceremony held today on the deck of the USS Hornet in Alameda - and profiles two different new Americans with different motivations for swearing oaths to the Republic.

One, a Canadian, does it for love of this country. The other, an Indian, does it for love of his other country. Citizenship-as-culture vs. citizenship-vs-culture.

An immigration official says the US doesn't recognize dual citizenship, "'if you take the oath to us, you're an American. You're not half this or half that.'"

Um. . . .

It's like marriage I suppose. Religion and culture pretty up what is basically, at least in certain parts of the CMC campus, a contract meant to help civilization progress by creating stable familial units which encourage the accumulation of wealth for the benefit of the unit, thus increasing productivity. Of course, from what I understand, were you to use marriage as a route to citizenship, you'd be expected to meet the first standard, not the second. The marriage needs the fluffy stuff, but the citizenship that follows can be as utilitarian as a monkey wrench.

The United States doesn't recognize dual citizenship? Great. But it isn't really about you, is it, US? So what about the other country? And when the time comes to pick sides - who will your people choose?

If there is anyone who can make heads or tails out of how we view citizens of the world - those coming in, going out, or back and forth - let me know.

Oh, and while I'm making requests - since lawyers can't help, so if someone knows a Senator who isn't busy (probably a Democratic one) or an MOC, please pass him or her my way as well.

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