The Corner

‘Priviledged Duality,’ a.k.a. Violating the Oath of Citizenship

Apropos of the quote from John O’Sullivan in my post below about how Republicans need to encourage immigrants’ adoption of a common American identity as a precursor to political success among them, here’s something from a post by Jorge Ramos of Univision:

But I’ve never ceased to be Mexican. I have two passports, and I vote in elections in both countries. I’m deeply proud of this privileged duality. The best thing about America is its embrace of diversity.

His “privileged duality” is a direct contradiction of the oath of allegiance he took to become a citizen, which begins:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen

That’s absolutely and entirely renouncing all allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate, etc. Doesn’t sound like privileged duality to me. In fact, it sounds like Ramos lied when he took the oath. And his nonchalance about citizenship is clear from his celebration of “30 years as an American” when, in fact, it’s been 30 years since he came here on a nonimmigrant visa; presumably, he didn’t actually become an American until some years after that.

The oath doesn’t require an immigrant to stop being a fan of his native land, to cut all emotional connection to it — that would be unnatural and unnecessary. But it does demand the severing of any and all political connection. The Supreme Court has prohibited denaturalization in cases where Americans-by-choice violate this oath, as Ramos admits he’s done. Earl Warren himself gave the green light for Congress to place civil or criminal penalties on naturalized citizens who vote in foreign elections and take other actions to violate their oaths. Congress, of course, has done nothing.

And this isn’t just some white-Hispanic ethnic hustler, though Ramos is that — he’s practically the Walter Cronkite of Spanish-language media in the U.S. and thus the prism through which many immigrants see the broader American society with which they otherwise might not have much contact. This is the difficult context within which we must strive — for the good of the republic, first and foremost — to nurture a strong sense of patriotic solidarity among our people, native-born and immigrant. And ongoing large-scale immigration just makes that job harder.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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