ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

Bloggings on Immigration Law

by Roger Algase

Bloggings: Citizenship and humanity - is there a difference? by Roger Algase

A comment by T. V . Krishnamurthy, in response to my recent post about the Four Horsemen of American immigration policy, criticises US consular officers in very strong terms for arbitrary visa decisions, especially with regard to INA 214(b) and its presumption that every person applying for a visa intends to stay in the US permanently. The comment points out that foreigners have civil rights too. The writer of this comment might also have have done well to mention that one does not have to be a US citizen in order to be a human being and deserve to be treated like one.  

We seem to have forgotten that citizenship is fundamentally a way of uniting people, not dividing them. The Roman philosopher Seneca (ca 4 BC -65 AD) understood this 2000 years ago. I hope I will not be considered too pedantic if I quote his comment in the beautiful and poetic Latin original, as well as in English translation:

"Duas res publicas animo complectamur, alteram magnam et vere publicam, qua dii atque homines continentur, in qua non ad hunc angulum respicimus aut ad illum, sed terminos civitatis nostrae cum sole metimur; alteram, qui nos adscripsit condicio nascendi."

("We should understand that there are two commonwealths. One of them is a vast and truly common state, containing both gods and men, in which we look neither to this corner of the earth nor that, but measure the boundaries of our citizenship by the path of the sun. The other is the one to which we have been assigned by an accident of birth.")

The above quote might be especially worth reflecting on during this July 4th weekend, which I hope that all ID resders will enjoy.

I also need to correct my typographical mistake in a quotation from Justice Scalia's dissenting opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, discussed in my June 30 blogging. I quoted the opening phrase as: "Today's opinion in the product of a Court..." The correct quote begins: "Today's opinion is the product of a Court..."

About The Author

Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.