Dennis Johnson: Congress fails its duty to protect our borders |

Dennis Johnson: Congress fails its duty to protect our borders

Dennis Johnson

Congressional to-do list:

Health care fiasco. Check.

Demonize Toyota. Check.

Demonize Wall Street. Check.

Demonize Goldman Sachs. Check.

Whip up immigration outrage/Demonize Arizona …

Unless someone’s head has been buried in the sand the last few weeks, they’re aware that Arizona has had enough. Enough illegal immigration causing crime. Enough of its impact on public services and resources. Enough of its impact on gangs and drugs. Enough lack of federal border protection and enforcement of existing immigration laws. So Arizona took charge and acted.

Congress – both parties – has been ineffective in addressing the problems with border protection and illegal immigration. What part of their oath to uphold, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution do they not understand?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m second-generation born American. I know from hearing stories as a child the complex process required to enter this country in a legal and safe manner. Because of the stories of my grandparents, I am a firm believer

in legal immigration. Conversely, I am a firm opponent of illegal immigration.

My grandparents did not speak English, but by the time I was old enough to understand, only minimal accents remained in my grandparents, and my parents had no accents, due to their strong desire to assimilate into this great country. When they arrived, they neither expected nor were given something just for showing up. No ESL. No welfare.

The 14th Amendment (with an admittedly checkered reputation), was pushed through Congress by the Republicans with very little Democratic support after the Civil War. The amendment’s purpose was to grant full citizenship to former slaves and their families. It acknowledged the former slaves had the same rights as Caucasians, including the right to bear arms, and all other Constitutional protections.

But one sentence in the amendment has caused much grief: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

One only has to read the amendment’s history to learn that the sentence was fully to protect the former slaves and their new full citizenship rights. There was nothing then or now related to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

All members of Congress since Reagan have failed in their duties to protect this country from illegal invasion. They failed, regardless of the duties they assumed after the Reagan amnesty program and all of the program’s failures.

Maybe its time for Congress to actually read the 14th Amendment, paying close attention to Section 5.

• Dennis Johnson is a member of the Carson City Republican Committee.