I have never met an illegal immigrant who annoyed me. No, not a single one, and I have met a lot of them. When I hear of people climbing fences and walls, swimming across rivers, and trekking across a desert, dodging rattlesnakes and white trash with guns — just to live in America, I think about how lucky I am that I live somewhere that people would risk their lives just to have the privilege of mowing my lawn.
I say that they’re all welcome.
Of course, the anti-immigrant crowd has some valid points. We can’t just have the borders wide open for every Tom, Dick, Harry, Phong, Rosalita, Priya, or Cinque to move here… can we?
Well… maybe we can….
The problem in this country is not that Mexicans are streaming across the border. We had a huge flood of immigration in the early 20th century, and but for that immigration, America wouldn’t be half the country it is today. Immigration is not the problem. The problem is that so many of our home-grown citizens are stagnant, lazy, and stupid (and yes, so are many of our new arrivals). So how do we separate the wheat from the chaff?
We should have a “point system” for how much citizenship you get, with completely open borders. This country is built on freedom and competition, right? Let’s inject competition into the citizenship market! We could each earn between 0-100 citizenship points. 50 points is full citizenship. At 75 points, you get Silver Citizenship Status, 85 points you get Gold Status, and at 95 points you get Platinum status. Maybe some super-platinum for 100 points.
If you have one of the higher-status citizenship categories, you get certain privileges — maybe no TSA lines for you. You can carry a gun anywhere you want. You can cut in line at the DMV or other government agencies. All men will still be created equal, but some can earn status that makes them quantifiably superior — at least in terms of the rights they get.
You get 5 points for being born to an American parent, so there is a little bit of legacy preference, but not a lot.
You get a certain number of points for having a full time job, graduating from high school, for paying your taxes, etc. Essentially, a few points for doing the stuff that we expect all productive members of society to do. If you do absolutely everything that you’re supposed to do, you get somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 points. No special privileges, but a good padding above full citizenship so that one or two screw ups won’t cost you your passport.
You get a certain number of extra points for graduating from college, a masters program, or a PhD program. We could give more points for more useful degrees, so yeah, get that MA in Victim Studies, but don’t think that it is going to make you more valuable to us than a nursing degree or an engineering degree, because it ain’t. A law degree, sadly speaking, wouldn’t get you jack these days.
You get bonus points for truly kicking in to improve America. You author a book. You start a business that employs a certain number of people. You invent something useful.
It wouldn’t be wholly economically-based either — as there are non-financial contributions that indicate a desirable citizen. You save a puppy from a burning building. You use that law degree that didn’t get you any points to handle a meaningful pro bono case. Joining the military gets you some extra points. Medals get you points too. Congressional Medal of Honor gets you 10 points that you can’t ever lose.
You lose points by being convicted of crimes, but also by douchetastic behavior that we don’t necessarily criminalize. Maybe if you make your living by flipping houses or by shorting stock, we can dock you a few points. You can still be rich with lower status, but having more money in the bank won’t buy you citizenship points. You wanna chase ambulances and Unruh Act violations? More money to you, but you’re not getting any closer to Platinum Status citizenship.
You can’t serve as a judge, in public office, as a cop, or a lawyer unless you have at least Silver status (75 points).
If you have less than 50 points, the Constitution doesn’t fully apply to you. Maybe some provisions apply at 10 points or so, but you’re not a full citizen, you don’t get full protection. Certain geographic areas would be closed to people below a certain number of points.
If you are over 25 years old and you have less than 10 points, you get nothing. No First Amendment, no Fourth Amendment, no nothing. Essentially, you’re on probation. You have to move out of the way for citizens when you are in line at the store. You don’t get to drive. If your points get to zero, we give you a choice of moving to another country (never to return) or prison — but in Prison, you can earn points and get yourself out.
We open the borders and welcome everyone. Certain immigrants get to start with a few points. Perhaps you did some act of service to the United States, like saving American soldiers from kidnappers. You win a Nobel Prize, you get 25 points just to move here. But, your average immigrant gets only a point or two for checking in at the border and letting us know he’s here. A truly worthy immigrant – the kind we want, can earn 50 points in 5 years or less, and within a few decades can even be eligible to run for president. A crappy one will find life here to be very unpleasant, as will a home-grown loser, who might find it more desirable to just leave – thus making room for more worthy immigrants.
Who’s with me?