From Pine View Farm

“Path to Citizenship” 0

Peter Schuck and Rogers Smith point out that the idea of “citizenship” is relatively new and not nearly so straightforward or settled a concept as some would want to believe. That murkiness, indeed, manifests itself in the thinking of those whose willingness to offer a path to citizenship tends to vary depending on the complexion of those who would desire to walk that path.

Here’s a bit; follow the link for the rest.

This legal arrangement – ascribing one’s membership in a group at birth and by location – known as jus soli, or the law of territory, has the virtue of certainty; knowing where someone was born (with a few narrow exceptions like diplomats’ and enemy soldiers’ children), fixes the person’s membership perpetually. It is a birthright – and a birth duty.

Even before our Declaration of Independence, philosophers of democracy rejected this rule. Democracies consisted of citizens, not subjects, so their membership should be grounded in rules derived from their elected .officials and their own choices about their loyalties.

Notably, John Locke and the “public law” theorists advanced liberal, consensualist ideas about national membership: Parents could transmit their own consensually derived membership to their children no matter where the child was born – known as jus sanguinis, or the law of blood. In certain situations, states could de-nationalize disloyal citizens, and citizens could renounce their ascribed membership.


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