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Cross-posted from a FaceBook comment on a debate over immigration

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Jun. 5th, 2010 | 11:59 am

The Declaration Of Independence has no weight in our legal system (although Ms. Brann once told me that it is officially labelled "Public Law #1"). But it does occupy a special place in American hearts and minds. In it, Jefferson writes that all are created equal, and that all have the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I think of this as promoting a classless society, of rejecting old European notions that noble birth confers more rights than humble birth does. I think of it as a statement that it doesn't matter how you were born, what matters is what you do.

If you believe that Jefferson was correct, how do you justify immigration control at all? Have we not given up the goal of a classless society in favor of one where the nobility of birth on this soil makes one better and more worthy of rights and privelege than humble birth elsewhere in the world?

Illegal aliens get treated like shit, and anyone who buys fruit at a grocery store benefits from this. Why not let everyone in who wants to come and give all who come equal protection under the law? Perhaps we could demand a period of national service so that those who come benefit those who are already here, if that would make it more palatable.

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