A Thought On What To Do

by kpmautner

I am currently reading Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire while working out on the elliptical.  Nourishing mind and caring for body at the same time!

A passage struck me.  Gibbon describes how during the reign of Augustus, Roman citizenship was conferred eventually on anyone who had performed services for the Empire, by the practice of “admitting the most faithful and deserving of the provincials to the freedom of Rome”.  Early on, it was the magistrates at the end of their term of service; but as these offices were annual, in a few years they circulated round the principal families.  Those provincials who were permitted to bear arms in the legions, those who exercised any civil employment, and those of special talent “were rewarded with a present [Roman citizenship] whose value was continually diminished by the increasing liberality of the emperors”.  But, Gibbon concludes, the gift of citizenship did bring substantial benefits, even diluted by liberal award.

Which brings me to:  we have a problem with illegal aliens in this country (statement of fact).  Many of these individuals are able-bodied, looking for a chance to better themselves and their families (statement of fact).  Why not do what was done during World War II and offer the able-bodied a streamlined chance at citizenship?

A good many refugees from war-torn Europe arrived in this country looking for haven, among them, my Father.  These individuals were given a choice:  drafting, with the promise of immediate citizenship in exchange for military service for a  specified time, or deportation back to where they came from.  Why not apply the same standards now to the able-bodied?  Our tax dollars provide medical care and welfare benefits for many as it is;  why not provide a process whereby these individuals can earn citizenship through service?  If language is an issue, a good drill sergeant will fix that in nothing flat.  The drafted individual would earn a salary, provide insurance for family (which, otherwise, we’d be paying for anyway), learn the language and a skill, and, as a benefit, earn citizenship.

Comments?  Thoughts?