AMERICA HAS TWO KINDS OF CITIZENSHIP
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© November 2018, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Citizenship is one of the most important features of living in a nation on earth. It defines your rights, your privileges, where you can live and travel, who governs you, your occupation in some cases, and much more. Most of our laws are for the citizens, as are those of every other nation.
This is one reason why the issue of illegal immigration to the United States or to other nations is of paramount importance.
AMERICA HAS TWO CLASSES OF CITIZENS
At the founding of America, citizenship was through one’s state. There was no national citizenship.
A SOVEREIGN CITIZENSHIP
The original citizenship in America was that of the sovereign citizen. A Supreme Court case ably describes the situation. To paraphrase: In England, the people are subjects of the king or queen, who is also called the sovereign. In America, the people are sovereign citizens. (There is no sovereign or king.)
However, after the Civil War (18 61-1864) the situation changed drastically in America. When it was time to grant citizenship to millions of black people who had been slaves and therefore were not full citizens of America, the 13th and 14th Amendments were added to the US Constitution.
However, instead of making the black people full state citizens, a new category of citizenship was established. It was a national citizenship, not a state citizenship.
A new word was used to describe the citizens – person. The trouble is that a corporation, a partnership and a trust are also called “persons” in the law. So it placed the black people, and by extension everyone else in the same category as corporations, which are fictitious entities with very few rights. This was quite a trick with words!
To understand this better, here is the text of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution:
Section 1. 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The effect of this subtle shift in the definition of a citizen has been an erosion of the rights of the people of the United States.
Read Immigration In The National Interest by Senator Tom Cotton for more information about the important topic of citizenship.