Editor’s note: Today’s editorial originally was written by Jeff Ackerman of the Wenatchee World. Editorial content from other publications and authors is provided to give readers a sampling of regional and national opinion and does not necessarily reflect positions endorsed by the Editorial Board of The Daily News.
There may be an easy fix to this immigration issue.
The first step requires some testing, which will make some U.S. citizens uncomfortable because, if they flunk, they get kicked out of the country.
We’ll get to the details of that in a minute.
The idea came as I was wandering around the Mission Street building looking for the restroom. This is a pretty large building and I’m stuck in the back of it, with no windows, or clocks, or Internet access, or friends. Think of my office as a place you would send someone who beat up a cellmate.
Anyway, right down the hall from my dungeon-of-an-office is a door that leads to a room that has been converted to a church and sometimes-classroom for people wanting to become U.S. citizens. Despite what you may have read, there are still many who understand the need for immigration laws and are doing their best to follow them.
The foundation of that process is a Naturalization Test that includes 100 possible questions mostly having to do with our history and reasons why we allow people to stand up in the middle of a Supreme Court confirmation hearing and scream, “Blah, blah, blah, blah blah, treason!” and, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Facists!” while being dragged out the Senate chamber doors.
We are founded on a principle that you have a fundamental right to say what you want, no matter how stupid you sound.
Which brings me to the Naturalization Test we require would-be citizens to pass.
And before I go too far, I should confess up front that I got 10-out-of-10 questions right. I even got the one that asked me to name the capital of Washington.
In determining the criteria for U.S. citizenship, someone must have also thought it was important for citizens to know who the current Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is.
I know...does anyone out there not know it’s Judge Judy?
“When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?”
Oh my God. Anyone who pays taxes knows it’s Christmas Day, December 22. Unless Groundhog Day falls on a Tuesday.
“What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?”
I’m telling you. I might be the smartest U.S. citizen ever. “Lightening!”
I still get goosebumps hearing the story of young Benjamin flying that kite and getting struck by a lightening bolt, which is why the Cubs are able to play night games.
“What did Susan B. Anthony do?” Until she invented the Lazy Susan, children were forced to reach across the dining room table grabbing food with their germ-invested hands. It might be America’s single-greatest invention.
“During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?”
Jackets! We didn’t have as many as those Damned Russians.
“What is the ocean on the West Coast of the United States?”
This was a little tricky, since I haven’t seen the beach in awhile. “The California Ocean!”
I don’t expect most of you get even half of these right, since you’re not in the newspaper business and probably don’t have to know anything that’s not on Facebook. I’ve seen some of your posts and...I gotta say...most of you probably don’t even know that Woodrow Wilson invented the baseball mitt.
But if you miss more than seven of every 10, you should get shipped off to a country that doesn’t care what you know, so long as you have cash. For every new immigrant we allow in, we need to let one of you go. It’s really the only way to balance the gene pool. You should take your first Naturalization Test at...say...16...and have to pass it every time you renew your driver’s license.
That doesn’t mean you can’t leave us voluntarily, mind you. I’ve heard more than a few of you indicate you’d be leaving us if the current President Hillary Clinton was elected and...well...she’s been in office almost two years now.