Citizenship Responsibility

Every nation in the world has their own choices and ways in determining who will become citizens of their country. A few nations have the method of birthright citizenship, like the United States, where someone’s citizenship relies heavily on if their place of birth was located inside the nation, regardless of their parent’s citizenship. But, most other nations assign citizenship to a person according to the citizenship of their parents. The foundation for birthright citizenship in the United States comes from England’s legal decision in Calvin’s Case in 1608.

In 1603, James VI of Scotland, became James I of England, and both nations were under one crown. Calvin’s Case focused on the situation whether a person born in Scotland, but was born under the English crown, would be considered “”subjects”” of England or Scotland. A “”subject”” was considered a person who was “”under”” someone, or who was “”owned”” by someone else. Sir Edward Coke, one of the most famous judges in this case, stood by the idea that allegiance was due to the King by “”the law of nature”” (Kennedy). The case determined that even though Calvin was born in Scotland, he owed his allegiance to to the English crown since he was born under James I, and he was to follow the English law. This case was then adopted to the United States courts, and played a major role in determining birthright citizenship in the U.S., and the law, jus soli, which meant that your sense of belonging is decided from where you are born.

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Today, President Donald Trump wants to end the constitutional law of birthright citizenship in an attempt to “”clamp down”” on immigrants and immigration, according to the newspaper article published by The New York Times. This New York Times article reflects and shows both change and continuity in American history. The 14th Amendment still stands and is enforced today, but a few citizens, including the President, are starting to disagree with the law and want changes due to conflicts regarding illegal immigrants coming into the U.S.

The article discusses how the president can not end birthright citizenship, which is the 14th amendment of the Constitution, by executive order. The amendment states, “”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.”” The reason Trump brought up the 14th Amendment is due to his strong stance against illegal immigrants at the border. “”Some conservatives have long made the argument that the 14th Amendment was meant to apply only to citizens and legal permanent residents, not immigrants who are present in the country without authorization”” (Hirschfeld Davis). Trump does not want illegal immigrants coming into the country and taking advantage of this law, or any public benefits.

The New York Times Article also goes on to discuss how Trump’s statement caused an outrage among many citizens in the country. “”Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, called the idea illegal and offensive””(Hirschfeld Davis). “”Aside from being unconstitutional, such an executive order would exacerbate racial tensions, exploit fears and drive further polarization across the country at a moment that calls for the promotion of unity and inclusion,”” said Ms. Clarke. Bob Hugin, a Republican candidate for Senate in New Jersey also stated, “”The President is wrong to end #Birthright Citizenship, we’re a nation of immigrants made better by the diversity of its people.””

The Reality Of Islamic Terrorism

The United States is generally viewed as a very safe country, both by its citizens and people from different countries. This view may hold since the United States is one of the most powerful countries in the world, being that it has “the world’s largest economy and biggest military budget” according to a study carried out by the US News and World Report . There is also plenty of security and order (compared to other less-developed countries), which causes the citizens of the US to be confident that they are secure from many threats and dangers. Even though there is crime and immorality in the US, it does not compare to that of other countries. But over the last few decades there has been a rising threat of security in this country, as well as many countries of the world. This danger has aroused from different Islamic fundamentalist groups and is known as “Islamic extremism or “radical Islam” among many other titles. So, should Americans be concerned about radical Islam? And more importantly; is it a real threat or just fiction?

It is important to understand that not all Muslims hold to the terroristic views of certain extremist groups. According to an analysis carried out by The Burke Chair at CSIS, Anthony Cordesman states that “the vast majority of Muslims do not support extremist violence.  Many Muslims are peaceful in their religious practices, so it is inaccurate to label every Muslim as a terrorist. But even though the majority of Muslims are not extremist, the threat of radical Islam is evident nonetheless. Being that Islam is the second largest religion in the world, and the fastest growing one , it is highly likely that the extremist threat will rise as time passes.

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To better understand the dangers of Islamic terrorism, it is essential to see just how dangerous these terrorist attacks are and have been throughout history. There have been several attacks all over the world by these extremist groups, or by certain individuals who share the same terroristic mindset. There is currently a great threat that many middle-eastern countries face from groups such as ISIS or al-Qaeda, but the extremist threat is also evident in other countries by different extremist groups and individuals who share the same Islamic terroristic mindset. For example, according to Alexander Smith from NBC News, the terroristic Islamist group called “Boko Haram has killed thousands of people over the past years in the country of Nigeria . Europe has also been a focal point for many terrorist groups and individuals over the past few years. Violent attacks such as the one in Paris in 2015  and the attack at a Brussels airport in 2016 , are some of the clearest examples of the evident danger of Islamic terrorism in first-world countries. And of course, the US is no exception.

Over the last decades, the US has seen its share of violent terroristic attacks. Many of these attacks were carried out by certain individuals who were not influenced by an Islamic worldview but by other motives, as in the case of the Oklahoma City bombing . But it was not until the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, that the United States realized the severe danger of radical Islam. This attack brought forth the “war on terror” but it seems as if the Islamic attacks have only increased since then. Throughout the last few years, there have also been several deadly attacks caused by certain individuals who had ties to terroristic groups or were influenced by them. Some of these examples include the San Bernardino attack which left fourteen casualties, and the Orlando nightclub shooting which left forty-nine casualties  .

The danger of Islamic terrorism is unmistakably real at the present moment and should concern every American. And even if the United States is a safe and powerful country, if not controlled, the threat of terrorism will undoubtedly affect every American’s life. That is why several measurements need to take place to ensure this country’s security. For the most part, the US government has done a decent job preventing terroristic attacks, but more measures in security will help prevent many opportunities for these extremists. But even so, not every attack can be prevented entirely. For this reason, it is the Christian’s duty to depend on God’s providence and protection during these uncertain times.

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