MORE THOUGHT ON IMMIGRATION AND CULTURES/RELIGIONS
I don’t think there can be any reasonable objection to requiring anyone who enters a country to renounce violence against that country’s people, institutions, or government, and to renounce the espousal of violence against them. If they feel they can’t or mustn’t do that because of conscience or religion or other beliefs, fine, they just don’t have to be admitted to the country. The Catholic Social Teaching of the last hundred years says migration is a right or sometimes a necessity, but I think that has to be qualified to say peaceable migration (I mean in the strictest sense). So, for example, would Wahabbist imams or teachers from overseas be excluded from Western countries? So I hear. Wahabbist laity? Shiites? Iraqi Sunnis? Taliban? Even certain international students studying in Western countries? Of course, they could lie…if their faith or conscience or beliefs permit them to…. Perhaps even naturalized citizens, since the nature or extent of the potential danger has only come to light relatively recently. Under American law at least, this wouldn’t necessarily be seen as religious discrimination, but selection on the basis of advocating violence against the people, institutions, or government. In practice it might have to be on a case-by-case basis rather than a blanket exclusion. And is there room for abuse? Sure. Let’s work so that there is not. Not because our Constitution recognizes “rights” of foreigners: this is how American law differs from Continental law – it doesn’t pretend to bestow or create rights for people – these come from immemorial tradition or God – rather, it limits government to the powers granted to it by its particular Constitution.
(This is why ISTM in theory America doesn’t need international law to criminalize what’s gone on at Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or the Black Holes or other “extraordinary rendition”: the Constitution of the United States simply does not empower the government of the United States to torture or do these things – against ANY human being, American or foreign – therefore when it does, it is acting ultra vires, beyond its powers, i.e., it’s unconstitutional. Many governments around the world are traditionally considered to possess all powers to do whatever they feel they need or wish to do, but not American governments. American governments – federal, state, local – can be taken to court, accused of acting beyond their Constitutional or chartered powers, and a court can find so, and enjoin such actions, and assess damages. Of course, would that U.S. government officials and representatives didn’t try to do things they’re not allowed to do in the first place…though in defense of some perhaps, the limits might not always be so clear until courts have ruled in concrete cases. [And as we have seen lately, even our courts can be corrupted.] But what about reason, morality, even our vaunted Christianity?)
(Those native-born of whatever religion, politics, or beliefs, can be criminally charged if and when they’ve broken laws, as always, and sentenced to prison or probation upon conviction. They might even lose certain “privileges” without formal criminal conviction: e.g., I noted when I first got my driver’s license in a certain state years ago, that it said “advocating the violent overthrow of the government” could result in revocation of my driving “privilege”…presumably by an administrative procedure which might not include all the rights or procedures of a criminal trial…since America legally regards driving as a privilege not a right…even if it’s pretty much a requirement the way the country has evolved since WW2!!!)