Given the current welfare state, would you oppose citizenship, including and especially voting rights, for at least some immigrants (approximately those that are called illegal immigrants today)?I've been thinking about a proper answer, and here's what I've come up with:
Obviously, no one should, in defiance of justice, be able to get anything from anyone by force, even if the booty passes through the state first. The citizenship issue is complicated by the welfare state. If the state were minimized (and kept that way -- a pipe dream in my view), citizenship wouldn't matter much. But today voting means being able to vote for legal plunder and warmongers. (I'm reminded of what Lysander Spooner said about women's suffrage: Women should have the same right to vote as men have: none.)
So I guess I have no problem with conditions for citizenship, such as a residency requirement and no criminal record (meaning real crimes with victims). I have to laugh at requirements about speaking English and taking a history and civics test. Could most natural-born Americans pass such a test? (A recent survey found that more people can name the Simpsons than the freedoms specified in the First Amendment.) The state of their English literacy isn't too good either. I do see a problem with saying that immigrants can't partake of the welfare state: schools, hospitals, Medicaid, etc. They do pay taxes. As long as the system exists and immigrants are taxed, it can't be proper to exclude them. I once proposed that if they are going to be excluded, then in fairness they shouldn't be taxed.
In which case I will renounce my citizenship and apply for immigrant status.