When citizenship can be bought and sold In 2007, a Syrian French businessman named Bashar Kiwan went to the Comoro Islands with his team. They proposed to the government that they could sell passports to the Emirates in exchange for a lot of money that would then go toward infrastructure and development. The Comoros were so broke that they decided to go ahead with this plan. It is unclear how many people have these passports, but some say up to 100,000 stateless people are now Comoro Island citizens despite never having been there.
Following the Christian Reconquest and unification of Spain, concluded with the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, the victorious Catholic sovereigns decreed on March 31, 1492 that all Jews convert to Christianity or leave Spain by the last day of July. Whether they stayed or left, many Jewish families continued to practice their faith in secret. Such crypto-Jews passed their traditions down the generations and around the world, some ending up in the Southwest. 500 years later, New Mexico's "hidden Jews" were found among strong Hispanic Catholic communities. Though some were skeptical about the origins of certain family practices, additional research and a pattern of breast cancer lead to genetic testing and confirmation of prior beliefs. [more inside]
FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
A recent civil rights lawsuit alleges that undocumented parents are being denied birth certificates for their children born in Texas, effectively denying the children the birthright citizenship enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment and federal law. State legislators have voiced their concern.
Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
A "secret" government proposal would no longer mean automatic citizenship to babies born to foreign parents on Canadian soil, despite this happening fewer than a few hundred times each year.
First Nations and the Future of Canadian Citizenship (CBC Ideas) Part history lesson, part memoir, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations takes to the stage to share stories of the people he represents and his own past. In his lecture titled It Feels Like We're On the Cusp, National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo sets out why he believes First Nations peoples are on the cusp of change. via CBC Ideas [more inside]
My Fair Election crowd-sources pollwatching: "We hope that this information will be used by citizens, journalists, and election officials to identify the worst polling places and work to fix them. We hope that officials in charge of polling places with long lines or otherwise operate poorly will be embarrassed, held to account, and so motivated to do a better job." (via Hollie Russon-Gilman and Archon Fung)
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
"I don't see anything anti-American about not wanting to become an American citizen; it's similar to the fact that I don't know how to swim. I'm not anti-water; it just never mattered that much to me and my life is fine without it." Why I'm Still Not An American, an essay from a British green-card-holder with complex roots and complex feelings.
One day in early July, federal judge Ronald S.W. Lew walked into Ken White's office and said, "Get your coat."
"Surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith. Or for that matter my citizenship." - President Obama
Handwritten 1961 memo in father's immigration file notes Obama born in Hawaii. "Documents obtained from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service through a Freedom of Information Act request offer evidence that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. A memo dated Aug. 31, 1961 from William Wood of Immigration and Naturalization Services indicates that Barack Obama, Sr., was attending the University of Hawaii on a student visa and that a son, Barack Obama, II, was born in Honolulu on Aug, 8, 1961." [Image of Memo]
Jan Brewer, the Governor of Arizona, has vetoed the controversial 'birther bill' that would require presidential candidates to provide AZ's secretary of state with proof of citizenship before they could appear on the ballot, up to and including a 'circumcision certificate'
ProPublica reporter Dafna Linzer recently became a U.S. citizen. How? By not giving correct answers to the questions on the citizenship test. Readers respond. [more inside]
Need a quick and dirty explanation of what the process is like to become a U.S. citizen? Check out this flowchart, courtesy of the Reason Foundation. [more inside]
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined several other key Republican leaders and conservative commentators who are calling for Congress to review the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Consitution. The Citizenship Clause has been interpreted, since the Supreme Court decision United States v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898, to give "birthright citizenship" to children born on U.S. soil to non-citizens (whom some GOP politicans call "anchor babies"). McConnell's comments are not the first time (see section "A Sensible Immigration Policy") the GOP has tried to question the clause. Some see the move as another attempt to capitalize on anti-immigration sentiment in the build-up to the mid-term elections.
"A court in Cairo has upheld a ruling urging the government to consider stripping Egyptian men who are married to Israeli women of their citizenship."
Prelude to Federation - Like a neocolonial SEZ (or TAZ) Paul Romer, not to be confused with David, posits "less developed countries contract with capitalist nations to set up Hong Kong's for them... that we rethink sovereignty (respect borders, but maybe import administrative control); rethink citizenship (support residency, but maybe import voice in political affairs); and rethink scale (instead of focusing on nations, focus on cities—on city states like Hong Kong and Singapore)." cf. neocameralism [1, 2, 3] [more inside]
While Gerorge Soros and Jim Rodgers predict one of the worst recessions for the US, Americans seem to look for exit options in form of a second citizenship. [more inside]
Daniel Barenboim: pianist, conductor, Israeli, peacemaker, and now Palestinian. Predictably, some will add to that list, "traitor."
Like the US, the UK, and Canada before it, Australia has recently announced that, as part of its new citizenship guidelines, prospective citizens must pass a test with questions relating to Australian history, society, and culture. Not everyone is a fan of the test, though, or the information on it, and today The Age has released its own suggestions for a citizenship test. Could you pass it?
Canadian Citizenship Practice Test. Who were the United Empire Loyalists? Why is the British North America Act important in Canadian history? List four rights Canadian citizens have. Which province is the only officially bilingual province? On what date did Nunavut become a territory? What do you call the Queen’s representative in the provinces? And more.
Two U.S. (not dual) citizens refused entry into their own country. Backhanded attempt at removing citizenship, or just another foolish way to remove oversight from potential terrorists?
Would-be citizens sue for U.S. citizenship. Ten Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants sued the government Tuesday for allegedly letting their U.S. citizenship applications linger indefinitely by delaying background checks. What is the world coming to when foreign nationals try to sue the government and force it to give them U.S. citizenship?
It's our language, not yours. So, you were born in an English-speaking country founded by the English, speak English, have a degree in English, write and publish in English, have lived in England for years, and would like to become an English citizen? Sorry, you failed our English test to determine whether you have workable English, so you can't be English.
U.S. Citizenship test. Can you get 8 out of ten???
Is high voter turnout due to Jerry Springer's celebrity status a good thing? Jonah Goldberg of the NRO says "Whores should have as much say as nurses, according to a worldview which says nobody can be judged, all citizens are equal, all views valid." Jerry says he's an example of media elitism and that the elitists are "afraid" of real Americans voting in large numbers. Opinions of Springer as a potential Senator aside, the issue of voter turnout is interesting.
One-in, one-out: the nominations. "Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?" The BBC's Today programme has its annual poll and this year, it claims, is a little different. Various celebrities, politicians etc will be giving their opinions and the result will be announced on New Year's Day. Who will you be voting for?
Recently, the armed forces announced that it would seek the approval of congress to begin recruiting non-citizens, specifically arabs, into the special forces. Seems reasonable enough, we all know the army is lacking native Arab speakers. Meanwhile, the Federal government is firing every non-citizen from their job as airport bag checkers (1200 in San Francisco alone - mostly Filipino). An interesting paradox in our war against terrorism? An unfortunate cost to enure security? A cruel injustice to working men and women? Who could do more damage, a Delta Force member, armed to the teeth and trained to kill acting as forward observer for air and artillery strikes? Or the guy checking your shaving kit?
Industrial Security Clearance Decisions - names omitted to protect the druggies, shameless debtors, and people who keep dual citizenship so as to get through customs quicker. They really don't like people who lie -- esp. when they lie about something that's in public record. Still, the weirdest one is a a guy open about his predeliction for sex with dogs...
Bush people considering making all Mexican illegals citizens. Three million Mexican illegals to be made citizens under this possible move. Guess who they will vote for?