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American citizenship a valid requirement?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Jedi Writer, Nov 17, 2002.

  1. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Well God Bless the ACLU. Prior to 9/11 the majority of airport screeners at airports nationwide were contract security making about six or seven dollars an hour. The work force also consisted of many resident aliens and illegal aliens! (The background and documentation supposedly done by the private firms contracted to supply the screeners were never done.)

    So, in response to the terrorism threat the screeners were federalized under the newly created agency the TSA that would be required to take over all the screening at U.S. airports. The requirements to be considered for a position with them? Basically you had to read and write English fluently and be a U.S. citizen who was able to pass a thorough background check and to be hired then demonstrate through interviews and testing the necessary skills.

    Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Under the old rules Osama Bin Laden and any member of Al Queda could get jobs as screeners.

    But no the ACLU was not happy. So they filed a lawsuit. The LA Times published this article on November 16, 2002. The link to the entire article is here: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-screeners16nov16.story?null. (Free registration required to view.)

    The following is a summary of the article:

    A federal district court judge in Los Angeles on Friday barred the U.S. government from enforcing a post-Sept. 11 law that permits only American citizens to work as airport screeners.

    This is an extremely important ruling," said ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner, who represented the plaintiffs, eight permanent resident aliens and one man from American Samoa, who held jobs as screeners at LAX and San Francisco International Airport.

    The ACLU suit contends that the citizenship restriction in the Aviation Transportation and Security Act, enacted last November, is a violation of constitutional equal protection rights.

    "That is the same mentality that led to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II," said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California, after Friday's hearing.

    When the suit was filed, about 25% of the 28,000 pre-boarding screeners at U.S. airports were permanent resident aliens rather than citizens.

    At some airports, the percentage of non-citizens was far higher -- about 40% at LAX and more than 50% in San Francisco, Sacramento, Miami and Washington Dulles.

    Give me a break! This is nuts. There were three things inherent in the Federalizing of the screeners to improve safety:

    1. That we get the best possible people for the job.
    2. We pay them a decent wage with benefits and the opportunity for advancement. (None of which was available for those hired under the old contract security system.)
    3. That we as accurately as feasible and possible know who the people we are hiring would be honest and loyal to what they were protecting: Airport security in the United States.

    I think this lawsuit is baloney and it is important to for the screeners and certain other selected occupations to require U.S. citizenshipactually there are many such other occupations or jobs that do!

    What do you think?
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    I think it is a California Federal District Judge that will be overturned when the case gets fast-tracked to the Supremes'.
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Nice topic and frustrating to actually support ACLU in all of their issues.

    There are a few holes in ACLU's logic. For one, Japanese split and put in to special camps is seriously not the same thing as allowing only US citizens to be screeners at airports. What the US did with the Japanese WAS unconstitutional because many of the Japanese were US citizens.

    This issue, however, is miles in differences.

    Someone should remind the ACLU that the Constitution protects US Citizens.
  4. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Re: Re: American citizenship a valid requirement?

    The comparison and point the ACLU made about the Japenese-American internment camps was so rediculous that I decided to pass on it and let it speak for itself. I was confident that the readers would deduce the absurdity of the comparison for themselves.

    Thanks for pointing it out.
  5. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Re: Re: American citizenship a valid requirement?

    Actually that's not true :mad:

    The Supreme Court has ruled that constitutional protections extend to anyone within the borders, legally or not.
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    There is still a vast difference between US citizen and a legal alien. If you say no, then why require citizenship in the first place? To vote?

    No wonder people stopped assimilating and stopped seeking citizenships.

    Time for an amendment. Then see how fast people rush to get their papers.
  7. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    May I remind you that this country was founded by immigrants. Immigrants who came here in hope of a better life. I see no reason why on Earth we should deny immigrants the chance to make a better life in America, even as an airport screener.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    No need to remind me, I am one of them. My family sent in our application for naturalization as soon as we were legally allowed. We also all passed the exam on the first try and our proud to have a US Passport.

    Ask me how many around my house really care about citizenship.

    In all honesty, the most thankful are the Africans.
  9. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I'm thankful. :)

  10. limeygit

    limeygit Assume Sarcasm...

    Damn it, it was my life's ambition to be an airport screener :(
    Oh, well I will just have to fall back on the whole international playboy thing, as usual...

    On a serious level, lets try and remember the difference between legal and illegal aliens. Personally I couldn't care less if the person is holding US citizenship or is a valid alien (illegal aliens are a different issue), I care if they are intelligent, aware and good at their job.
    Please also note that the people involved in the lawsuit are valid to join or be drafted into the US military to fight terrorism overseas, but not to fight it in a US airport.
    Also, as a group fo US citizens sitting in jail in Buffalo could very well prove, Al Qaeda soldiers may be born and bred Americans. The answer is in genuine and thorough background checks, handled by the FBI, not some 3rd party profit motivated corporation. The answer is in paying more and requiring more in terms of ability and IQ.

    If it was my call, I would allow legal Aliens, but I would require all applicants to have lived in the US, and to have had a stable work history for at least three years. So no straight out of high school kids either.
  11. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    So if I read your post correctly between the lines combined with your excellent points, am I correct about your post if I say:

    1. You are not a U.S. citizen.
    2. You live in the United States.
    3. And you support the ACLU and its position that the U.S. government is wrong or incorrect to require U.S. citizenship of its employees in its country guarding its airports and fellow U.S. citizens?

    Hmm, a story within a story and a new topic for a new thread?
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Decent compromise. I actually might even go for that.
  13. limeygit

    limeygit Assume Sarcasm...

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes and No. I am very much anti-litigation, and in the end if these become federal jobs, then the government as an employer has the right to impose this rule, I would not rate it unlawful as such, but I would disagree with it.
    I also worry how many Americans seem to believe that something cloaked in an American flag must be good and pure, and that there is no way a bad guy could do such a thing.
    As I said, I would discriminate based on ability alone. Part one would be a stable work history and being able to pass a thorough background check.

    It has always confused me why a legal alien could not get say a police job (at least as far as I know), but can join the US armed forces...
  14. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Fair enough. For the record the agency and the jobs do exist and the current requirement is that the applicants and those employed be American citizens.

    Also, using your logic about the American armed forces not requiring citizenship: A valid and good question! Perhaps the armed forces should reconsider the position? Perhaps not as each job including that of being in the military should be judged on its own merits as to citizenship being a requirement.

    But aren't we comparing apples to oranges and getting unintentionally a bit off topic? (That is why I mentioned in my previous post that perhaps we had a new topic and new thread.)

    If we extended the implied reasoning in your armed forces versus police officer example then would could say that no postion or job in the U.S. should require U.S. citzenship, be it a CIA agent, or for that matter the President of the United States. To me that would be sheer lunacy.
  15. Pyrion

    Pyrion Liquid Metal Nanomorph

    Uh huh. There's a difference between someone who migrates to the United States and someone who crosses the border every day to work in the United States. That's why *gasp* we should only be hiring American citizens.
  16. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Are you saying that a person who becomes a US Citizen is instantly trustworthy? Are you saying that a person who holds permanent residency is not trustworthy - isn't the best person for the job and wouldn't be honest or loyal to what they are defending, the USA???

    So then Tim McVeigh must have been a foreigner - probably French, right? :nut:

    You know, as a person who's family immigrated to this country, I take offence to what you said. My parents didn't become citizens of this country until well into their stay here. They worked 2 jobs (edit - each worked 2 jobs at the same time, for several years), paid all their taxes, never once broke any sort of law, and never took government money. The reason they became citizens (my father became a citizen 1 year before he died - in 1998) was to vote. That's it. By what you said, my parents weren't trustworthy and didn't appreciate the country they immigrated to. You're saying my parents wouldn't have done as good a job as someone who just happened to be born here.
  17. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    It's not comparing apples to oranges - airport screeners aren't on the front lines, giving their lives up for the US. They're there to screen for sharp pointy objects and guns. A military person would have much more access to a vast array of weapons that could really do damage - yet the US Military doesn't require that you be a citizen to defend the country. Could it be because the military understands that more often than not, an immigrants will love this country more so than a natural born citizen because they have something to compare it to?
  18. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    A person crossing the border every day is not a legal permanent resident.
  19. jamming

    jamming Banned

    The Armed Forces is about putting your life on the line for your country, it doesn't mean that these personnel are getting security clearances, except for a few very close allied countries.

    The CIA has citizenship requirements only for particular jobs, while other jobs require legal residency. However, the most dangerous job Humint Source, has no requirements legal or otherwise.
  20. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member


    So, you survived The Ring too, eh? ;)


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