Patriots, how do you feel about this article?Posted: January 26, 2012
Our Movement was written up in Canada’s National Post. Do they truly understand us?
Kelly McParland: Tea Party ‘patriots’ urge Americans to deport themselves
Kelly McParland Jan 25, 2012 – 12:29 PM ET | Last Updated: Jan 25, 2012 6:36 PM ET
Alex Kaye is feeling guilty about the fact his great-grandfather, also named Alex, immigrated illegally from Poland to work in a Chicago packing plant. He suspects great-grandfather Alex snuck in through Canada to avoid a literacy test (evidently we didn’t care about literacy back them), and he feels it is “kind of shameful” that all the other Kayes (who weren’t named Kaye at the time, being Polish) have been living in the U.S. on false pretenses ever since.
So, next July 4 he’s “self-deporting” himself back to Poland, where he intends to hang out for a while, and then re-apply to immigrate “the right way.”
You can watch Alex explain himself on his YouTube video, where he comes across a bit like a U.S. version of Hugh Grant, all mannerly and apologetic. Alex is being championed by a group that calls itself Patriots for Self-Deportation, which — if it’s not an elaborate hoax — is hoping the idea catches on, though mainly with newly arrived Mexicans rather than fourth- or fifth- generation Poles with identity problems. On Monday the group got a boost when Republican candidate Mitt Romney declared his support for self-deportation as a means of slowing illegal immigration.
Like the Patriots, Romney is mainly hoping some of the millions of Mexicans in the country illegally will skedaddle back across the Rio Grande, all on their own initiative. To give them a push, states like Arizona and Alabama have been introducing punitive laws that seek to make life as miserable as possible for illegals. Mr. Romney’s idea isn’t quite as harsh: legal workers would be issued cards, subject to a national verification system, to show to employers. People without cards couldn’t get jobs, so eventually would get so hard up they’d kick themselves out. (If, of course, they don’t turn to crime, drugs or go to work for unscrupulous employers, which a lot do now anyway.)
The Patriots — which says it’s a “growing force within the Tea Party — were quite pleased at Mr. Romney’s support. They have a web site set up to help answer questions, like “How can I know if ancestors of mine came here legally?”, “If I suspect that an ancestor should never have received citizenship, am I morally obliged to do something about it?” and “If several of my ancestors came over illegally, how do I decide which country of origin to return to?”
“America belongs to REAL Americans,” it says, and everyone else should get lost, pronto.
Predictably, there’s been some blowback, presumably from less patriotic Americans. Several pointed out that, as Alex was born in the U.S., he’s legally an American citizen and it doesn’t matter what his great-grandpa did. Some native Americans have suggested that everyone going back to the Mayflower is there without their approval, and want to know when they’ll be leaving. There’s also the small matter of whether Poland has been asked whether it wants a few million Americans showing up suddenly because someone they never met didn’t fill out Form 32-C before landing at Ellis Island at the turn of the last century. Who knows, there might be a few from Ireland and Italy who weren’t exactly punctillious about their paperwork as well.
Alex hasn’t been getting a lot of sympathy. “What about your great-grandfather’s great-grandfather? Are you sure he was legal in Poland?” someone commented on his YouTube video. A guy named Lewis is worried that his ancestors came from the “Austro-Hungarian Empire” and he’d have to deport himself to a country that didn’t exist any more. The same problem could arise for other Poles like Alex: which “Poland” do they deport themselves to, given that big chunks have been added and subtracted over the centuries. Is there an “original” Poland he can apply to?
So many questions. Fortunately, Patriots for Self-Deportation doesn’t sweat the details. “US citizenship is for those who can show PROOF their original ancestors were here legally. All illegals and descendants of illegals are here ILLEGALLY and must be DEPORTED at once,” it says. So if you don’t have documents, out you go. And, as Alex has found, a birth certificate won’t do.