The governments of The Netherlands and Germany were studying a few years ago whether or not to make it mandatory for all immigrants who are seeking a legal residence in their countries to answer a few simple questions. Here are ten questions I propose that our federal government officials ask anyone who desires legal entry into the United States.
1. Was the Continental United States discovered by the Italian sailor, Christopher Columbus, or by some member of the Iroquois Nation?
Hint: Did CC actually land on the continent or on one of the numerous islands that make up the West Indies?
2. Was the Civil War fought in America to:
A. Free the States from foreign influence, especially British influence?
B. Free the States to follow our “Manifest Destiny?”
C. Free the States from the latent threats of Communism and Socialism?
D. Free the States from illegal immigrants and potential terrorists?
E. Free the states from our capitalistic practice of buying and selling plantation laborers?
Hint: Adam Smith, the first famous English capitalist warned us, caveat emptor, caveat vendor, which means in simple English: use due diligence whenever you are acquiring mobile assets with little or no money down.
3. True or False. The US Federal Government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people” as Abraham Lincoln professed before he was assassinated seven score years ago.
Hint: Amnesty for failing to pay your taxes and for entering the states illegally shows that the Federal Government is “people friendly” unless you are immigrating from a country popularly known as a member of the Axis of Evil.
4. Scofflaws are tolerated in the US under the following conditions:
A. They are participating in a massive, disruptive demonstration for a questionably worthy cause
B. They are not caught breaking any written laws by on-duty law enforcement officers
C. They are breaking a law because it is unfair or unjust or unintelligible or unnecessary
D. They have sneaked into this country and worked hard for slave wages while religiously paying their income and social security taxes on time
E. All of the above
Hint: Careful. This is a trick question. It doesn’t say by whom scofflaws are tolerated!
5. Freedom is a guaranteed right for any human (and a few pets) who becomes a citizen. These rights include:
A. Freedom to disobey parents, teachers, and authority figures in general
B. Freedom to shout “fire” in a prison yard where journalists and friends of a notorious convict are gathered together to view the death of a vicious criminal in front of a firing squad not selected from his peers-but not freedom to yell “fire” in a crowded theater.
C. Freedom to say what you like, print what you feel, and assemble in a public square with your friends as long as you aren’t advocating the overthrow of the President and his cronies.
D. Freedom to vote for any candidate or proposition as long as you can persuade the polling officials that you are a registered voter. (Picture ID is not required in polling places in CA.)
E. Freedom to leave this country whenever the various bureaucratic safety nets fail you.
Hint: Stay off the Golden Gate Bridge. It has no safety net. More than 1,000 despondent people have lost their lives jumping off that suspension bridge hoping to be rescued by a foreign vessel departing from San Francisco Bay.
6. There are 50 official states that comprise the United States of America. However, our government sends troops to foreign lands when called upon to assist incompetent dictators, freely-elected presidents, and other tyrannical leaders in maintaining the peace. Places where our peacekeepers are stationed are:
A. Puerto Rico
C. The Philippine Islands
D. Europe and Japan
E. Iraq and Afghanista
F. None of the above
Hint: This is another trick question. “Troops” are not peacekeepers, they are warriors who possess powerful weapons of mass destruction! Get out your English dictionaries.
7. Speaking American English is a requisite for folks immigrating to the States because:
A. Most Americans don’t understand visitors when they speak English with a British or a foreign accent
B. You can’t manipulate other folks here and prevaricate effectively without dominating the official language of most Midwestern States.
C. Since business in America is so beholden to written contracts, you must be able to read the fine print and accept without question whatever has been promised to you orally or in writing
D. There aren’t that many government jobs for bilingual citizens today unless one of the languages a person speaks is Muslim.
E. There has always been prejudice in America against folks who can only nod their heads “Yes” and sign their names with an “X”
Hint: Saying “Good morning, I don’t speak English, thank you” does not demonstrate fluency.
8. Most Americans welcome strangers to our shores, but you must have with you:
A. Some picture ID, preferably not forged
B. Enough dollars to buy a return ticket to your former country of residence
C. Proof that you are a refugee seeking political asylum for advocating the overthrow of a corrupt government
D. A broad smile with a even set of recently polished or whitened teeth. (Americans adore people who flash their teeth often like monkeys or movie stars)
E. A dossier from the local police force of your native country that states that you are not a criminal, a drug runner, a Communist, a terrorist, and a wannabe rapper.
Hint: Carrying hidden weapons like bottled water, fingernail clippers, and nail files is not recommended.
9. Driving an automobile in the U.S. without an authentic state driver’s license and the required car insurance is strictly forbidden unless:
A. The car is stolen
B. You can’t afford liability insurance
C. You plan to stop at all red lights and at all stop signs, especially when “driving under the influence”
D. You are a race car driver and you intend to outrun the cops should they try to stop you for any minor infraction of the law
E. You are trafficking in illegal drugs, moonshine, and white slaves
Hint: The punishment for failing to adhere to the Motor Vehicle Laws of any state is seldom incarceration unless you are a repeat offender. (Jails in CA are over-crowded and under-staffed.) Your unissued license will surely be revoked!
10. You will not be deported from America if you:
A. Pay your taxes and your tax preparer promptly
B. Stay out of trouble, bars, and massage parlors
C. Pledge allegiance to the flag and the nation for which it stands
D. Work for a legitimate business long enough to qualify for amnest
E. Enlist in one of the military organizations
F. Hire a good lawyer.
Hint: Another trick question. There are no “good” lawyers, only expensive attorneys who know how to influence a jury of your law-abiding peers.
N. B. This is only a preliminary list of questions for potential legal residents, guest workers, and whatever authorized category of illegal immigrants who are eventually allowed to stay in America. I’m sure that some federal government agency can make a better list if you give them a few years to come up with something and a lot of time off for vacation, holidays, illness, and family matters.
These recommendations are offered in jest by an unregistered native American (official birth certificates for my predecessors who were members of the proud Iroquois Nation never existed) who lived and worked sixteen years overseas as a legal resident alien in six different countries on four continents.
Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
(Excuse me for being late!)