Readers write about what qualifies a person for citizenship in a country, underemployed white-collar workers, and using nuclear waste as a source of energy.
Citizenship should not be based on place of birth
Regarding the Nov. 12 article, "Defining 'Greek": This story notes that members of the Greek diaspora can get a Greek passport easily, while non-Greeks born in Greece are not granted citizenship as though it is somehow inconsistent. But it is not inconsistent at all. Greece awards citizenship based on the status of the parents. If two Greeks in New York have a child, that child is automatically eligible for Greek citizenship. Similarly, if two Filipinos have a child in Greece, that child is also eligible for Filipino citizenship. If two Americans temporarily or illegally living in China had a baby there, would they expect that the baby be considered Chinese?
The United States is one of the few countries in the world that awards birthright citizenship. This came about after the Civil War, with the ratification of the 14th Amendment. This Amendment to the Constitution was originally designed to give the children of freed slaves a stake in the United States. Unfortunately, in recent years, the 14th Amendment has been subject to the law of unintended consequences, because the citizenship of a child of illegal immigrants (sometimes referred to as an "anchor baby") is used to bring scores of foreign relatives to the United States.
The arguments that Athina Bontigao makes in favor of Greek citizenship are extremely similar to those made by illegal aliens in America who were brought here as babies: that they feel American, that they are native speakers of English, that they are culturally American, and it would be cruel to return them to a country they have never known. If one thinks about this argument, it shows how ridiculous birthright citizenship is. It is axiomatic that a country should be able to control its own identity, which includes who it invites in and who it lets stay.
White-collar jobless are overlooked