Immigration

$50 for American Citizenship, $24 for Manhattan

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Manhattan indian

It was only a matter of time before American citizenship could be bought for $50 bucks. And who better to lead the way than American Indians, who have experience in the area of selling bits of America for obscenely low prices?

For prices starting at $50, two nonfederally recognized Indian tribes are offering membership to thousands of illegal immigrants, claiming they can achieve legal status by joining the groups.

Despite the supposed sovereignty of Indian tribes, the U.S. governments says this one's a no-go:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Tim Counts confirmed that documents from the tribe offer no protection "from the consequences of being in a country illegally. It won't work."

Still, the Indians have the right idea: Citizenship should be cheap and plentiful, like corn at the first Thanksgiving. So what if the new "Indians" make their corn into tortillas?

More on America's favorite fake Indian, Ward Churchill, here.

NEXT: Much Ado About Shopping

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  1. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Tim Counts confirmed that documents from the tribe offer no protection “from the consequences of being in a country illegally. It won’t work.”

    I predict it will.

  2. Damn inflation!!!

  3. If the newly tribal immigrants remain on the reservations, I see no problem.

  4. The Canarsie Indians who sold Manhattan Island for 60 guilders (the famed $24) didn’t even live there.

  5. I’m no tribal law expert, but I thought that federal laws of this kind worked for tribes as well as for states. For instance, Florida can’t take in illegals and declare them to be citizens. Certainly, in other areas of the law with which I am familiar, the tribes aren’t really sovereign when it comes to federal law.

  6. “If the newly tribal immigrants remain on the reservations, I see no problem.”

    The key phrase is “two NONFEDERALLY recognized Indian tribes (emphasis added)”

  7. Well, the obvious solution is to deport teh NativeAmericansWhoHarborIllegals. Then take their land and go there on vacation.

  8. The tribes have every right to sell memberships. The US of course has every right to be a bit more discerning on which members of a tribe get US citizenship.

    But it’s hard enough for a tribe to get federal recognition. Good luck to those unrecognized tribes who are selling memberships to nonnatives under the guise of a ticket to citizenship.

  9. America’s favorite fake Indian, Ward Churchill

    I say Iron Eyes Cody is still #1. If Ward Churchill wants to take his crown, he should appear in a PSA with a tear running down his face while the Trade Center towers collapse behind him.

  10. “Then take their land and go there on vacation.”

    It’s no place you’d want to visit. Trust me (you can because I’m an indian)

  11. As cool as it would be if Indian tribes really were sovereign, we all know the BIA’s record on honoring that sovereignty.

  12. Sadly I think Pro Libertate is correct. Like when a State law says drugs are legal and the Federal law say different the Fed law wins.
    I still hope it works though.

  13. Um, I offered the Palestinians reservation status in Nevada in another thread. Was I too hasty?

  14. So what if the new “Indians” make their corn into tortillas?

    Wouldn’t native Mexicans also be Indians (feather, not dot)?

  15. de stijl,

    You are friggin’ brilliant. That’s the solution. Make Mexico into a giant reservation!

  16. Like when a State law says drugs are legal and the Federal law say different the Fed law wins.

    Well, citizenship is different from drugs since the Constitution actually grants the power over naturalization to the federal government.

    So in a dispute over citizenship the federal law really does win according to the words of the very same Tenth Amendment that makes what the feds do on drugs utterly unconstitutional.

  17. It’s no place you’d want to visit. Trust me (you can because I’m an indian)

    You don’t have to tell me. In my county alone there are two tribes, maybe three.

    Anywee, get those casinos cleaned up and they’d be great for decent folk!

  18. MikeP
    You’ll get no argument from me on that. I was just trying to say that the Feds win..Period. Whether it is Constitutional or not doesn’t seem to matter.

  19. Wouldn’t native Mexicans also be Indians (feather, not dot)?

    offensive.

    What you mean is “casino or call center”.

  20. VM
    Damn it I spit up beer.

  21. ThEytookOUrJOBZ!!! FEaR bIgImmIgraTIon.

    dunderooooooooo111!!!!111!!!!111111!!!!!!!

  22. I have reservations about this.

    [Somebody had to say it.]

  23. Jesse,

    I posted the Crying Indian PSA over at Urkobold. My childhood beliefs have been shattered.

    VM,

    I think you just crossed the streams. I’m pretty sure LW and Dondero are different people.

    Aresen,

    Canadians should not make Indian jokes.

  24. The Canarsie Indians who sold Manhattan Island for 60 guilders (the famed $24) didn’t even live there.

    Thus starting a grand tradition of the local natives putting one over on people who come to visit New York.

    Trust me (you can because I’m an indian)

    Honest?

    But it’s hard enough for a tribe to get federal recognition.

    Yeh, I understand we’re still punishing the Abenakis for taking the British side in 1776.

  25. Still, the Indians have the right idea: Citizenship should be cheap and plentiful, like corn at the first Thanksgiving. So what if the new “Indians” make their corn into tortillas?

    The “old” Indians were making corn into tortilla-like things long before Europeans showed up in the Americas.

  26. You call it corn, JMR, we call it maize.

  27. I call it delicious!

  28. You call it corn, JMR, we call it maize.

    As Beavis & Butt-head noted so long ago.

  29. Indeed. I only saw the Mazola commercial. Nine thousand times. What was up with the 70s and their 20 total commercials?

  30. ProGLib – they indeed are.

    But both are in the running for “Internets Tool of the Month”.

    The winner gets sealed forever more up in a WOMBY VAULTAGE type thingy place.

    The loser gets to chomp his own taint.

  31. You call it corn, JMR, we call it maize.

    Either way it’s the precursor to ersatz gasoline.

  32. This is an awesome idea!!!

    Can I join the tribe for 50$?

  33. You should to buy and sale national citizenships on eBay. I could sale my American citizenship to an ambitious, hard charging Asian, buy a Mexican citizenship and retire to beachfront property on the difference. 🙂

  34. I want to start my own tribe.

  35. You are friggin’ brilliant. That’s the solution. Make Mexico into a giant reservation!

    Too late, ProLib…it’s already an old folks home.

    Headline Here: Seniors head south to Mexican nursing homes

    Link here:http://www.insurancenewsnet.com/article.asp?n=1&innID=656026007

  36. If they do not let me I will sue them for racial discrimination!!!

  37. Well, the obvious solution is to deport teh NativeAmericansWhoHarborIllegals. Then take their land and go there on vacation.

    “It’s no place you’d want to visit. Trust me (you can because I’m an indian)”

    As vacation land for … lawyerrrs in looooovvve!

  38. Didn’t read all the comments, but I’m more than happy (DRUNK) on vacay and feel perfectly comfy piping in because I won’t remember to see what I said tomorrow.

    Feather Indian/Italian chica married to a Dot Indian. Let every bastard come! If they have the work ethic of my husband and the tenacity of my mower, we will be a better country for it.

    Maybe the immigrants joining the res will have an IDEA or 7 and actually produce something.

  39. Let’s combine some stereotypes.

    A: Mexicans are lazy.
    B: Mexicans are coming here and taking our jobs.

    The inescapable conclusion is that we are lazier than Mexicans.

    Why does Tom Tancredo have such a low view of Americans’ work ethic?

  40. Let’s combine some stereotypes.

    A: Mexicans are lazy.

    What alternate universe are you living in where Mexicans are stereotyped as lazy?

  41. Let’s combine some stereotypes.

    A: Mexicans are lazy.

    What alternate universe are you living in where Mexicans are stereotyped as lazy?

    I understand your confusion. But think of old Westerns:

    Mexican on siesta: “He went that way meester”

  42. If they have the work ethic of my husband and the tenacity of my mower, we will be a better country for it

    Let it be agreed that Native American mowers can be tenacious.

  43. Regardless of your feelings about immigration, this is pretty clearly a case of federal jurisdiction. Just like states can’t negotiate treaties with other countries, you can’t have reservations making de facto national policy. This does nothing for the pro-immigration movement except giving anti-immigration forces one more thing to point to when arguing about lawlessness in immigration. Just because it coincides with what you agree with, can we not jump on the bandwagon every time something like this happens?

  44. Cool! I want to be an Indian! 🙂
    Greetings from Russia!

  45. Just thinking off the top of my head…. This idea has some potential when it comes to the current state of Native Americans. I don’t think selling US citizenship is a slam dunk even with Reason readers. But it would be interesting to look how federal policies have affected Native Americans over the years. My mom and I just drove back to Denver from North Dakota. So we took US 83 through the Rosebud reservation. It was sad that the “nice” houses we saw were merely kept up and not actually big or fancy. These reservations in many ways are 3rd world countries.

    How would sales of citizenship actually help tribes? Would many tribes be interested in selling their own membership and thus diluting what it means to be a part of their tribe?

  46. Mexican on siesta: “He went that way meester”

    It’s certainly interesting how stereotypes have changed haven’t they? I wonder, were the same people who sold the first some of those who sold the second? One thing’s for sure: the same idiots who bought the first are ready to buy the second.

    As for making U.S. citizenship cheap, what would stop China from paying the way for, say, 10 million of their citizens who’d then settle in one region? Couldn’t China use that as a means to obtain PoliticalPower inside the U.S.?

    Is Katherine Mangu-Ward just a hack, or is she just unable to think things through, or some combination thereof?

  47. Wouldn’t native Mexicans also be Indians (feather, not dot)?

    This is true. Mexicans, by and large, have a good bit more Indian blood than the average Anglo-American – it’s why, for a Spanish-speaking country, Mexicans look so relatively little like Spaniards (well, not to mention Mexican Spanish contains a good bit of Nahuatl in the vocabulary – words like chocolate, chipotle and so forth attest to that). I think this is pretty cool, but apparently whether or not you’re “Spanish enough” is a big deal in the status game down there – and being a meztizo affords the least status of all.

  48. Well, the obvious solution is to deport teh NativeAmericansWhoHarborIllegals. Then take their land and go there on vacation.

    That’s marxist music there, son. You ain’t no pinko, are you?

  49. idiots!

  50. I’m already a citizen. Can I join a tribe and have my own tax exempt gambling casino? Anybody out there from the IRS, can you tell me?

  51. TLB

    As for making U.S. citizenship cheap, what would stop China from paying the way for, say, 10 million of their citizens who’d then settle in one region? Couldn’t China use that as a means to obtain PoliticalPower inside the U.S.?

    Is Katherine Mangu-Ward just a hack, or is she just unable to think things through, or some combination thereof?

    And then what would happen? The 10 million people would still swear allegiance to the Chinese communist party even though they are protected from any ceorcive influence? I doubt they’d still vote Communist after realizing that they can vote however they please, and realize that they can succeed personally much better here than they can under the communist model.

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