As the lines begin to blur between American citizens living in California and immigrants who are here legally, it’s fair to begin asking what’s the difference? What rights and privileges should be reserved strictly for citizens?
These questions are highlighted by two bills that swept easily through the California Legislature, one already signed without much fanfare by Gov. Jerry Brown, the other awaiting his signature at this writing.
Essentially, they take some functions previously reserved entirely for citizens and open them up to legal residents, green card holders.
These developments really began almost 150 years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment applied to foreign residents of this country and not only to citizens. From then on, immigrants were entitled to equal protection under all laws. They already could own property, and right up to this day, they can hold virtually any job if they possess documents showing their presence here is legal...