The Economist thinks divided loyalties are acceptable

The Economist offers a fairly stock article about HR4437 and the fence in the unsigned article "Shots across the border". It contains this highly questionable bit:

Perhaps Mr Fox's biggest mistake has been his failure to lobby effectively over migration on Capitol Hill. Andres Rozental, who heads the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (and is Mr Castaneda's half-brother), notes that this contrasts with the effort made to secure passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993, when Mexico used its network of over 40 consulates to lobby Congress. Another unused channel of influence is the one-in-12 people born in Mexico who now live in the United States (see chart). Most are there legally and many are eligible to vote.

Isn't it a bad thing to have millions of voters in a country who can be swayed by a foreign power? Don't we refer to those people as having divided loyalties, and don't we doubt whether those people are not completely patriotic citizens?

In fact, for The Economist's edification, here's the first part of the "Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America":

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen..."

Seems pretty clear-cut to me. Maybe they do things differently where The Economist is from, but over here those who would form part of that "channel of influence" would seem to be in violation of their oath.

Please contact letters *at* and let them know what you think.


To the folks at The Economist, people are (editorially) just widgets -- valuable only for their economic utility. And if their movement is seen to increase their usefulness to capital, then borders are seen as a hindrance to that, so naturally The Economist sees them -- borders, that is, and probably immigration law too, for that matter -- as some kind of pre-globalization, pre-widgetization anachronism.