Thursday, July 20, 2006

Run that by me again?

You're going to do what?

*blink, blink*

You know, I get the feeling that they really haven't thought this one through, yet.

While giving every American citizen of African descent an additional citizenship in Africa as an incentive to jump-start African economies, the Unintended Consequences might not be the most helpful thing in the world.

Sooner or later someone (a lawyer) is going to point out one of the supposed advantages of dual-citizenship: embassies, and lack of extradition treaties.

As a creative articulation, let us discuss Bob Wilson. Mr. Wilson has fallen afoul of the law. Hypothetically speaking, say that Mr. Wilson has had a lucrative recreational pharmaceutical distribution business, and that he has been careless enough in his day-to-day activities as to draw the attention of the local Narcotics Task Force.

Silly Bob.

Now, discovering that the Minions of the Law have a warrant with Mr. Wilson's name prominently mentioned in their hot little paws, and him with an allergy to steel bars and soya-meat, Mr. Wilson decides that an extended stay at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is to be avoided at all costs.

Now, 22 years earlier, the parents of Mr. Wilson were on vacation in West Graustarkia when Mama Nature decided that it was time for the Wilsons to become parents.

Mother and Father Wilson, being citizens of the United States, young Bobbie is automatically a citizen of the U.S. of A. Yet, because he entered this wonderful little world at the Little Sisters of Mercy First Aid Station and Falafel Diner, Bobbie Wilson is also a citizen of West Graustarkia.

Bless his heart.

Fast forward 22 years. Mr. Wilson, hearing the heavy trod of size 11 brogans coming up the front steps, promptly hauls tail for New York, plonks his butt down in the front office of the West Graustarkia Consular Mission to the United States and yelps: "I am a Graustarkian citizen, here is my birth certificate, and I seek asylum."

In Hollywood, steely-eyed officers will throw (perfectly understandable, yet edgily dramatic) fits of rage at the thought of Mr. Wilson safely behind the walls of a country with no extradition treaty with the United States. Somber music (or cutting-edge techno/rock/hip-hop, depending on the series) will play, funky camera angles will be used to accentuate flaring nostrils and clenched jaws, and much will be made of the anguish of the lawmen, foiled in their Pursuit of Justice by a loophole in International Law, so on and so forth, amen.

In real life, LawDog researches West Graustarkia, discovers that West Graustarkia observes Islamic sharia law and the possession of any amounts of dope is punished by flogging and/or removal of body parts and/or extended stays in a Third World prison unless the proper bribes are kept up.

Which will be difficult due to all of Bob's assets having been seized or frozen, leaving him without the financial means to bribe a waiter into giving him a glass of water.

In real life, the only throwing will be the Goodbye Party where the Sheriff will ceremoniously write: Someone Elses Problem upon the file of Mr. Bob Wilson.

Those of us who are sober enough after the party might even gather at the airport to giggle and wave good-bye to the airplane carrying Mr. Wilson to his new country.

*snort*

Oh, well. They didn't ask my thoughts on the matter. Should be interesting to watch, though.

LawDog

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, so they'd be 'going back home' to those who captured and sold them into slavery to begin with?

Frying pan and fire. Keep those cards and letters...and Social Security/AFDC checks coming.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Anonymous said...

If they go through with it you think it could be used to dispose of some repeated offenders/large scale consumers of tax dollars?

Anonymous said...

There's another aspect to this one, 'Dog, and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out, especially if this new "dual citizenship" is granted to people without their knowledge or specific action on their part.

I'm talking about security clearances. For some levels of clearance, a dual-citizenship is more or less the equivalent of a DIS officer's "Denied, thanks so much" stamp on your file. Especially a dual citizenship with a country that is...politically unstable.

So if every black person descended from slaves in this country (Which is easily better than 50% of black people) is automagically granted Nigerialiberiasudanese citizenship, most of them who have certain jobs in government service or government contracting may suddenly become ineligible for those jobs.

Oops.

Anonymous said...

You missed the part where the African countries decide that their long lost countrymen should be paying a fare share of the bills. So they tax the income of all expats to line the controlling parties pockets. And because of a lack of a treaty it becomes very important to now get one, so that the recalcitrant tax payers can be induced to contribute to the treasury. The US becomes innundated with requests for recognition and this keeps the beaurocrats busy and maybe, just maybe keeps them from thinking up new ideas on how to continue to mess up my/our life/lives.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine many black Americans being even remotely interested in this. They have their own subculture here, and are a major influence in our shared American meta-culture.

My black friends don't even want to vacation in Africa...