Sunday, January 28, 2018

Native Americans and Recent Arrivals

Here's an idea to shelter the DREAMers, those undocumented child immigrants who have been given protection from deportation under the DACA program, those undocumented child immigrants whose protection Trump seeks to rescind. Native American CJBakken has hit upon opening reservations as sanctuaries:

As a Native American I just had an epiphany about undocumented DACA people. How big of a coronary would trump and ryan have if the tribes welcomed the DACA folk onto the reservations, affording them protection under the sovereignty of the tribes......

MSBellows proposed an enhancement of this strategy:

What if a tribe offered tribal membership to any undoc immigrants with indigenous blood (ie, 99.9% of those from Mexico/Central America) in exchange for the ability to tax their income?

While the reservations do fall under federal immigration statutes, there is some leeway concerning membership in a Native American nation:

As a general rule, an American Indian or Alaska Native person is someone who has blood degree from and is recognized as such by a federally recognized tribe or village (as an enrolled tribal member) and/or the United States. Of course, blood quantum (the degree of American Indian or Alaska Native blood from a federally recognized tribe or village that a person possesses) is not the only means by which a person is considered to be an American Indian or Alaska Native. Other factors, such as a person’s knowledge of his or her tribe’s culture, history, language, religion, familial kinships, and how strongly a person identifies himself or herself as American Indian or Alaska Native, are also important. In fact, there is no single federal or tribal criterion or standard that establishes a person's identity as American Indian or Alaska Native.

There are major differences, however, when the term “American Indian” is used in an ethnological sense versus its use in a political/legal sense. The rights, protections, and services provided by the United States to individual American Indians and Alaska Natives flow not from a person's identity as such in an ethnological sense, but because he or she is a member of a federally recognized tribe. That is, a tribe that has a government-to-government relationship and a special trust relationship with the United States. These special trust and government-to-government relationships entail certain legally enforceable obligations and responsibilities on the part of the United States to persons who are enrolled members of such tribes. Eligibility requirements for federal services will differ from program to program. Likewise, the eligibility criteria for enrollment (or membership) in a tribe will differ from tribe to tribe.

While I doubt that such attempts would be successful, the real goal would be to tie up individual cases in the court system until this current regime is removed from power. Trump has a history of hostility toward Native Americans. It would be fitting if they could thwart him in his campaign against the DREAMers, 85% of whom are from Mexico and Central-and-South America, regions which have populations with majority mixed-autochthonous heritage.

1 comment:

Tata said...

There's a certain elegant justice to this idea.