Who’s The Better American?

College campuses, especially in Florida, are engaged in a new movement, fighting for the right of students who are here illegally for a number of years to stay in the U.S. They have been organizing formally and in some cases demonstrating. United We Dream is an example, it is a network of current and former such students. Carlos Saavedra, its national coordinator, describes the issue this way, “maybe our parents feel like immigrants, but we feel like Americans because we have been raised here on American values.” Being here illegally, such students are subject to any of the laws and problems of others also here without proper documentation.
Many legal immigrants come to the United States for a better life, motivated by economic rather than philosophical reasons. Many still feel an allegiance to their home country and some do not choose citizenship because their status as legal immigrants enables them to better enjoy the benefits of both countries.
As we decide what to do with these young students who may be deported unless laws are changed, we need to ask ourselves: Who’s the better American, who will make the better citizen, someone who already has a stake in the country, or someone whose allegiance is based on self-interest?