July 31, 2005

Returned to Sender

Many years ago I wanted to move to Canada. It wasn’t because I wanted to flee the United States or become an expat per se. I just wanted to live in Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, and it has been ever since I first saw it. It’s also only a five hour drive from my home town of Portland. I liked the idea that I could live in another country without really leaving the “neighborhood.”

I looked into the requirements for getting a residency permit. Two things on the list I would need to be able prove:

1) I had no criminal record. (Check.)

2) My presence in Canada would benefit Canadian society, even if only by an iota, rather than harm it.

Seemed reasonable enough to me. Why should they want me if I was only going to cause trouble? They have enough problems of their own without needing to import any brand new ones.

I never did move to Canada. But if I had moved there and declared my own personal war against the country and its people I’d expect to be railroaded straight back to the U.S. “Whoops,” an immigration officer surely would tell me. “Looks like both of us made a mistake. You apparently don’t want to be here any more than we want you to be here.”

So color me unsurprised that France decided to deport 12 radical imams for inciting jihad.

France is well within its rights. Inciting holy war – and in this context we’re talking about civil war – isn’t something to shrug at after New York, London, and Madrid. This isn’t a free speech issue.

Clearly France made a mistake when they granted residency status to those who want to destroy them. And clearly those immigrant imams made a mistake when they decided to settle in France. If Canada demands that I, a law abiding American citizen, should have to prove I will help rather than harm their country if they let me in… then slapping “Return to Sender” on their butts is the very least France ought to do.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 31, 2005 9:38 PM
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