U.S Immigration Services Denies Application Based on Secular Beliefs

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A California resident applying for U.S. citizenship has had her application denied because immigration officials did not accept as valid a conscientious objector, declaration to “bear arms” in defense of the U.S. because it is secular in nature. The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center is representing Adriana Ramirez in her appeal.

In a letter dated Feb. 27, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials in San Diego, CA were informed that their decision is not supported by the law and should immediately be reversed. “Given the Supreme Court’s unequivocal instruction that, to be consistent with the Constitution, the government must interpret a statute permitting conscientious objection on the basis of ‘religious’ belief to include comparable secular moral views,” the letter states, “denying Ms. Ramirez’s citizenship on the grounds that her secular moral beliefs are not ‘religious’ is unconstitutional.”

“There is no legal basis to deny a citizenship application because one’s ethical values are secular,” said Appignani Legal Center attorney Monica Miller. “The letter is meant to clarify the mistake being made by officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’s San Diego office so that the application process can move forward.”

Written By: American Humanist Association
continue to source article at americanhumanist.org

11 COMMENTS

  1. I found the opening sentence very confusing:

    A California resident applying for U.S. citizenship has had her application denied because immigration officials did not accept as valid a conscientious objector, declaration to “bear arms” in defense of the U.S. because it is secular in nature.

    I think what it meant to say is:

    **A California resident applying for U.S. citizenship has had her application denied because immigration officials did not accept as valid, because it is secular in nature, a conscientious objector declaration to “bear arms” in defense of the U.S. **

    Steve

    • In reply to #1 by Agrajag:

      I found the opening sentence very confusing:

      A California resident applying for U.S. citizenship has had her application denied because immigration officials did not accept as valid a conscientious objector, declaration to “bear arms” in defense of the U.S. because it is secular in nature.

      I think…

      Ha ha. You are quite right – it leaves the interpretation that she is religious and does not want to bear arms to defend America because it is secular.

      From what I can see from this side of the pond America is nominally secular but groups bend the rules all over the place to push their agenda.
      The UK isn’t officially secular but we have less trouble with religion – probably because those who can even be bothered to attend church regularly are a small minority. As Catholic apologist Tony Blair was famously told whilst in office – “we don’t do religion, you’d better keep that to your self”.

    • In reply to #1 by Agrajag:

      I found the opening sentence very confusing:

      A California resident applying for U.S. citizenship has had her application denied because immigration officials did not accept as valid a conscientious objector, declaration to “bear arms” in defense of the U.S. because it is secular in nature.

      I think…

      You are absolutely right Agrajag. The author of this article is unacceptably inarticulate and this is part of the problem we have when confronting the woolly thinking of our opponents. We must be models of clarity, and a good knowledge of grammar and syntax is essential when tackling their cotton-wool prose. Articles written as poorly as this simply play into the hands of our opponents.

    • In reply to #1 by Agrajag:

      I found the opening sentence very confusing:

      A California resident applying for U.S. citizenship has had her application denied because immigration officials did not accept as valid a conscientious objector, declaration to “bear arms” in defense of the U.S. because it is secular in nature.

      I think…

      Ok, so it’s not just me then… I found myself rereading that paragraph 3 to 4 times and still not being able to quite assimilate the wording even though I had figured out the actual meaning… Thanks Steve.

  2. States have the right to play hard ball. You don’t like abortion, you still have to pay your taxes, you don’t like the arts, you still have to pay that portion of your taxes, you have no kids, you still have to pay for state education, you’re an elitist snob, you still have to pay for state funded medicare. You don’t want to stop Hitler, Bin Laden, the Soviet Union or the various genocides, tough; if you want to be a member of the state, you have to do what the state demands. Once you’re in, a voting citizen, then you can protest, disrupt, argue, dissent all you want, but you have to sign up for what you disagee with, as well as what you like, before you can be part of that debate.

    • In reply to #3 by eejit:

      Once you’re in, a voting citizen, then you can protest, disrupt, argue, dissent all you want, but you have to sign up for what you disagee with, as well as what you like, before you can be part of that debate.

      Well, yes, but that’s not what’s happening here. She’s not being let in because the authorities wrongly apply a religious test. Unconstitutional!

      Steve

    • In reply to #3 by eejit:

      States have the right to play hard ball. You don’t like abortion, you still have to pay your taxes, you don’t like the arts, you still have to pay that portion of your taxes, you have no kids, you still have to pay for state education, you’re an elitist snob, you still have to pay for state funded…

      She’s not willing to take up arms, doesn’t mean she can’t be a functional member of the forces. They need propagandists, data crunchers, meds, clerical duties, so on, so on and so on. Plenty of trigger happy yanks to fill the shooter shoes. Hell, Americans have killed more Americans with personal firearms than their army has killed enemy combatants.

      • In reply to #5 by aquilacane:

        Hell, Americans have killed more Americans with personal firearms than their army has killed enemy combatants.> In reply to #3

        Are you sure? Or are you including the civil war, in which case were the firearms truly “personal?” I am no defender of the NRA, and the attitude of Americans to their precious bloody guns pisses me off enormously, and way too many people are killed by personal firearms, but that statement does seem a bit of a stretch.

        Might be worth checking with Tojo, Guderian, and Giap.

    • In reply to #3 by eejit:

      You don’t want to stop Hitler, Bin Laden, the Soviet Union or the various genocides, tough; if you want to be a member of the state, you have to do what the state demands.

      But it doesn’t demand this. That’s the whole point.

      During the citizenship process, applicants are allowed to express moral, ethical, or religious objections to warfare, making the promise to “bear arms” an optional part of the oath of loyalty taken by those approved for citizenship.

      The problem seems to be the immigration officials reading this as applicants only being allowed to express religious objections to warfare.

      Michael

  3. In reply to #5 by aquilacane:

    Hell, Americans have killed more Americans with personal firearms than their army has killed enemy combatants.

    They have a pretty impressive record for killing their own allies in combat too!

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