In response to Mr. Kelly from Friday, Dec. 28, 2018 (“Reader asks what people can do?” in Readers’ Forum); Thomas Jefferson had indeed written about Constitution rewrites, but he more famously wrote, “Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.”
Most of the writing of the Constitution was left to James Madison and several others, and not necessarily without much contention. If read as written, it is still a living document which formed our government as one unequalled in history.
While naturalization is briefly mentioned in Article I, all articles give succeeding generations ample chance to change by amendment, and appropriate legislation where allowed, those articles by which time requires their attention.
Since 1776, most of us owe our citizenship existence to immigrant ancestors the Constitution did not entirely foresee but for whom allowances were made.
We had a roughly 90-year period with mostly open borders. With the ratification of the 14th amendment in 1868 came the words we fight most over today. Also since 1868 came many exclusions, quotas and controls which precipitated the failures we now see. Subsequent congresses have failed to write comprehensive immigration policy and there is much disagreement across the aisles.
Presidents since 1980, in particular, have been forced to consider many bad alternatives. Our current situation is only one of many. But, sadly, the world no longer allows for totally open immigration and controls need to be considered. That means both liberal and conservative views must be addressed for the safety of us all.
We have no more Jeffersons, Madisons or George Masons. It is frustrating to rely on the lack of help we are getting from both sides. In short, we do not need to fix the Constitution. We need to stop electing individuals from both parties who are so self serving that the true citizens who elected them seem to be the last people they consider.
Pere Marquette Township