It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an Illegal Alien!

Wonderful letter in the Financial Times that highlights the dilemma presented by illegal aliens (such as Superman and me) who land on American shores and become productive members of society. Here, in its entirety, is what Mr. Branko Terzic writes:

From Mr Branko Terzic.

Sir, It dawned on me during the opening scenes of the new Superman movie that Superman, the arch-typical American hero, is the ultimate undocumented illegal alien.

Think about it. He arrives in the US in a unregistered aircraft. He crosses the border and enters the US without any documentation, visa or passport. It is also likely that his adoptive parents, the Kents, falsified information for a birth certificate leading to his illegal acquisition of a US Social Security number and card.

Publicly exposed, and in spite of all his good works fighting crime, Superman would not be able to get a legal green card, and would be expelled to his country (or in this case planet) of origin. Sure, Congress could pass a special law legalising Superman’s status. But what would be the precedent? Good works? Crime fighting? Economic benefits created by the Superman movie franchise?

It’s a dilemma. The timing of the movie is perfect. It comes during the US great debate on immigration policy. How many other illegal aliens are there out there whose work and lives in the US have been such as to merit a legal path to citizenship? If we have created a system where not even Superman merits consideration, well, maybe we should reconsider the whole question?

Branko Terzic,

Vienna, VA 22182, US

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