Citizenship is an important word, concept in democracy.  American democracy designated since its inception that its citizens had duties, responsibilities to uphold the tradition of freedom, independence and responsibility to defend democracy.  In this year of 2017 the world is finding a bumpy road with polarizing political philosophies and reinvention of nationalism, tribal rivals, economical challenges and religious bigotry.  The status in the world has found America along with Great Britain shaken by new leadership that has emerged to major changes in many of their traditional institutions.  What is citizenship in the year 2017 in the United States of America?

The 2016 Presidential Election put forth challenges of international populations coming to America.  Economics established losing jobs to oversea nations along with the emerging technology reducing the job market for many Americans.  Political parties blamed each other.  Some Americans singled out the possibility of terrorism as critical to the national security.  Some foreign groups, religions all played a role in challenging the tradition of welcoming immigrants to the United States of America.  Since the historical terrorist act of 9-11 many Americans feared, blamed Islam as the culprit of an ugly war campaign against American democracy.  American history has shown an ugly point of fear against foreign born Americans, new immigrants in its history.  During World War II many Japanese were put in internment camps because of the conflict with Japan.  The early days of slavery in America denied the African freedom, refusing to acknowledge the fact, humanity of thousands Africans whose slave roles denied the core values of democracy and citizenship.  Citizenship was written into American democracy as the rule and role for all Americans.  Slavery, foreign backgrounds, gender, sexuality and religious beliefs had absolutely nothing to do with who became a citizen in America.  This was the legacy of America welcoming anyone to the freedom of this new land since its inception.

Citizenship is being defined in the United States differently today.  The open welcome to what once a welcoming policy has today been redefined by government and supported by many people.  President Trump has unsuccessfully put forth a policy banning immigrants from nations on a terrorist list.  The federal courts have twice rejected the bans on grounds that of discrimination against the religion of Islam.  Trump campaigned on the whole ideal of national security against foreign immigrants who are coming into the United States and doing either acts of terrorism or crime.  This controversy addresses the citizenship doctrine that upholds responsibility and duties of American citizens.  The debate proved controversial and remains a divisive topic of major proportion.  Some critics find President Trump stance anti-Islam, his desire to build more walls along the Mexican border anti-Mexican.  The bans on certain ethnic groups has included others of Latin descent with religious groups finding themselves questioned too.  Religious freedom?  Anti-immigrant or national security?  The defining of being a citizen is more tedious, complex and complicated.  Some critics feel that the citizenship cautionary policies are a must in order to prevent another 9-11 terrorist attack.  Others have declared that America is a nation of immigrants.  The blocking of certain ethnic groups, religious types is simply Un-American.  In 2017 America is facing a challenge that other world communities are being challenged such as France, The Netherlands and Germany.  Who should be banned?  Is the fear of terrorism winning the war in democratic nations?  Nationalism in some nations is the defense to ban certain ethnic groups, religions from gaining entry?

The point of open borders has been rejected, questioned and debated in America.  Defining citizenship is more complicated in 2017.  Religion in the United States of America has always been based on religious freedom for its citizenship.  Suddenly, America is rethinking and even attempting to put forth policies that redefines the criteria of entry.  Citizenship, the cornerstone of American democracy is now being changed because of national security.  The founding fathers designed the United States of America to welcome all who agreed with the democratic ideas.  Religious freedom, ethnicity, race, creed, even political ideals opposing views were acceptable as long as they did not declare violence in destroying American democracy.  Now, citizenship has become a divided debate.  The consequences are causing a serious  consideration of what citizenship means in the United States of America.  Perhaps this moment in American history is redefining a free world beyond America?  The European nations are battling similar challenges.  In the very moment of technological advancement with many immigrants with technical skills entering America the new attitudes, national security concerns arising with great conflict.  The question today is what defines citizenship in America?  Can this noble experiment of democratic rule survive in the face of divided camps with major differences?