Do a quick Google search for the terms “Superman” and “illegal,” and you’ll get hundreds of hits. Almost all of them lead to the same argument. Superman, the symbol of truth, justice and the American way, is an illegal immigrant. As such, he’s breaking the same law as the millions of illegal Mexicans that “evil racist conservatives” allegedly despise.
It may seem ludicrous, as Superman is an alien of the most fictional variety, but for some reason, the claim is catching hold and spreading like wildfire among the left. Some people pose the theory in the hopes that it will elevate the image of illegal immigrants, others just seem to enjoy painting an American icon as a criminal. Whatever the motive, it’s important to note a few facts.
Superman, or Kal-El if you prefer, is NOT an illegal immigrant. He’s a refugee who came to this country due to the decisions of others.
The rationalization that enables the left to turn a blind eye to the immense number of Mexicans sneaking into the United States is that they are “simply seeking a better life.” In other words, they want more money and it’s easier to break the laws of a country to the north than fight for a future in Mexico. Unlike illegals, however, Superman didn’t choose to come here and he wasn’t seeking anything. He was an infant—not even a year old—and the choice was made for him. There was no financial desire involved. He didn’t voluntarily break U.S. immigration law by sneaking across the galaxy and into Kansas so he could clean rooms at the La Quinta Inn–Smallville. He was placed aboard a rocket and launched into space from the surface of a doomed planet by parents who knew it was his only hope of survival. Krypton wasn’t overrun with poverty and drug lords, it was dying. There was no hope of improving its future since it didn’t have one. The choice to leave was made for him, without his input.
Moments after Superman’s departure, the planet Krypton was obliterated in a tremendous cataclysm. Depending upon which version of his origin you prefer, it was either torn apart by internal geological forces, or it was engulfed as its red sun went supernova. Either way, his father’s warnings were ignored by bureaucrats and with a few exceptions, he was the sole survivor. His rocket carried him unknown light years and eventually crash in the United States, where he was adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. He has no homeland to which he can return. Even if he did, and the U.S. wanted to deport him, we don’t have the technology to get him back to his birthplace. Unlike the twelve million illegal Mexicans currently living in America, a bus ticket to Tijuana won’t get the job done.
The Kents, at least initially, had a surprisingly easy time with their new son. Jor-El, Superman’s Kryptonian father, had made every effort to ensure that his son would fully assimilate into American culture. His rocket contained educational recordings, which taught him American concepts of morality, the history of the United States, and how to speak fluent English. Despite being aware that our yellow sun would bestow incredible powers upon the child, he was specifically ordered NOT to conquer, alter, or interfere with our country. He was, therefore, not instructed to fly the Kryptonian flag, organize Kryptonian immigration rallies, or to strike in support of Kryptonian/English road signs.
In the original 1930’s version of Superman’s origin, Jonathan and Martha, who had previously been childless, took the infant to an orphanage until they could legally adopt him. In the 1986 retelling (which was always controversial and, for the most part, has been disregarded recently), they feared that his interplanetary heritage would be discovered, so they did not. Certain that he had no biological family on Earth; they claimed the young Superman as their own rather than call the police. Even if you prefer the revamped version, it’s worth noting that it’s the adults surrounding this infant that are making these choices, not Superman himself. In both versions, the Kents renamed the baby Clark, enrolled him in school, and for all intents and purposes, he became a normal American child.
In fact, Clark didn’t even know of his otherworldly beginnings until his superpowers appeared in his early teens. He has a Social Security number, pays taxes, and is registered as a U.S. citizen. Furthermore, in his Superman guise, he occasionally works directly for the government when emergencies arise.
The complete destruction of Superman’s home world clearly establishes his refugee status. Until Mexico is sucked into the sun or pulled into the sea, those sneaking in from south of the border cannot make the same claim. His original origin story bestowed citizenship upon him by way of an orphanage. Even if one chooses to ignore all of this, there’s no physical way to send him home. Superman has never willingly committed a crime, including his entry into our nation. He’s a fully assimilated, American citizen who pays taxes, is a prominent reporter in Metropolis, and moonlights as a federal operative.
So let’s cut the Man of Steel a little slack, OK? He’s earned it.
Besides, if you’re a lefty who’s outraged that an illegal alien has taken a job away from a hard working, biased, American journalist, you can always console yourself with the environmentalist mantra that he’s an endangered species.
Then we have to keep him, right?
Robert Laurie is a Michigan-based Conservative columnist and freelance writer. He also runs a daily political commentary blog at RobertLaurie.net.