We always hear of federal programs for minorities, such as blacks, Indians, the handicapped, senior citizens and the like. All of those programs are geared to benefit the citizens born in the United States; they seldom serve naturalized citizens. Naturalized citizens are so distinct, by virtue of their accent and sometimes their names, that they are very easily detected and discriminated against.

Although the 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the equal protection of laws to all citizens, born or naturalized, and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex or national origin, that last and most-often ignored category is often discriminated against with impunity by the people responsible for carrying out the government's instructions.

Naturalized citizens are a stigmatized minority. They are called "foreigners," and they are systematically excluded from employment -- federal and private -- and public-housing programs. The federal government's affirmative-action programs, though intended to benefit all minorities and all citizens alike, only serve citizens and minorities born in the United States. Virtually no government agency or private corporation has to account for naturalized citizens, although the members of this minority have to register with the selective service, pay all taxes, bear all the burdens of the federal citizenship, and otherwise behave oftentimes far better than American-born citizens.

Why are they treated as second-class citizens? Why are benefits not equitably extended to them?