The House Judiciary Committee published an article about immigration this week using reaction gifs to explain a Republican bill aimed at allowing state and local governments enforce federal immigration law.

The post is sort of blah. (Speaker Boehner's office's posted a piece about President Obama's community college plan using only Taylor Swift gifs that was more clever.). But, the Internet has come to the rescue (again!) as a handful of people have pointed out one thing in particular about the post's use of the above gif of Ariel from "The Little Mermaid"; that one thing is that she herself may well be an illegal immigrant due to her residency "under the sea."

But how easy would it be for Ariel to legally immigrate? Since Ariel doesn't come to the U.S. in the film, we'll have to look elsewhere for answers. The author of the original book, Hans Christian Andersen, was from Denmark, so what would Danish immigration law do with a mermaid like Ariel? Here are some of the requirements, according to the BBC:

Proof of financial independence

She is her princess. Her father is a king. This is their castle. Assuming she inherits this, yes, she will be financially independent.

(via Disney )

An active commitment to Danish society

OK, so she doesn't really know much about Danish society, but she wants to. She has a commitment to collecting thingamabobs and dinglehoppers, and she wants to learn more about it.

(via Disney )

Minimum age of 24

Sorry, Ariel is a teenager. She does not meet the requirement.

(via Disney )

Coming to the United States would be difficult for Ariel. Wendy Feliz, a spokesperson for the American Immigration Council told the Fix in a phone interview there are generally only three ways to get into the country: having family here (are there any American mermaids living in the U.S.), getting a job here (imagine how difficult that would be without family when your voice was stolen by an evil sea witch), or if she was a refugee (does getting your voice stolen by an evil seawitch count?)

So, yes, this is a dumb debate, but we didn't start it. The House Judiciary committee, which deals with issues like immigration policy as well as judicial proceedings, civil liberties, and whether to consider presidential impeachment charges, did.  So blame Bob Goodlatte.

And, just to close the loop: Ariel would have to wait a few years before immigrating to Denmark. Or  she could try the other side of the Atlantic. The world is her oyster.


This post has been updated with additional information about immigration into the U.S.