I think many of us readers have done the same thought exercises about national identity as Shannon Casas has well described.
My conclusion is this: Why can’t the federal government go back to enforcing the original law that all citizens of the USA should be treated equal in the eyes of the federal government and its law?
If one is a citizen of the USA, which is clearly defened in federal law, one can share in all of the wonderful God-given rights of a citizen. Some of these rights allow a citizen to enjoy free speech, free association and the freedom to move around the country unimpeded. Also, a citizen can vote, buy a firearm and/or drive a car, if he or she can prove that he or she is a citizen -- with very few other restrictions.
If one is not a U.S. citizen, they are a “visitor” or alien (as are the 6-8 billion people who do not live here) and may not enjoy all of the above freedoms. The visitor will also have to pay taxes, as a citizen does. They must leave the USA immediately if they are asked to do so, or when their declared visit is concluded.
End of story. End of confusion. Seems simple and fair to all citizens.