Saturday, January 8, 2011

Little Bundles Of Joy

Ammesty for immigrants is off the table for now, but the Republicans are not satisfied with half-measures. At long last, there will be a major challenge to the concept of "anchor babies." We will finally see an activist attempt to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment the way it was originally meant, and stop the bleeding-heart boo-hooing about the poor little innocents who just happened to get birthed in the USA.

It appears to me that Americans have become much more knowledgeable about the debate that surrounded passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. Before the current debates about illegal immigration, most Americans simply knew the part about "born or naturalized" in the United States. A few more knew about the expression "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," but were not entirely clear on what that actually means. Today, a great many more Americans have become aware of the real purpose behind the Fourteenth Amendment Civil War legislation. The purpose was twofold. First, to establish once and for all that former slaves born in the United States were now entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of every other citizen. And second, that a citizen of the United States had the same fundamental rights nationwide, and no state could take those rights away.

The Amendment was never designed as a blanket endorsement of "run across the border into the US, have a baby, create an American citizen, even though you are there illegally." "Birthright citizenship" has simply become the law of the land by default. It's time to correct that error. The common expression for these little bundles of joy is "anchor babies," but I rather like Ann Coulter's description of them as "jackpot babies." Make it across that border, drop a baby, win the big prize. As if considering mere birth within American borders were not enough of a prize, the liberals have passed years of legislation that ties "family reunification" to the little darlings. They have simply enabled illegals to expand on a right they never actually had in the first place.

First of all, liberals argue that migrant farmworkers who come into the United States for the harvests then return to Mexico shouldn't have their baby's rights taken away simply because during one of those trips, the wife (or whatever) has a baby. That argument doesn't work simply because the parents have no intention of becoming American citizens (at least not the traditional way). It also runs counter to the liberal argument that "illegals come here for the great opportunities and freedom of American society." They are certainly subject to the law while sojourning in the United States, but they are not subject to the complete jurisdiction of the US in the way a genuine citizen is.

The amnesty argument is that America is the land of opportunity, and that anyone who comes here merely wants a piece of the action. Any denial, for any reason, is racist or ethnocentric. Throw in a baby born here, and the parents are instantly transformed into future citizens who should no longer be oppressed by those silly immigration requirements.

My favorite argument from the liberals is "you shouldn't punish the child for the mistakes of its parents." So the alternative is to reward them for the mistakes of their parents (and their liberal supporters)? Given the liberals' great love of illegal Mexican immigrants and Mexico, how is sending the whole damn family back, anchor baby included, a punishment? Before anyone unfamiliar with my previous disclosures decides I'm a racist too, I wish to point out that my lifelong best friend, my best college buddy, and both my sons-in-law are of Mexican descent.

The current language of Section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act is muddied by those years of "common acceptance" of absolute birthright citizenship. Though a Constitutional Amendment would be better, it's a long and arduous process, and probably unnecessary. The Republicans who want action now to stem the tide prefer simply to clean up the language of Section 301 and amend it to read that birthright citizenship belongs to those who are born of American nationals and American citizens only. No other nation, Mexico included, allows birthright citizenship for people in the country legally or illegally without the requirement of parental citizenship or parents in the country legally and in the process of obtaining citizenship.

Allowing the children of illegal immigrants born by accident or design within the borders of the Unites States to be automatic citizens is not embedded in the Constitution, despite what the liberals would have you believe. It first of all assumes that it's OK that the parents should be rewarded with an anchor for future chain immigration. It ignores the fact that the parents are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States until they get caught. It assumes that "subject to the jurisdiction of" means "any jurisdiction." Natural-born children of adult American citizens are only partially subject to the jurisdiction of the United States since minors have always been treated as offshoots of the parental unit until they reach legal maturity.

It is time to clarify once and for all that babies born to illegal immigrants (as well as children of foreign national parents here legally at the time of birth but who have no basis for obtaining citizenship or intention to do so) are not American citizens because of an incidental act of nature. I believe that the Supreme Court will ultimately have to rule on the legislation (not to mention the 20 states that are attempting to pass their own rules on the subject). I believe the high court will look to the original intent of the Amendment and uphold the statute. If not, then it really is time for a Constitutional Amendment.


Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - I think amendments are too hard to bring off, so I hope SCOTUS does the right thing. Frankly, I'm surprised somewhere along the line, this han't been litigated until now.

Tehachapi Tom said...

As you pointed out we are the only country in the world that allows the anchor baby to be a citizen.

Are we the most stupid country in the world? Or is every out of step but Johnny the measure?

Common sense has been so far removed from our ruling class as to make recovery questionable.

VIVA Parte del te

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I agree about Amendments. They are difficult to accomplish, and I would hope it would be a last resort. But it would be far from impossible. I'm pinning my hopes on the Supreme Court for now. Three justices adhere to "original intent" and a fourth adheres to "original meaning." That leaves only one vote to go.

The force of inertia is great, and it's at least a partial explanation for why there has not been a full litigation of the issue. The anchor baby problem started small, and even at the time of the Reagan amnesty, the numbers were still relatively small. But 12,000,000 illegals, on top of the 3,000,000 previously forgiven, most of baby-producing age, changed the picture.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: We are not a stupid people, but frequently we are an overly-generous people. And we often don't think carefully about the unintended consequences of that generosity. At worst, we're the suckers that are born every minute. Liberals and immigration attorneys have used that generosity to create a mindset that isn't based in law, the Constitution, reality, or history. And for too many years, we all bought into it.

T_Rav said...

Breaking: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ, so this topic may or may not inpige on it) was shot in the head and killed, along with six others, at a town-hall type meeting in the Tucson area. Several others injured, including members of Giffords' staff. Gunman is in police custody. No further details at this point, but prayers to the loved ones of all those killed or injured.

Tam said...

I was actually planning to go to that event with Ms. Giffords. I'm so glad I'm lazy! I'm no fan of hers, but would never wish violence on anyone. So sad and tragic, and I wish people would wait for details before screaming accusations about who's behind it.

Unknown said...

T_Rav: I've been watching the reports. This is a tragedy. More importantly, I consider any attack on an elected representative to be an attack on the American people and its precious Constitution. My feeling would be exactly the same if this were Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. This may turn out to be a madman, but if it's political or ideological, it's the worst type of crime.

At this point, there are still conflicting reports on whether the wounds were fatal to Giffords, but either way my prayers are with her and her family.

Unknown said...

Tam: I'm glad you're safe and sound. As I mentioned to T_Rav, I take things like this personally. I would not have voted for her, but she was a faithful representative of her constituents, and she won election fair and square. If this was anything other than a deranged person, I want to know what the reason was behind it. And I don't care what political or ideological position the shooter believed in, this is murder and an assault on the people of Arizona and the people of the United States.

AndrewPrice said...

When the anchor baby thing came up, the MSM tried to make a big deal about there only being a few anchor babies. But what they were doing was misusing statistics. They were talking about rich foreigners who flew to the US, just to have the children and then immediately returned home. There were something like 80,000 of those total. But if you look at people who come here to have their children and then stick around illegally, you're talking about 3 million children. That's the real anchor-baby problem.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Exactly right. Anchor babies are the perfect incentive for illegal immigration, particularly given the propensities of the Democrats to want instant citizens for the Democratic Party. Anchor babies produce chain migration, at least under the current law. Simple mathematics say that 3 million babies mean 9 million illegals, assuming the babies weren't produced by immaculate conception. And then we will have to accommodate grandma and grandpa, brothers, sisters, and cousins. That pretty much sums up how we went from an amnesty for 3 million illegals under Reagan (who later said it was one of his biggest mistakes in office) to a proposed amnesty for 12,000,000 illegals. It's time to stand athwart the road of illegal immigration shouting "stop!"

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