Republicans are moving forward to eliminate one of the most contentious and obvious abuses of the U.S. Constitution: birthright citizenship. This measure was put forward in the 14th Amendment as means of ensuring that former slaves and their children would be American citizens. However, now we see how that Amendment is being twisted as the children of illegal aliens are instantly granted citizenship even though their parents are not Americans and have no intention to be. Something has to give.
As reported by Fox News, “Four Republican lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would end automatic granting of American citizenship to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants, arguing “birthright citizenship” is an incentive for illegals to race for the U.S. border.”
Reps. Steve King of Iowa, George Miller of California and Rob Woodall and Phil Gingrey, both of Georgia, said the current practice of extending U.S. citizenship to so-called “anchor babies” is a “misapplication” of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
“Passage of this bill will ensure that immigration law breakers are not rewarded, will close the door to future waves of extended family chain migration, and will help to bring an end to the global ‘birth tourism’ industry,” King said.
The move by the legislators is not a constitutional amendment. As noted in the report, “the House legislation would amend Section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.”
Of course, liberals are up in arms and are blasting what they call “extremist” legislation. Extremist? Two illegal aliens cross the border to work. They go back to Mexico when work isn’t here. Back and forth. Then, they have a child while in America, and all of a sudden, that child is an American citizen? Come on!
One argument is that you don’t “punish the children” for the sins of the parents. That phrase was even used in the Fox News story in a lead-in to a quote by Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, who said, “These thoughtless and unnecessary proposals take our country in the wrong direction, away from inclusion and our other core American values.” First of all, declaring that the child is a citizen of Mexico (or whatever country) is NOT a punishment. It’s simply stating a fact. Secondly, you certainly don’t reward the children for sins of the parents either.
In a statement released by the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said that the current situation “creates an incentive for illegal aliens to cross our border.” Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) summed up the bill this way: “It is unfair to grant birthright citizenship to children of illegal immigrants because it undermines the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment, rewards those that have recklessly broken our nation’s immigration laws, and costs American taxpayers billions annually. By simply closing this loophole, we will save taxpayers billions and reduce the appeal of entering the United States illegally. This bill simply makes sense.”
For interesting reading and the liberal perspective, check out this column by CNN contributor and NPR commentator Ruben Navarrette, Jr. As usual, this liberal’s take on the situation boils down to two facets: 1) Republicans are racists, and/or 2) Republicans are only thinking about politics. Seriously? Can’t we have a discussion about ANY issue without the same old, tired tactics?
In his “8 reasons to leave 14th Amendment alone,” guess what Navarrette states in reason 1? That’s right… “In this country, we don’t visit the sins of the parent onto the child.” Most of his other reasons deal with politics or racism. In reason 3, he does mocks the conservative principle of strict adherence to the Constitution by claiming Republicans want to simply disregard the 14th Amendment. That’s not the case at all. It is clear and obvious to anyone with a brain that the 14th Amendment (which was written to cover the circumstances of freed slaves) is being abused. Again, does it make any sense at all to grant American citizenship to a child of two people who are not citizens and have no plans to be? No.
States are also joining in the effort to address the anchor baby situation:
Illegal immigration is a huge problem for the United States. It costs taxpayers billions of dollars, costs jobs, and leads to violence along the border.
It all comes down to doing what is right as a country. America is the most welcoming country in the world, and we do this through a series of laws. If the laws are being abused, then they need to be changed.