We’re Probably Stuck with Anchor Babies


By: Craig Chamberlain

Section one of the fourteenth amendment reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive them of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.”

This was written in the aftermath of the civil war, and was written to guarantee that former slaves would be seen as citizens, and be given equal protection under the law. Tragically that didn’t happen for nearly a century later, but regardless of that fact that is what the fourteenth amendment was written for. It was not written with illegal immigrants in mind. Why is this important? Because every year millions of children are born into the United States to illegal immigrants. Their births guarantee the right of illegal immigrants to stay in this country, and to bring relatives from abroad to the US.

This puts a terrible strain on our social systems, our hospitals, schools, police departments, etc, and on our already weakened economy. Birthright citizenship is a giant loophole that has been exploited by illegal immigrants, and now many in the Republican party are rightly seeking to close that loophole. They will fail. And here’s why.

First of all there is the political realities in ending the birthright citizenship. Both parties want to keep illegal immigration flowing, that’s why neither side has really tried to address the problem. We get vague promises of border security only after there has been an amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants already here. The GOP, especially the Chamber of Commerce wing of the party, wants to keep immigration going because they see illegals as a source of cheap labor. An end to that stream would mean higher labor costs and a decrease in their profit margin. They would rather see America’s border regions completely overrun with illegals, smugglers, and drug cartels before they lose a penny by having to hire someone who would demand a higher wage.

The Democrats see illegals as potential political allies and voters. Even if illegals cannot vote they are still counted in the census and given representation and congressional districts, which increases the power of the Democratic party. The Democrats need illegal immigration to continue, because they are the only constituency of the Democratic party that is still growing, and without them they will be in a permanent minority within the next 50 years. White voters have mostly abandoned them, independent voters are trending Republican, women are more evenly split than they used to be(married women tend to support the GOP, while single women tend to vote Democrat), there aren’t enough African Americans for the Democrats to win with just them, and Democrats tend to have smaller families, and thus smaller growth, than Republican families.

The Democrats will paint this as a racial issue, and anyone who supports the ending of birthright citizenship will be painted as a racist who just doesn’t like Hispanics. Instead of being seen as a necessary step to secure our border and to establish law and order, the advocates of ending birthright citizenship will be depicted as heartless monsters who want to punish innocent children for the actions of their parents, and deprive them of the good life here in the United States.

Lies and histrionics aside, the current system cannot go on. There is simply no way, or even any desire to, assimilate 13 million illegal immigrants. Even the very word assimilation, or melting pot, is now seen as racist code for white supremacy. Instead of focusing on Americanization, there is a focus on ethnic and racial pride, hence the Hispanic advocacy group “La Raza” (the race). This Balkanization leads to a divide and conquer mentality, where immigrants make no effort to become Americans and retain their old allegiances to the mother country. (Just remember all of the Mexican flags at pro amnesty rallies)

The only reason the Democrats,who have super majorities in both houses of Congress, and the most left wing President in history, would even bother noticing this movement is that they are afraid of the people, and know that ending birthright citizenship is popular. The much maligned Arizona immigration bill, is wildly popular with the American people, and the Democrats know it. That’s why they are going overboard and pulling out all of the stops to kill it despite their overwhelming power in Washington.

Even though the Republicans will never be able to get an end of birthright citizenship through Washington, now or after the 2010 elections, there is still one much larger reason why this proposal will go nowhere despite all the wisdom behind it. The Constitution. The authors of the 14th amendment might not have written the amendment with illegal immigrants in mind, but they still wrote it to say that anyone born in the US is a citizen of the US. That’s a hard thing to overcome. Conservatives cannot insist on a strict interpretation of the constitution in certain instances, such as the second amendment, and then switch to an implied meaning, or a “living constitution” in other instances when the constitution won’t give us what we want.

The only way around the 14th amendment is to repeal the birthright section of it, an impossibility given the political divisiveness we see today, and the racially charged debate it would bring about. We won’t be able to eliminate birthright citizenship., the only thing the Republicans can do is ensure that fewer illegal immigrants give birth in this country. The first step is to secure the southern border, with a fence or other kind of defensive barrier. This will eliminate most instances of anchor babies. The second thing is to deal with women who come here legally to give birth. We can deny pregnant women visas.

Rewriting the fourteenth amendment and abolishing birthright citizenship isn’t going to happen. There’s too much standing in the way of what is a very sensible reform. That doesn’t mean that the Republicans should give up on controlling immigration. The constitution says that anyone born here is a citizen and were going to have to live with that. The best we can do is make sure that there are fewer born here. We cannot exercise sovereignty over ourselves until we control our borders, our immigration laws will not be respected by foreigners until we respect them ourselves, and we will not be able to limit anchor babies until we make serious moves to take control of the situation.

We don’t need to amend the constitution, we just need to control our borders, and enforce our laws, and there’s no constitutional prohibition against that.

2 Comments

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    [...] isn’t likely to change right away. But in the meantime, some suggest, maybe the U.S. should deny pregnant women visas.) I am especially incensed by those who pretend that undocumented immigrants are not [...]

  2. Pingback by Philip N. Cohen: Citizenship: Because I Said So « In The News « Obama America

    [...] this isn’t likely to change right away. But in the meantime, some suggest, maybe the U.S. should deny pregnant women visas.) I am especially incensed by those who pretend that undocumented immigrants are not “subject to [...]

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