Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Preserve right of citizenship at birth. Said no to bill H.R. 1940, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007. It would be a betrayal of bedrock American values. Such proposals are truly absurd and Bigotry from Conservatives and extremist Republicans.

What if the U.S. stopped automatically granting citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants?

A 14-year-old Des Moines girl, the only member of her family who is a U.S. citizen, finds it hard to imagine what her life would be like if her mother had not walked across the Mexican border several years before she was born. She does, however, see what her undocumented older brothers and cousins face: They cannot get a driver's license or qualify for federal financial aid for college

She calls the idea of withholding citizenship from anyone born in the U.S. "absurd."

Yet such proposals are out there.
n April, Republican U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia introduced H.R. 1940, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007, which would limit who becomes an American at birth. Children would qualify only if they had a parent who is a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident or an illegal immigrant who is actively serving in the military. Ninety members have signed on as co-sponsors, including Republican Steve King of Iowa, Republican Tom Tancredo, Republican Pat Buchannan, and the list goes on and on.

Or go to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's Web site. Under issues, the Texas congressman says: "End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, their incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong."

Critics of birthright citizenship believe it's a magnet. Mothers sneak into this country to deliver U.S. citizens. The "anchor babies" qualify for benefits, such as government health insurance. When the babies become 21 years of age, they could legally bring close relatives to live here. The critics hold up ending birthright citizenship as the solution to the nation's illegal immigration crisis.
It is not the answer, not as a practical measure and not as a measure of the nation's character.

If birthright citizenship ended tomorrow, desperately poor people from Latin America and elsewhere still would slip into the U.S. for jobs. They still would have children. Because the children would not be citizens, a permanent underclass would grow, with no allegiance to the U.S.

The answer to the nation's immigration crisis is enforcing strong border security while raising U.S. immigration quotas to reasonable levels and creating a broad guest-worker program with safeguards against exploitation.

The nation cannot afford to write them off.

Birthright citizenship is enshrined in the Constitution's 14th Amendment, Section I, ratified in 1868: "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."

It would be a betrayal of bedrock American values. Such proposals are truly absurd.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What "bedrock American values" does it betray? The 14th Amendment was design to remedy the legal status of those taken against their will and held in slavery, not those who come here willingly and illegally.

I am, however, willing to grant immediate citizenship to our neighbors across our southern border. All we need to do is annex Mexico, and the problem is solved. Break it into a few states, add the appropriate number of legislators to Congress and stars to the flag, have a big push to enforce American laws and stamp out corruption, and require English to be taught at all grade levels. This would be truly comprehensive immigration reform.

Because lets face it, if you count the number of Mexicans here in the U.S. both legally and illegally, and add the number who want to be here (just look up the Pew Hispanic Center polls), the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Mexico is a failed nation. Without annexing it and solving the seemingly endemic problems, we will be dealing with this issue for the next thousand years.

Of course, even with annexation the first generation will be difficult, of course, but in a couple of generations it would probably be no different from Texas or Southern California. Two generations versus ten centuries seems like a good deal.