Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ending the birthright

The campaign to deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants has stepped up another notch, thanks to Tom Tancredo's new legislation to end the tradition of birthright citizenship:
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., who heads a 90-member caucus pushing to tighten immigration laws, has introduced his proposal to deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of temporary immigrant workers.

He said the provision was vital because immigrants do not want to leave after their visas expire if their children are U.S. citizens.

In addition, Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., has proposed a measure that would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to limit automatic citizenship at birth to children of U.S. citizens and lawful residents.

And Rep. Mark Foley, R-Jupiter, introduced a constitutional amendment that would eliminate birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

Most scholars believe a constitutional amendment is necessary to change the birthright citizenship provision, but some disagree because of different interpretations of the 14th Amendment. Changing the Constitution requires ratification by three-fourths of the states.

Any legislative statutes passed by Congress that eliminate birthright citizenship would be immediately challenged in the courts, experts said.

This campaign is not just about stopping illegal immigration. It is about changing the historic meaning of what it means to be American.

It's important to understand: Having given birth to citizen children is no bar to deportation or removal. All it does is encourage the parents to seek citizenship themselves -- that is, to become legal immigrants and take the necessary steps toward naturalization. That's something we have always encouraged, and should still.

I think the consummate commentary on this proposal comes from my frequent commenter Paul Donnelly [aka the Americanist] in my comments on the earlier thread:
Do the math: there are roughly 4 million births a year in the U.S. in a population of 300 million, which works out to about 67 births per thousand women of childbearing age. There are roughly 10 million illegal residents, of which considerably less than half are women -- say, 3 million. That would yield 40,000 U.S.-born children of illegal moms each year -- but of course a certain # of them are actually the children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, being as how it still takes two to tango. So call it 15,000 new U.S. citizens a year with two parents who are illegal residents.

And for THIS, these clowns want to go back to the Dred Scott decision that the 14th amendment was specifically written to repeal?

LOL -- and the idea that anybody here illegally gets immigration benefits from having a citizen kid is nuts. For one thing, the kid can't sponsor parents until he's 18, which even for immigration policy is a bit of a wait. For another, it is simply not true that merely having a citizen child defers either deportaton or expedited removal.

If you want to deter illegal immigration, fine Wal-Mart a billion dollars. Then go after the meatpacking industry. Make our "no" meaningful, which you don't do betraying our values to deny infants their birthright.

Defend marriage: provide green cards to the wives and kids of legal permanent residents -- and abandon the idea that guest worker programs, which have always failed whenever they have been tried, are somehow gonna work THIS time. It's the Tinkerbell theory of governance -- just BELIEVE, and clap your hands, and all will be well.

Democrats are so lost right now that I have little hope they will rise to this opportunity to define themselves. But even worse would be a failure to stand up to Tancredo on this.

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