Birthright Citizenship Is Wrong for America


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Posted: Nov 03, 2018 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
 Birthright Citizenship Is Wrong for America
The president rolled another flash grenade onto our political stage this week, and it sent the Trump Hate Media into a predictable tizzy.Trump was called a racist – for the umpteenth time – because he said he plans to use an executive order to put an end to birthright citizenship.

Birthright citizenship, made possible by the 14th Amendment, is the automatic granting of U.S. citizenship to any Mexican, Chinese, Russian, Kenyan or Martian baby who is born on American soil.

I made up the Martian part, though it’s probably true.

But thanks to a relatively recent and very liberal misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, even though the baby’s parents are non-citizens, if they are born in America they get full U.S. citizenship.

For the rest of their lives these so-called “anchor babies” are given the right to live and work in the United States and collect benefits, just like anyone born in Beverly Hills.

Even better for the lucky foreign babies, when they turn 21 they can start applying for green cards to bring in their mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and Facebook friends to America.

I made up the Facebook part.

But it sounds like something President Trump might say when he is arguing that anchor babies need to be outlawed because they create the “chain migration” that allows extended family members from foreign lands to end up living in the U.S..

Not that you learned it in high school, but the 14th Amendment, known as one of the Reconstruction Amendments, was passed after the Civil War in 1868.

The first sentence of the first section 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.”

Not that you learned it in college, but the 14th Amendment was specifically written to grant full citizenship rights to all former slaves and their children and to prevent the states from writing new laws depriving them of those rights (which, shamefully, the Southern states did when they passed their racist Jim Crow laws in the late 1800s).

Not that you learned it from the media, but the 14th Amendment was never intended to automatically award U.S. citizenship to the babies of foreign parents who happen to be here when their child was born.

It certainly wasn’t meant to create the “birth tourism” business, which is run by Russian and Chinese companies that make it possible for wealthy foreigners to visit the United States for a month or two so their newborns arrive on our soil.

It was reckless of President Trump to throw out his “anchor baby” grenade a week before the important midterm elections.

It only gave the Trump Hate Media and Democrats another chance to bash, blame and mock the president.

The media never tried to explain how something written to protect slaves 150 years ago had morphed into an open legal door for birthright citizenship.

The liberal media never got around to talking about how the “birthright clause” has created the growth of a birth tourism industry.

And President Trump’s media enemies sure didn’t remind us that before the Democrats were against getting rid of anchor babies, they were in favor of getting rid of them.

We badly need immigration reform that is smart for America, not harmful.

I hope Trump can win his latest battle.

Ultimately it’s going to be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether birthright citizenship for foreign nationals as we’ve known it for decades can be ended with a few strokes of his executive pen.

But there’s little doubt that birthright citizenship is wrong for the United States. So are anchor babies.

It’s time for us to fix the constitutional loophole that created them. It’s also time for our schools to do a better job of teaching American history.

4 Responses to Birthright Citizenship Is Wrong for America

  1. Doug says:

    The following is what “I learned from the media” (apparently one can). I’m sure you’ll not likely approve this reply.. but go check this out yourself.. then dismiss it as liberal nonsense and go with some Conservative nonsense blog.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/31/us/14th-amendment-birthright-citizenship-explainer-trnd/index.html

    • gds44 says:

      Using CNN for facts on any topic is like using Homer Simpson for advice on quantum physics. Their explanation is wrong. Just ask the man who wrote the 14th amendment, Jacob Howard. He was a senator from Michigan and close friend of Abraham Lincoln. He was heavily involved with helping to pass the 13th Amendment and was a member of the committee that authored the 14th Amendment. Here is what he had to say about anchor babies/birthright citizenship in 1866:

      “Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”

      • Doug says:

        Good discussion… but.. (and you knew there had to be one)…

        Point One—
        This is from Wiki…
        “During the Trump Administration’s debates over immigration policy, Trump supporters including Michael Anton, who advocate for restrictions on immigration, used this quote to claim that Howard didn’t intend for it to apply to children born in the U.S. of foreign parents.[11][12] In response, several legal scholars and commentators argued that a close reading of Howard’s statement reveals that he meant one class of persons — the children of ambassadors at posts in the United States at the time their children were born — because ambassadors to the U.S. would be foreigners, and since they weren’t permanent residents, they were aliens.[11][12] In their view, Howard was not describing three classes — the children born of ambassadors and foreigners and aliens.[11][12]”

        The [11] and [12] there represent citations:
        Stern, Mark Joseph (July 19, 2018). “Michael Anton’s Op-Ed on Ending Birthright Citizenship Is Racist, Ahistorical Gobbledygook”. Salon. San Francisco, CA.
        Adler, Jonathan H. (July 19, 2018). “A Bad Argument on Birthright Citizenship (Updated)”. The Volokh Conspiracy. Los Angeles, CA.

        Besides, based on Howard’s dissertation, common sense does suggest the above explanation valid given at the time actual immigration was not as contentious a subject as today.

        Point Two—
        Does it really matter what Jacob Howard’s intent was when all we are concerned about is the language accepted as being the law of the land and what has been affirmed by SCOTUS for generations?
        Now, I will concede that when the amendment was enacted, as I just mentioned, the impact of immigration and “grand caravans invading the U.S.” was not an issue.. and the need for better immigration laws not a priority as it is today. So.. much like the wording of the Second Amendment pertaining to “those days” and less about the here-and-now, maybe the amendment could be revised. But fat chance getting that done, much less changing any other amendment.

  2. trutherator says:

    The most relevant LEGAL factoid for this issue popped up in Ann Coulter’s research. That was that the Supreme Court had ruled that an American Indian born in the United States was NOT a U. S. Citizen. And the Congress had to pass a law to make them citizens.

    Aliens applying abroad for residence visas are not yet “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” until they arrive on U. S. territory, the way I understand it.

    Legality means nothing though to the mobs that protest on demand, meaning when the control center issues the demand. NPC’s right on cue.

    Those who come to Jesus Christ become new creatures. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”.

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