June 15, 2010

Arizona Seeks to Pass Law Denying Citizenship to Illegal's "Anchor Babies"

Quite frankly, it makes perfect sense.

A proposed Arizona law would deny birth certificates to children born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents.

The bill comes on the heels of Arizona passing the nation's toughest immigration law.

John Kavanagh, a Republican state representative from Arizona who supports the proposed law aimed at so-called "anchor babies," said that the concept does not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

"If you go back to the original intent of the drafters ... it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon (illegal) aliens," said Kavanagh, who also supported Senate Bill 1070 -- the law that gave Arizona authorities expanded immigration enforcement powers.

The proposed law is sure to draw howls of protest from the Mexico and the American left, both of which will ferociously fight the law and claim it is unconstitutional.

But is it? Does the law really conflict with the intent of the Founders?

I'd be very interested to see any evidence that our Founding Fathers has any intention of giving citizenship to the children of criminals that sneak into our nation to give birth and siphon monies and services that should be providing care for American citizens that are in need.

Critics of the law are certain to point out the text of the 14th Amendment, which reads in part:

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 or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Any honest person will be forced to admit that the context of the Amendment was to make sure that slaves freed after the end of the U.S. Civil War and their children could not be denied citizenship. It was never intended to allow criminal aliens to gain a contrived legal foothold to stay in this nation.

While Democrats and other supporters of criminal immigrants like to claim that Arizona's proposed law is unconstitutional, the simply fact is that the specific constitutionality of such a direct and targeted law has never come before the Supreme Court.

If Arizona passes this law, I fully expect that liberals will scream and wail. What will be very interesting to watch is how fast and far they are willing to push with court challenges to test the law.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 15, 2010 09:03 AM

The existing language of the Ammendment is clear and straight forward. I agree with the Arizona initiative and its reasoning, but it does conflict with the letter of the law.

What we need is a Constitutional ammendment that clarifies what the original leaves - in Arizona's and your interpretation - ambiguous.

This must be addressed. But since it exists at the federal level, the remedy must also be at the federal level. And remedy we must.

Next up: Chain Migration.

Posted by: Steve Schippert at June 15, 2010 09:22 AM

The wording of the 14th Amendment is clear--if you are born here you are a citizen here. Similarly, my sister was born in Germany at a military base. She had German and US citizenship until she was 18, at which point she had to declare for German or USA.

I think that (1) we should end the practice of dual citizenships, and (2) make policy that just because a child is born here, if the parents lose the right to remain in the USA then the child accompanies them. Those two approaches along with reducing employment opportunities, eliminating social benefits, and active enforcement of immigration laws would drastically reduce the number of illegals in the country without having to wait 10 years for a Constitutional Amendment.

Posted by: iconoclast at June 15, 2010 09:31 AM

the fact is for most of the eighteen hundreds thier was no such thing as illegal immigration. the concept hadnt been born yet.

and it was naturally recognized that birth within a state made you a citizen. we are applying our problems andour understanding to the founders when they had no such problem and probably couldnt have concieved this.

im leary to start tinkering with citizenship by birthright,

im thinking it is a position that will garner more ill will and make conservatives a target.

I would put it under the heading of shooting yourself in the foot politically, ala rand paul.

much better to hammer away at finnally closing the border off physically and demanding the national guard protect the nation by helping the border patrol.

Posted by: rumcrook¾ at June 15, 2010 10:07 AM

Citizenship is not totally immune from restrictive definition, though it may require a treaty, short of a constitutional amendment. For instance, there is an international treaty which says that the children born in a country are not citizens if their parents are foreign nationals in diplomatic status. Think about the problems that would cause as parents moved from country to country without such an agreement. The US is a signatory to that treaty.

Posted by: Tregonsee at June 15, 2010 10:24 AM

Denying the children of people we don't like their constitutional rights is a slippery slope, i'm just saying.

Next it will be that the second amendment doesn't apply to children of violent criminals.

Posted by: MAModerate at June 15, 2010 09:28 PM

what? im not following that logic trail....

its not about like or dislike the argument is about how and why they entered the country.

Posted by: rumcrook¾ at June 15, 2010 10:14 PM

Those children entered the country by being delivered from their mother's womb into the United States.

The Constitution is clear in stating that anyone born in the United States is a natural born citizen of the United States. To remove a young child citizenship, violating their constitutional rights, because of the crimes of their parents starts a very slippery slope.

If the government is given the power to violate citizens' constitutional rights based on their heritage, do you really think that they will stop at illegal immigrants?

Posted by: MAModerate at June 16, 2010 02:08 PM

MAModerate you are making a logical fallacy when you say that the law is removing a young child's citizenship because of the parents crime. The 14th Amendment was enacted to make sure ex-slaves were not denied citizenship, not to give citizenship to every pregnant Latina's baby whose mother was able to evade the border patrol. You can't take away what was never there.
Any country has the right to restrict citizenship however it desires. The United States has that right no less than any other country.

Posted by: NevadaDailySteve at June 16, 2010 07:55 PM

Why are they removing the child's citizenship then?

The Constitution is the Constitution, even if you don't agree with it or ascribe a certain intent to it. It's one thing to kick out an adult criminal, but it is an entirely different paradigm to deport a natural born citizen, according to a literal interpretation of the 14th amendment.

If Arizona tries, it will go straight to the SCOTUS, who will shoot it down.

Posted by: MAModerate at June 17, 2010 04:06 PM

The child may then return after reaching 18 and declaring American citizenship. Righteous!

Posted by: cmblake6 at June 18, 2010 06:54 PM

As "Native Born" but not "Natural Born". That being the caveat.

Posted by: cmblake6 at June 18, 2010 06:55 PM

The key words are "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." That is why children of diplomats aren't considered US citizens. It also excluded Native Americans not subject to tax (they were later granted citizenship by an act of Congress). The question is whether children born of illegal immigrants are truly "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." The case most often cited is Wong Kim Ark in 1898. He was born in San Francisco to Chinese immigrants who came here legally. His parents were ineligible for naturalization under the Chinese Exclusion Act, and later returned to China. Wong visited China and was detained upon trying to re-enter the US. SCOTUS (and the District Court) ruled that because his parents were here legally and "conducting business" (rather than here representing the emperor of China in a diplomatic mission), that Wong was born "subject to the jurisdiction" of the US. It was a controversial ruling but has held since.

Posted by: KPO'M at June 20, 2010 06:22 AM

Many of us were criminals that snuck in here illegally.

Posted by: Bill at June 20, 2010 12:24 PM