Dee Perez-Scott in another of her misguided tirades against the Tea Party assails the plan of Senators David Vitter and Rand Paul to close the 14th Amendment “Anchor Baby” loophole that represents the one of the strongest incentives for border violations. The 14th amendment grants citizenship to anyone who is born in this country permitting them, sooner or later, to sponsor other relatives for permanent residency and to qualify immediately for a host of benefits.
It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry [birthright citizenship]. Originally, the amendment was designed to give full citizenship status to former slaves and their offspring. The authors of the 14th Amendment never would have imagined their words bestowing citizenship on the offspring of illegal aliens, tourists, foreign students, visa overstays, and temporary farm workers. Vitter and Paul have long recognized this irrationality and have now made a modest constructive proposal to fix the problem.
Dee Perez-Scott construes this to be an attack on Latino citizen children instead of an effort to correct a major problem and bring U.S. policy into conformance with that of most other civilized countries of the world. I fail to see anything in the proposal to suggest that it would be applied ex post facto but Dee uses that unsupported claim to try to stir up the emotions of the Latino community.
Vitter and Paul point out that, “For too long, our nation has seen an influx of illegal aliens entering our country at an escalating rate, and chain migration is a major contributor to this rapid increase – which is only compounded when the children of illegal aliens born in the U.S. are granted automatic citizenship. Closing this loophole will not prevent them from becoming citizens, but will ensure that they have to go through the same process as anyone else who wants to become an American citizen. Citizenship is a privilege, and only those who respect our immigration laws should be allowed to enjoy its benefits. This legislation makes it necessary that everyone follow the rules, and goes through same process to become a U.S. citizen.” What could be more reasonable?
According to Dee, “The halls of Congress have resounded with calls from several key GOP legislators for hearings into the 14th Amendment’s supposed grant of citizenship to children born in the United States who they believe are ‘illegal aliens.’” The problem would have been solved long ago if other members of congress had been able to see the need for reform in this area.
True immigration reform must be based on the current population, physical and resource status of America, and not some romantic notion about the days when we were indeed a nation of immigrants. We must think in terms of what immigration and tax policies will best preserve our quality of life and our standard of living. Neither a respect for our immigrant past nor compassion for all the impoverished millions of the world should be the guiding principle for immigration reform.