In response to my last post, commenter "l" writes:
The birth-right citizenship was created for the slaves already in the US after the civil war. The way it is being used now is not the original intent and is basically a way to reap the benefits from a neighboring country by strolling over a river, and I'd feel the same way about Canadians streaming over and having kiddos.I think this raises/demonstrates several interesting points:
Most naturalized immigrants HATE the anchor baby situation here. Completely unfair to them.
1. This is a perfect case of the "Oh, that's not what they really meant" argument that people pull out when the Constitution happens to disagree with their policy preferences. Other examples include "Oh, the Founders didn't really want to separate church and state," and "Oh, the Founders really meant that only militias should have the right to bear arms." Obviously, liberals and conservatives both do this from time to time, but the fact that conservatives have to whip out this type of argument so much more often these days is evidence that, as today's politics are reckoned, the Constitution has a liberal bias.
2. Does "l" really think the authors of the 14th Amendment were too stupid to imagine that universal birthright citizenship would be mostly applied to the children of immigrants? The argument kind of strains credibility. And has it occurred to "l" that birthright citizenship has been in place for about 150 years? You'd think that if the amendment were being used in a way not intended by the authors, someone would have gone "oops!" and made a push to amend it sometime during that century-and-a-half. But they didn't.
3. I assume that when the commenter says "naturalized immigrants," he means "green card holders," since naturalized immigrants are citizens and parents of "anchor babies" are not. So, where does he get his evidence that "Most naturalized immigrants HATE the anchor baby situation here"?? I searched and couldn't find a poll. So maybe the commenter means that "green card holders, by rights, should resent the unfairness of anchor babies." Is that true, though? Do anchor babies reduce the number of green cards we hand out?
4. Anchor babies are mostly a myth. Wikipedia says:
The term "anchor baby" is a misnomer to the extent that it implies that by having a baby in the US, temporary or illegal immigrants can "anchor" themselves in the US. In fact, a US citizen child cannot file for a US visa for its parents until the child is 21 years of age, and upon reaching that age the child must also be earning at least 125% of the US poverty threshold to be able to apply. Thus, temporary or illegal immigrants who have babies in the US have no means of remaining legally in the US; they must return home and wait until the child reaches age 21. Illegal immigrants usually cannot immigrate even after the child turns 21 since they usually face a multi-year or lifetime ban from immigration to the USA regardless of sponsorship.5. People who oppose birthright citizenship may not have stopped to consider what our society would look like without it. Can you imagine a whole class of people, living in America, raised speaking only English, with no ties to any foreign country, yet who are not American citizens because their grandparents were illegal immigrants? I can imagine such a class of people, because I have seen them in Japan, a country that does not have birthright citizenship; they are called "Zainichi Koreans," and let me tell you, they are not particularly patriotic toward a country that treats them as second-class citizens because of who their parents were. Does commenter "l" really want to create that kind of underclass here in America?
So, to sum up: I haven't seen any convincing case for why birthright citizenship is a bad idea. It seems very clear that to eliminate it would be asking for trouble in a big big way.