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The Threat of Anchor Babies!

© Keith Tucker



  1. So, how are US Citizens supposed to get citizenship…some sort of test? Maybe a tax?

    How many generations back do you have to have ancestors who are citizens in order to be one?

    This “anchor babies” stuff has summer doldrums and Congress in recess written all over it: anyone who thinks about implementing it is going to see through it as merely race baiting.

    Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Actually, I’m of two minds on this one. I might actually be ok with the idea that if your parents are here legally when you are born, then you are a US citizen (even if they are here on a tourist visa). But if your parents are here illegally, then you don’t have the right to automatic citizenship.

    But I don’t know enough to have an informed opinion on the matter, and unfortunately I pretty much haven’t seen any rational discussions about anything dealing with immigration, legal or otherwise.

    Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee: That’s part of what I was getting at. I’m not hearing a proposal for how they would establish citizenship, so we can’t actually discuss the merits of an idea. I’m just hearing inflammatory rhetoric, which is why I suspect that this has more to do with the summer doldrums than any actual trial ballons.

    Monday, August 9, 2010 at 4:28 am | Permalink
  4. Oops, “balloons” *sigh* *sips her morning coffee*

    Monday, August 9, 2010 at 4:29 am | Permalink
  5. patriotsgt wrote:

    Here is part of an information brief on the issue from FAIR (Federation For Immigration Reform):

    Here’s a right leaning take on the situation:

    And one last article actually from 2007 during the last Imm Ref debate. This one is from AIM (Accuracy in Media) and the last 2 paragraghs talk about the constitutional issue and other countries solutions.

    Monday, August 9, 2010 at 6:16 am | Permalink
  6. starluna wrote:

    Just so you know, FAIR is a well known (for those of us who follow these things) racist, anti-immigrant group. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed them as a hate group. Also, AIM is also well known to be a conservative organization funded by large, multi-national corporations and neoconservative think tanks.

    In the cited article, AIM’s discussion of the constitutional basis of the 14th amendment does not comport with the legal analysis done by legal scholars on either side of the debate. The source of their discussion is an analysis done by NumbersUSA, another virulently anti-immigrant organization.

    There are lots of legal and ethical problems with the attempt to determine birthright citizenship on the basis of the legal status of the parents. I will present the two most obvious ones.

    First, whose status matters? The mother or the father? There was a time in the US when citizenship was based entirely on the citizenship of the father. Indeed, in 1907, the Congress passed a law that removed the citizenship of women who married non-citizen men. This law was not repealed until 1922.

    Second, the legal status of immigrants can change literally overnight through no fault of their own. For example, the Congress granted temporary protected status (TPS) to Salvadorans and Guatemalans (because we caused civil wars that destabilized those countries, etc) in the 1980s. In the early 2000s, Congress did not act on a bill that would continue the TPS program for these groups because they were squabbling about something else. Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of people who had been living, working, buying homes, running small businesses, and raising families in this country since the 1980s lost their civil status. They were technically unable to work or even prove that they were lawfully present. It took Congress months to fix this, causing all kinds of havoc. This kind of limbo is very much the norm for tens of thousands of immigrants who are here on TPS, worker visas, or any of the hundreds of special visas that are available. What should be the legal status of the child born in such circumstances?

    If you are interested in understanding the legal history of this issue, I highly recommend “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America” by Mae M. Ngai (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2004).

    Monday, August 9, 2010 at 8:12 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    This is very educational to me. Thanks to both PatriotSgt and StarLuna for the information. I hope this is the start of a rational discussion of the issue.

    Starluna, I’m guessing, but I think you could solve the first problem by saying “either”. If either your mother or the father is here legally, then you are a citizen. Of course, that presents all kinds of problems with figuring out who the father might be. And it doesn’t solve your second problem.

    Monday, August 9, 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink
  8. patriotsgt wrote:

    Starluna – Just so you know, The Southern Poverty Law Center is seen by some as an organization that promotes racism for monetary gain, their own. While they champion racial causes there is not many in their leadership, who are of color. Hmmm. There are 2 sides to every coin, but thank you for pointing out my 1 side.

    I read the intro and summary points of the book you recommeded. It does shed light on our perceptions of aliens both legal and non in the context of current laws. The authors main point of the book is: “Its more modest goal is to detach sovereignty and its master, the nation-state, from their claims of transcendence and to critique them as products of history” and that sovereignty is contingent upon existing norms and laws and therefore subject to change as a society changes.

    That seems logical and the author primarily deals with the period of 1924-1965, which is a period of tremendous change, growth and turmoil in our country. It does not directly delve into our current situation, but sheds some light on how certain circumstances contributed to its arrival.

    I am intersted if you have done any research on other nations attempts to solve the issue of illegal immigration. Right or left I can sort out the politics from the substance.

    Monday, August 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  9. starluna wrote:

    If you read the book you would learn that, with some small exceptions (the 1907 law for example), there was little change in immigration between 1855 and 1924. There have been only minor changes to immigration law since 1965.

    To be frank, I would not look to other nations as models of immigration policy. Most other countries have immigration policies that are racist (see Japan and Australia), exploitive (see Dubai), or create caste systems (see France).

    Monday, August 9, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
  10. starluna wrote:

    Further, your comments about SPLC make your remarks so much that less credible.

    FAIR’s founder and its current leadership members of or allied with nativist/white supremacist groups. FAIR solicited and received funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation whose mission is to promote eugenics. Their rhetoric is pretty obviously racist and inflammatory. For example, Dan Stein, FAIR’s president, once warned that Latinos and Asians are engaged in “competitive breeding.”

    If this is your source of information about immigration policy, then I certainly could not take you seriously.

    The assertion that an anti-hate organization engages in racism further reduces the credibility of your argument. Such a claim is founded on the notion that calling attention to racist and bigoted acts and rhetoric is itself racist. I believe the illogic here is plain.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink
  11. patriotsgt wrote:

    Look Starluna, I appreciate your opinion, but I was putting info out there and you want to attack the source not the info. If you want people to respect your opinion then try starting with something other then a sideways “for those that know” or “thats a racist group” and “ahem (I’m so brilliant)”. Dispute the data leave the left wing rhetoric out. I know alot of classroom profesor types (You and Obama) who don’t have an ounce of common sense, nor any experience in putting their knowledge to any pratical use. I think you’re the armchair professor who’s never been out of the classroom.
    As far as your self proclaimed research ability, I have my doubts. You commit far too many critical errors in your intelligence gathering. Your research is clouded firstly by your own skewed opinions, which then causes you to commit a second falicy in not gathering or digging to the appropriate level and looking at each piece of information independantly first before stringing them together.
    You were wrong on the Afghanistan papers, your infallible self image and assuredness of your flawed logic would not let you dig to the proper depth especially on a subject you know little about.
    I am am expert on war issues along with immigration issues and policy, if you care to dig deeper, ask the right questions, and forget for a minute you are a hater of anyone whose views are different then yours, maybe you could learn something for this poor little ole disbeliever. But I doubt it.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  12. starluna wrote:

    PatriotSGT – you are so funny. You are a parody unto yourself.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  13. Iron Knee wrote:

    Am I going to have to separate you two?

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink
  14. patriotsgt wrote:

    She started it Dad. LOL

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  15. Iron Knee wrote:

    Will I have to put you two across my Iron Knee?

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink