Oh goodness, immigration!

I specifically want to address the issue of immigration reform and anchor babies.

Anchor babies are constitutional. Period. You cannot deny the constitutional language of section 1 of the 14th amendment:

Section 1. 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.

The boldface specifically addresses anchor babies. There is no loophole; there is nothing in the Constitution that says a state or the federal government can deny citizenship to anyone “born or naturalized” in the United States.

So even though I support Arizona and their struggle with immigration, I specifically do not support their attack on anchor babies. The Constitution is what we must adhere to at all times; there are other ways to deal with the immigration problem. Furthermore, I specifically believe that poor, destitute women who cross the border 9 months pregnant to have their baby in an environment safe for their children are hardly the immigrants who we should be attacking. I’ve known these women and their children. I went to school with their children. No one should be subject to what the mothers and their children have gone through. As a Christian, I believe in charity; what better charity is there than freely sharing your wonderful country with people who deserve a chance to build their life? That’s not to say that I believe in open borders. But I do think that we should make the immigration process more sensible for people who actually want to come over benevolently. This is not amnesty, its common sense.

Securing our borders is paramount. The drug and gun runners will not come through the legal borders- they know they have more luck through the chaparrals then through the bridges. They will not request legal status because they want no record of their coming and goings. They want to be invisible as they cross- it's common sense. Now, terrorists are a different story; however, I trust in our Customs and Border Patrol agents to correctly identify those who will bring harm to our country. We will not open our borders to drug runners, gun smugglers, and human traffickers, but we will provide an opportunity for bright-eyed immigrants who are only trying to create opportunities for themselves. We are still a law-abiding land of opportunity!

We need sensible immigration reform to deal with law abiding citizens who want a better life, but we need strict border enforcement to crack down on those who mean harm. Those who actually want to be here will come. These people have only known poverty; 10% of the Mexican population controls 90% of the wealth meaning that 90% of the population controls only 10% of the wealth. In comparison with the United States, that would mean that approximately 31 million people, 10% of the American population, make an average of $415,000 a year while about 280 million people, 90% of the American population, make an average of $5110 a year.

And anchor babies are constitutional.


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Steven, Thank you for bringing up a topic worthy of debate. As a student at Texas A&M you have access to great resources for research on this topic and I would encourage you to do so.

For now, I would like to reference you to one article about the Senate debates on the 14th Amendment showing that birthright citizenship was never intended to be bestowed on someone simply because they were born in the USA. The discussion clearly differentiated that to be a natural born citizen, your parents must not be aliens or temporary residents of the US. The article can be found at http://federalistblog.us/2007/09/revisiting_subject_to_the_jurisdiction.html

Here are a couple of quotes from the article illustrating this point.

"Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (39th Congress), James F. Wilson of Iowa, added on March 1, 1866: 'We must depend on the general law relating to subjects and citizens recognized by all nations for a definition, and that must lead us to the conclusion that every person born in the United States is a natural-born citizen of such States, except that of children born on our soil to temporary sojourners or representatives of foreign Governments.'” Note the exception in this last sentence...

"Framer of the Fourteenth Amendments first section, John Bingham, said Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes meant “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” If this statute merely reaffirmed the old common law rule of citizenship by birth then the condition of the parents would be entirely irrelevant."

One can also look back at the intent of the founding fathers of our nation and see that they also intended to exclude the children born in the USA of foreign or alien parents.

A constitutional amendment is not needed to fix this law. What we need is a good test case. Legislation has been proposed in Arizona and will be proposed in Texas in the next Legislature to prohibit this issuance of birth certificates to the children born of illegal aliens. Instead a "Report of Birth" will be issues acknowledging the time and place of birth, but not conferring citizenship.

This will force the courts to address the interpretation of the 14th Amendment and clarify once and for all that citizenship is conferred by the allegiance of one’s parents, not the accidental or intentional location of birth.

I challenge you to research this further and get back to us with your results...

Your conclusion is wrong, Steven, because your argument is arbitrary -- i.e. it is merely your opinion. 

Your opinion, as well as mine, is of no significance in this matter.  If one wants to understand the intent of the words written in the constitution, one has to go back to the words of the framers when it was written. In this case, the 14th Amendment is in question, and therefore, we must consider it in its entire context, not simply read only the words of the Amendment, and make them mean whatever we want.

Earlier, Mr. Bob Price gave you excellent quotes from the debates which reveal what the framers of this amendment intended.  To disregard what they said in these debates and what was written about them, is to throw out the very resources you need to understand their heart and intent.  Law is stagnant and does not change.  It does not grow to incorporate more, nor shrink to include less. The 14th Amendment was added to ensure that black people were given full, not partial, rights and privileges of a citizen of the United States of America -- it was never intended for, nor should be used for, anchor babies.

As for poor Mexicans, they are poor because their corrupt government oppresses and steals from them.  Mexico is an incredibly rich country, but people are taught to lie, cheat, and steal, to get ahead, and, therefore, poverty prevails. It is not the United States' responsibility to save everyone out of poverty.  If your heart bleeds so much over the condition these mothers live and give birth in, then I suggest you go start a hospital on your own dime, and provide what they need . . . but do it in Mexico. 

I'm sorry, but I was under the impression that we base our laws upon the written Constitution, not the debate of senators. While I merit the research offered to me by Mr. Price, I again reiterate that it is the interpretation of the written Constitution that prevails in today's arguments.

We can only leave this up to our current Supreme Court to determine the legality of anchor babies as it applies to the 14th Amendment. However, with a straight, dry, clear-cut, language only read of the Constitution, they are legal. I agree, this is my opinion because the Constitution is an opinion-spawning document.

My point in the matter isn't whether to condemn anchor babies; it is to reform our immigration policy so that anchor babies and by extension the desperation of people doesn't become an issue!

Here is the actual debate as the 14th Amendment was being passed in Congress on May 23, 1866, from Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1873 http://memory.loc.gov/ll/llsj/058/llsj058.sgm:


Sen. Jacob Howard, R-Mich,  as he introduced the amendment on the floor of  the Senate on May 23, 1866:
"It is not, perhaps, very easy to define with accuracy what is meant by the expression 'citizen of the United States' ... A citizen of the United States is held by the courts to be a person who was born within the limits of the United States and subject to their laws. Before the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, the citizens of each State were, in a qualified sense at least, aliens to one another, for the reason that the several States before that event were regarded by each other as independent Governments, each one possessing a sufficiency of soverign power to enable it to claim the right of naturalization ... And how did they antecedently become citizens of the several States? By birth or by naturalization. They become such in virtue of national law, or rather of natural law which recognizes persons born with the jurisdiction of every country as being subjects or citizens of that country.. Such persons were, therefore, citizens of the United States as were born in the country or were made such by naturalization."

Sen. Edgar Cowan, R-Penn.
"I  am really desirous to have a legal definition of ‘citizenship’ of the United States. What does it mean. What is its length and breadth. … Is the child of the Chinese immigrant in California a citizen?' he asked. “Is the child of a Gypsy born in Pennsylvania a citizen?"

Sen. John Conness, R-Calif.
“[With] respect to the children begotten of Chinese parents in California, ... it is proposed to declare that they shall be citizens .... I am in favor of doing so .... We are entirely ready to accept the provision proposed in this constitutional amendment, that the children born here of Mongolian parents shall be declared by the Constitution of the United States to be entitled to civil rights and to equal protection before the law with others."

No one moved to disagree with the motion, and the motion then passed the U.S. Senate.



Now, you seem to be part of the faction that doesn't understand what "subject thereof" means - foreign diplomats are not subject to the laws of the United States. Absolutely none. They all have absolute immunity. If they commit a fatal hit-and-run, they are still immune because they are not subject to any law here and cannot be prosecuted or held to answer for these charges. THAT is why foreign diplomats, and their children, are not citizens of the United States, because we have absolutely no jurisdiction over them.

The framers AND the drafters of the 14th Amendment fully intended to give citizenship to children born of non-citizens (see Senate discussion above). This is beginning to be a circular argument and I'm growing tired of it.

I liked " your conclusion is wrong", and I agree with what you said 100 percent. I think that these so called Christians read something like the 14 amendment and they read it like they do the Bible. They think that all the things that God had said to the Jews apply to them! Some do, because there grafted in, and some do not!
Whatever scrap of evidence they can find that might support there claim, that's what they will bring to the table. It's hard to reason with a fool.
Thank you.

Steven, the Constitution is not up for "interpretation".  Nor is it an ever evolving document.  Therefore, the discussion that surrounded the writing of the 14th Amendment, or any part of the Constitution for that matter, is relevant.  That is why the Federalist Papers, and Anti-Federalist Papers, are so important --  by them we are given windows into the thoughts and intents of the framers, and it is their intent that must be heeded. 

The 14th Amendment was not relevant to immigration then, and is not now.  The framers of that amendment were securing the full rights and privileges of newly freed slaves.  Period. 

The "anchor baby" concept is a ploy by the progressives to allow foreigners to come into our country and occupy it.  People who enter this way do not assimilate; do not adopt our culture; do not love our country; maintain allegiance to another country.  They should not be given United States citizenship. 

Let's look at this from another country's perspective, shall we?  If a pregnant American woman , enters a foreign country, legally, or illegally and gives birth in that country, what is that baby's citizenship?  US!  Shocking!  Why is that baby not a citizen of the country it was born in?  Because it destroys the balance and fabric of the country.  The US is no different. 


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