Around mid-September 2015, I am expecting a national baby boomlet — focused in California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona – states where the illegal immigrant population is more than 7% of the state’s total.
The baby boom will be a direct result of President Obama’s December, 2014, Executive Memorandum which defers deportation action against any illegal immigrant continuously resident in the US more than 5 years, and – here’s the catch — who is the parent of a baby born in the United States.
President Obama’s executive action will provide an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants with work permits and protection from deportation – the equivalent of permanent residence — simply because they’ve birthed a baby on US soil. These children “anchor” their parents in the United States whether or not the parent would ever have been eligible to immigrate legally.
But there’s more to the “anchor” than just acting as an argument against deportation. There are significant financial incentives. The little bundle of joy is eligible at birth for US welfare benefits, health care and a free public education.
Tax payers provide food stamps, rental assistance, health care, day care, free school, free school lunches and more. Los Angeles County estimates it spends about $1.6B a year on such benefits to illegal immigrants. These benefits are paid from local tax receipts that might otherwise be spent on modernizing schools, improving senior centers, housing homeless veterans, additional low cost health care – even street repairs.
Birthright Citizenship is a Permanent “Fast Pass” / an “E Ticket” to the USA
When the birthright citizen child reaches the age of 21, they can “sponsor” their parents’ application for permanent US residency. In other words, the “anchor baby” citizen sponsor jumps his/her parent to the head of the line.
Every year the US authorizes 1,000,000 legal immigrants. 488,000 of the total are classified as family unification immigrants – spouse following husband, for example.
National Debate to Define Birthright Citizenship Is Long Overdue
The last serious national debate over birthright citizenship took place in 1868 when the Citizenship Clause in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was passed. The clause was required to remove the barrier to Negro citizenship that had been written into the original Constitution.
Congress did not intend a broad application of this principle. If they had, they would not have specifically excluded Native Americans from the benefits of birthright citizenship!
Thirty years later (1898), the Supreme Court ruled that the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment conferred birthright citizenship to all children born to a lawful permanent resident of the United States. There’s never been a challenge brought to confirm that the same applies to the child of a nonresident alien.
In the century since, at least 80 percent of the legislation and legal opinion has narrowed the grounds for legal immigration to the United States.
During this whole period, bureaucrats have blithely conveyed US citizenship to any child born on US soil regardless of the status of the parents – citizen, legal or illegal immigrant, temporary worker or tourist who just drops in while pregnant.
Several Congressional acts specifically declared large numbers of immigrants to be ineligible for citizenship — but failed to address the issue of birthright citizenship for their children. In almost every case, children born in the US have “anchored” their parents.
Border Security Requires 21st Century Birthright Definition
Since 1910 Congress has tried repeatedly to secure the US Border by paramilitary force and it hasn’t worked.
It is farcical to believe that it is possible to secure any of the nation’s borders as long as the rewards of illegal entry – the “anchor baby” at the end of the rainbow — outweigh the risks posed by the US Border Patrol, TSA, or Customs and Enforcement.
Legislation has been proposed in each of the last six (6) Congresses to limit future birthright citizenship only to children born to one permanent resident or citizen parent.
It’s an approach that is transparent, fair, and equal – the original purpose of the 14th Amendment.
Can such legislation pass Congress as a step toward “comprehensive immigration reform”?
It is certainly past time to have the debate and let citizens decide.
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