The Anchor-Baby Issue: Let`s Keep It Bubbling

Anonymous (at least to me!) inside-the-beltway source Washington Watcher has a useful update, at VDARE`s main page as I write this, on the urgency of ending the birthright-citizenship outrage.

It seems worthwhile to link a few other sources for readers who want to look further into the subject and, thus, prepare themselves to help the national conversation along on this very important immigration sub-topic.

Californians for Population Stabilization [CAPS] interviewed Chapman University law professor and Claremont Institute Fellow John Eastman on birthright citizenship. The result is a useful short video wherein Eastman carefully discusses what the critical phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” in the U.S. Constitution`s 14th Amendment means.

(Unfortunately for the cause of immigration sanity/national survival, Eastman finished a distant second among three candidates to be the Republican nominee for attorney general in California`s June primary. In an interview on Terry Anderson`s show some months back, then-candidate Eastman had, without prompting, announced his intent, if he were elected attorney general, to bring Proposition 187 back to life, as it actually remains on the books in California`s code.)

Eastman`s fellow Claremont Fellow and Cal State San Bernardino political science professor Edward Erler gave a talk, Birthright Citizenship and Dual Citizenship: Harbingers of Administrative Tyranny, at a Hillsdale College seminar in February, 2008. Subsequently his talk was published in the college`s monthly speech digest, Imprimis [register for free subscription here; archives are here]. Naturally going into more detail than was possible in the Eastman video, Erler delves into basic matters such as the historical transition from “subjectship” to citizenship, the precise significance of that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” phrase, and the importance of “reciprocal consent” between polity and citizen.

New students of this critically important topic may also want to read the recent article Birthright Citizenship for Children of Illegal Aliens: An Irrational Public Policy in the Texas Review of Law & Politics by Lino Graglia, the A. Dalton Cross Professor of Law at the University of Texas law school.

Having navigated the short course (above) on the absurdity of anchor-babyship, VDARE readers will be well-prepared to write letters-to-the-editor when the topic arises in the mainstream press. I did just that a couple of weeks ago when the Bozeman Daily Chronicle published a wire-service article about Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce`s next legislative goal. (The Bozeman paper requires a subscription for access, but the same article, Next on Arizona`s agenda? No citizenship for babies born in US to illegal immigrants by Michelle Price, Associated Press, June 15, 2010, is available online many places, such as here.)

Here`s my letter as it ran in the Chronicle on June 25, with title supplied by the paper and links added here by me for VDARE readers` convenience:

14th Amendment authors would be astonished

On June 16, the Chronicle published a wire-service article about a possible Arizona measure that would deny citizenship to children born there to illegal-alien parents. This problem of “anchor babies” was memorably laid out by wilderness raconteur Edward Abbey in his classic 1983 essay “Immigration and Liberal Taboos.” Wrote Abbey, “[T]he pregnant Mexican woman who appears, in the final stages of labor, at the doors of the emergency ward of an El Paso or San Diego hospital, demanding care for herself and the child she’s about to deliver, becomes an ‘undocumented worker.’ The child becomes an automatic American citizen by virtue of its place of birth, eligible at once for all of the usual public welfare benefits. And with the child comes not only the mother but the child’s family. And the mother’s family. And the father’s family. Can’t break up families, can we? They come to stay and they stay to multiply.”

Birthright citizenship combined with “chain immigration,” so vividly described by Abbey, is stealing control of America’s future from us citizens.

The article says the Arizona proposal amuses legal scholars because the 14th Amendment “guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.” But the amendment, passed in the wake of the Civil War to guarantee that the freed slaves and their offspring would henceforth be citizens, didn’t even make U.S. citizens of most American Indians. It took 1924’s Snyder Act for all American Indians to be citizens at birth. And, to this day, children born here to foreign diplomats aren’t U.S citizens.

Further, the legislative history of the 14th Amendment makes it clear that its authors would have been astonished by the notion that people who crash our borders would be gifted with citizenship for their children. So Arizona’s proposal may not be the dead duck those experts hope.

Paul Nachman
Bozeman

At about 300 words, my letter would be too long for most papers. If that`s the case for your local paper and you don`t want to start from scratch, please feel free to start with what I wrote and chop away. Plagiarize!