Monday, May 3, 2010

Anchor Babies - The Result of A (Willful?) Misreading Of The 14th Amendment

George F. Will  writes an interesting piece about how many thousands of babies born to illegal immigrants have been awarded citizenship through a complete misuse of the language of the 14th amendment.

As an update to this post, J D Hayworth's book 'Whatever It Takes' shows both the original intent of the writer's of the 14th amendment, and the incredible costs of being one of the last 'birthright' nations


  1. To me, the 14th amendment is concise; if you're born on American soil, you ARE an American.

    How can we visit the sins of the father (or mother) on a child? These first generation Americans serve honorably and heroically in our armed forces. They are our police officers, our firefighters, our doctors and nurses. They have committed no criminal acts. They are the BEST of us, our hope and our future.

    It's not their fault that we, as a nation, have failed to enforce our immigration laws.

    I disagree with George Will, and I will never support deporting anyone born on American soil.

  2. We are told that anyone born on American soil is American because that is what "inetrnation law" says. But the U.S. seems to be the only country that obeys that law.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Lady Red - I have to disagree. It was meant to be the child of anyone here who was not 'under the jurisdiction of another nation', NOT anyone born to a mother who had sneaked in for the express purpose of having a child here in order to use that child as a base to bring in the whole family.

  5. DWT, I don't think that reinterpreting the 14th amendment is the solution to our immigration problems. There are other, very effective measures we could employ.

    First, deny government aid to illegals. No subsidized schooling, no food stamps, no subsidized housing, no subsidized medical care, etc. Period.

    Second, target business owners who employ illegals, and include mandatory jail time for employers who break the law. Slapping Tyson with a fine isn't getting their attention.

    Third, build the border fence and secure it with ample electronics and agents.

    Fourth, after the fence is built, start deporting illegals, starting with criminals, hoodlums, and gang bangers.

    Fifth, offer a path to citizenship for illegals who have lived and worked in our country for X-number of years (Ten? Twenty?). This path should include paying a civil fine for entering the country illegally, a restitution of all monies paid to the illegal by the gov't, a requirement that the person speak English, and a requirement that he/she has a job waiting for them once citizenship is conferred.

    These are just a few ideas. I have many more. :D

    Building an effective border fence will also help protect our beleaguered border patrol agents and sheriff's deputies, and maybe stem the tide of violence seeping across our borders from Mexico. Sealing our border with Mexico, from the Pacific to the Gulf, is priority one.

  6. Lady Red, I agree with all of your suggestions, but that does not change the fact that 'anchor babies' were never intended, or even envisioned the the writers of the 14 Amendment, as shown by the debate language below:

    ...One area that has come under increasing scrutiny lately is automatic birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants, known as "anchor babies" since they tend to facilitate additional immigration of relatives. Due to a misinterpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the U.S. is one of very few countries that still grants birthright citizenship. (p. 185) That amendment says, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States." But the author of the citizenship clause, Senator Jacob Howard, made it clear that it was not intended to cover the children of foreigners, "Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdictions, is by virtue of natural laws and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons." (p. 185)

    Anchor babies have huge financial ramifications for Americans. "With an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 anchor babies born every year, the costs are astronomical." (p. 185) Hayworth refutes the argument that reversing this would punish the children for what their parents did. In reality, the children are currently being rewarded for the sins of their parents. (p. 186) Momentum is increasing to reverse this practice, as even mainstream syndicated columnist George Will recently wrote a column calling for the end of birthright citizenship.

    The page numbers referenced above, cite J D Hayworths book 'Whatever It Takes'.

    All that aside, the US simply CANNOT any longer afford to take in every baby born of an illegal parent, especially since the vast majority of them are unskilled, soon-to-be-welfare cases, as are the families that they are 'reunified' with.

    It may seem cruel, but no other nation on Earth does this, and we should not either.

    It is nothing more than an invitation to illegal behavior by parents, and an imposition at least on the taxpayers who wind up paying for it.

  7. Dances, since the 14th amendment was specifically written to grant citizenship rights to freed blacks during reconstruction, the writers surely never envisioned it applying to the modern-day hordes of illegal Mexicans pouring across our border and drowning our system. You are 100% correct, and I see your point, I really do.

    The weaknesses of the amendment should have been addressed decades ago, and now we have a problem too big to deal with by simple deportation.

    I think the best way to thin the masses of illegals is to make sure there's nothing to come to. No jobs, no services, no housing, no schooling. After millions of them go back to their own countries, perhaps we'll have a problem of manageable size.

    As a compromise: I wouldn't be adverse to requiring anchor babies to either accept or reject their American citizenship when they turn 18 (or 20), and take a loyalty oath.

    This is a great discussion, and I appreciate and respect everyone's views.