Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

"Birthright Citizenship"

A Letter to the Editor in Friday's Idaho Statesman (2nd letter down) has had me thinking all weekend. Here's how the letter starts (emphasis mine):
Larry Grant appears to be the solid kind of Democrat some Idahoans have been longing for. He has the credentials, the pedigree, and cuts a good figure. Unfortunately when it comes to Mr. Grant’s position on immigration, he falls woefully short of the mark.
Larry Grant views the illegal immigration issue as a "jobs problem." In other words, the supply is fulfilling a demand. What Mr. Grant fails to realize is that it is not just jobs that the illegal immigrants come for. They come for social, medical, and birthright citizen benefits for their future children.
Mr. Grant never considers the option of cutting off benefits, ending birthright citizenship and removing the welcome mat because he is too interested in pandering to business interests and Hispanic pressure groups...
I've been hearing a lot more lately about the concept of ending "birthright citizenship" -- the automatic granting of citizenship to anyone physically born in the United States. While some Republicans might say otherwise, I really don't see how you could even start to try to "end" this right without amending the Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, which reads in part:
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.
Someone should ask Mr. Sali if he has considered ending birthright citizenship, and if so, if he would want to amend the 14th Amendment or just repeal the whole thing. Considering that the odds of such an Amendment getting the approval of the legislatures of 38 states is just about zero, it looks to me like this is just another example of Mr. Sali and his supporters tilting at windmills.

And for Mr. Sali's supporters who don't want immigrants coming to the U.S. from Mexico, I encourage you to read the story of Marine Sergeant Rafael Peralta. I for one am proud to live in a country to which men like him want to come.


Blogger SonarMan said...

I agree with you, Bubblehead, to a point. I have no issue with those who desire to come to the U.S. and enjoy all the benefits, rights and privileges of citizenship it gives you. Key word - citizenship.

But what about those women, pregnant Mexican women, who sneak across the border, and then give birth to an anchor baby, who is now protected by the 14th Amendment? Who's mother now applies for tax-payer funded welfare because their baby is an American citizen, for all intents and purposes?

This is what I think most people have an issue with, when it comes to certain people being granted citizenship. But, I agree, the 14th Amendment is very clear. We have to put into place some kind of mechanism that prevents this kind of abuse by the illegal aliens.

I suggest that perhaps when these types of situations are discovered, the children are taken away from the mothers, and put into foster care, and the mother is then deported. That would be a big deterrent to the anchor baby problem. Ugly, but effective.

10/22/2006 2:11 PM

Blogger Miss Ladybug said...

I think there is some debate over what, exactly, the 14th Amendment means, specifically the phrase "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof". The 14th amendment gave citizenship to slaves - persons born in the US, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, but previously not considered citizens. I think the debate stems from the fact that if someone is not here legally, are they truly "subject to the jurisdiction:" of the United States. I would tended to read that as, no, they aren't, so they shouldn't be granted automatic citizenship. I live in Texas. I heard a nurse from a border town call into a local talk radio show and tell how pregnant Mexican women will come over the border, and present themselves at the local hospital to have their babies. Because of previous case law, hospital CAN NOT refuse care to these women. That loophole MUST be closed - and with my intrepretation of the 14th Amendment, it would only take an Act of Congress, not another amendment. I think that would go a long way to curbing illegal immigration.

10/22/2006 5:34 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I would say that "subject to the jurisdiction of" means has to follow the laws of, meaning not people with diplomatic immunity. If we were to say illegal aliens aren't subject to our jurisdiction, how could we arrest them? In the 1982 Plyer vs. Doe case, the Supreme Court ruled that illegal aliens are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. and the state they're in.

10/22/2006 9:43 PM

Blogger A.A.G. said...

Why can't the US have a policy to where we don't grant automatic citizenship to people? It would certainly help some cash-strapped states out. We also need to have some of our laws changed as well- for example, while it is ok to come to the US and live - while you are living here, you must abide by the rules of the US (yeah, but it has to be brushed with a fine tooth comb in order for those to completely understand it). I've heard of people coming over here, committing crimes and then running back to their home countries that refuse to extridite them back here for punishment.

Citizenship for some means giving up their rights to their country of origin. Some allow dual citizenship. Both countries must agree to the same terms and principles in order for this to work. Overall, we just need reform.

10/23/2006 3:17 PM

Blogger Miss Ladybug said...


Since you brought it up, I think we should put an end to dual citizenship - if you aren't a US citizen, then become one, you should be required to renounce your previous citizenship. Same with a US citizen that goes to another country and applies for citizenship - I'm okay with that, as long as you give up your US citizenship for your new country. I was stunned recently when I saw a news report about American citizen Italian immigrants who were running for an MP position with the Italian parliament for Italian citizens living outside of the country. We would have to clear some things about about children born abroad to US citizen parents (like my older brother and one of my younger sisters - my parents went through the paperwork to renounce that dual German citizenship), but I think that would be easy enough to take care of.

10/23/2006 5:59 PM

Blogger Fred Fry said...

I don't think it is right to punish the child. What can be done is to change the law in that once the child is 18 he/she can't apply for the parents to migrate legally if they have been in the US illegally. The birth certificate is proof enough that they entered the US illegally. That is one of the reasons why they are having the babies in the US, so that the child can bring them in legally later on.

Any by all means deport the newborn's parents. You can't really deport the child, but it should be up to the parents to find care for the child here or take them back with them.

10/28/2006 10:27 AM


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