Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Jane always will be remembered as the nation's first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Jane blogs at JaneChastain.com. She is a pilot who lives on a private runway.More ↓Less ↑
What is the dirty little secret that the Bush administration doesn’t tell you about its proposed “temporary” guest-worker program?
These workers will come here in the prime of life and, while they are in our country as temporary workers, they will have babies, who immediately become U.S. citizens. These workers may be poor, but they are not stupid!
Can U.S. citizens be deported? Of course not!
The Bush administration says this plan would create a system that is “fairer, more consistent and more compassionate.”
What compassionate country would deport the parents of underage U.S. citizens? Let’s get real here. That will never happen!
Therefore, the only way to assure the American people that this “temporary” status truly is temporary is to seal up the wombs – sterilize – those who apply for guest-worker status. Or else change the law that grants citizenship to anyone who is born here regardless of the status of his or her parents.
Of course, the latter idea is a lot more humane and practical than the former – and a lot more compassionate to U.S. taxpayers who currently pick up the tab for the children of illegal aliens, as well as many children of those who simply drive or fly across the border on temporary visas to give birth, many at our expense.
These babies are called “anchor babies.” Not only can these children become the family’s ticket to a free lunch here, once these children become 21, they can sponsor their moms, dads and other family members. They, in effect, can become “anchors” for their entire clans.
Most welfare programs are, by law, off-limits to immigrants. However, once a child “anchors” into this country by birth, the child has all the benefits of any other citizen and immediately qualifies for an array of social services if the household income of his parents falls below a certain level. Free food, housing, medical services and, yes, even free money can flow to the parents of these anchor babies through their children.
The U.S. is one of only a handful of countries to offer citizenship to anyone born on its soil. The Federation of American Immigration Reform reports that only a few European countries still grant automatic citizenship at birth. In the 1980s, the United Kingdom and Australia repealed the practice because their citizens simply got tired of being chumps.
Changing the law will not be easy. It likely will require rewriting the 14th Amendment. The operative phrase is, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
This amendment was part of post-Civil War reforms. It was added to the Constitution in 1868 to prevent states from denying citizenship to blacks born in the United States, even though their parents may have been brought here in chains.
Clearly, this phrase never was meant to cover those who come here illegally or the children born to parents who were here temporarily.
To properly understand the intent of the 14th Amendment, we can go to the words of Sen. Jacob Howard, the co-author of the citizenship clause, who said:
Every Person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law 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.
It is important to understand that at the time the 14th Amendment was written, the U.S. had no immigration policy and the families of which Sen. Howard spoke were the only families thought to be here temporarily, whose allegiance was incomplete. In the case of illegal aliens or those here on temporary visas, the native country of the parents has a claim on the allegiance of any children born here.
Activist judges have turned the 14th Amendment upside down. We must correct that before we even consider the policy of allowing workers to come here on a temporary basis, much less allowing those who are in this country illegally to tap into this program and further abuse our resources.