I agree with those who say, regarding the illegal-alien debate in this country, that first we must secure the border, then – and only then – can we afford to debate what we do with those lawbreaking trespassers already in our midst.
But there is one related issue that needs to be examined as quickly as possible.
It doesn’t need to be, as President Bush might suggest, part of a “comprehensive immigration-reform plan.” It just needs to be examined, debated and resolved under the rule of law and through the will of the people – as all important public-policy issues should be dealt with in a free society.
I’m talking about “anchor babies.”
What are anchor babies?
If you live in the Southwest, you know what they are. For the benefit of those in other regions of the country who are not yet immersed in the special lingo surrounding millions and millions of illegal aliens in America, anchor babies are children born in this country of illegal-alien parents.
Currently, by fiat, these children are treated as citizens of the U.S. simply because they were born here.
After all, Section 1 of the 14th Amendment states, in part: “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.”
For many years, that was good enough for me. I saw no reason to challenge the Constitution, which seemed to be clear on the definition of citizenship for all those born in the U.S. – no matter the circumstances.
Yet, that is not the case. Under closer scrutiny, we find the U.S. Supreme Court – long before it turned to activist decisions in the modern era – had ruled the 14th Amendment was, by no means, absolute on this point.
Here, in fact, is what the court ruled in the United States v. Wong Kim Ark case in 1898: “The fundamental principle of the common law with regard to English nationality was birth within the allegiance. … The principle embraced all persons born within the king’s allegiance, and subject to his protection. Such allegiance and protection were mutual, and were not restricted to natural-born subjects and naturalized subjects, or to those who had taken an oath of allegiance; but were predicable of aliens in amity, so long as they were within the kingdom. Children, born in England, of such aliens, were therefore natural-born subjects. But the children, born within the realm, of foreign ambassadors, or the children of alien enemies, born during and within their hostile occupation of part of the king’s dominions, were not natural-born subjects, because they were not born within the allegiance, the obedience, or the power, or, as would be said at this day, within the jurisdiction, of the king.”
Now I’m no lawyer, so maybe that’s why I can read this clear Supreme Court decision and conclude that under this case law, children born in this country of illegal-alien parents are not citizens of the United States.
I don’t think we need to change the law.
I just think we need to do what the American Civil Liberties Union would do if they liked this case – publicize it and demand that the “law of the land” be enforced.
Not only is the federal government neglecting its sworn duty to protect the citizens of this country by guarding the border, not only is the federal government neglecting its duty to deport millions of illegal aliens already here, but it is also neglecting its duty to recognize that hundreds of thousands – maybe millions – of people born in the U.S. to illegal-alien parents are not U.S. citizens because they and their parents were not under the jurisdiction and obedience of the government of the U.S. when that occurred.
Right after we close the border, let’s turn to the issue of anchor babies. They are called “anchors” for a reason. Once they are born here, they anchor entire families of foreign invaders because of their natural attachment to the child. After all, it would seem cruel and heartless to attempt to deport the parents and siblings of U.S. citizens. The good news is anchor babies are no more U.S. citizens than their parents.