A controversial new anti-illegal-immigration ad by GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul has sent his libertarian supporters into high dudgeon, but it’s getting rave reviews from border-security hawks, including some Homeland Security officials.
In a surprise move, the strict constitutionalist has taken aim at the 14th Amendment as part of a proposal to control growing illegal immigration. U.S. Rep. Paul, R-Texas, proposes repealing the provision that gives automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S., even if their parents enter the country illegally.
“Ron Paul wants border security now,” his new campaign ad asserts. “Physically secure the border. No amnesty. No welfare to illegal aliens. End birthright citizenship. No more student visas from terrorist nations.”
The 30-second TV spot was released last week and is now running in New Hampshire.
“This advertisement makes it clear that, as president, Dr. Paul would oppose amnesty, secure the border, end birthright citizenship, end welfare to illegal aliens, and restore the rule of law,” said campaign chairman Kent Snyder from Paul’s headquarters in Arlington, Va.
However, many of Paul’s supporters – who have donated more than $20 million to his campaign over the past three months alone – are not pleased with the ad. And some have expressed shock at his sudden tough stance against immigration.
Justin Raimondo, editor of AntiWar.com, a blog Paul regularly contributes to, called the ad “disgraceful.”
“Rarely has a more ignorant proposal been advanced,” he said. “And it is made even worse by the fact that this is Ron Paul we’re talking about.”
He and other angry fans accused Paul of pandering to the conservative base of the GOP, specifically border-security voters who backed presidential candidate Tom Tancredo before he recently dropped out of the race.
“‘No more student visas from terrorist nations’ stands against his rhetoric of ‘lets talk to people, trade with them, etc.,’ as opposed to ‘bomb them and interfere with them,'” writes a blogger called “Ali” on Reason.com’s blog. “But I think he’s trying to appeal to a certain segment of the Republican base. I do not like it though. Otherwise, it is a good ad that has a Tancredo feel to it – despite the fact that I despise Tancredo.”
Others agree with Paul’s proposals, including Homeland Security officials, who say the U.S. policy of birthright citizenship is a major incentive for illegal immigration.
So-called anchor babies are automatically conferred American citizenship, and are entitled to government welfare benefits regardless of the legal status of their parents – even if a parent is a foreign terrorist. Parents, in turn, can also obtain citizenship for themselves by using the family reunification features of immigration law.
Officials complain that illegal immigrants from Mexico cross the border to use U.S. emergency rooms as “maternity wards,” and their babies are delivered as “public charges.”
“On the U.S. southern border, aliens drive around U.S. hospitals until their water breaks, and then they drive up to the emergency room door for admission and ‘free’ maternity care,” said one official who works for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Texas.
A senior DHS official in Washington says birthright citizenship is a vestige of the 1800s and has outlived its original charter and purpose of assimilating former slaves into U.S. society after Emancipation.
“A major pet peeve of mine is the bastardization of the 14th Amendment, the principle of Jus Solis, an act to accommodate slaves,” he said. “We now permit anyone having a child born in the United States or under the rules of international boundaries to attain United States citizenship under this principle. It is wrong.”
According to the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, more than 570,000 U.S.-born children under the age of 18 have at least one parent born in the Middle East. That number is expected to grow to 950,000 by 2010.
Homeland Security officials also praised Paul for proposing to deny student visas for Muslims from terror-risk countries.
They say college campuses have become hotbeds of radicalization for terror groups, and a number of terrorists and terrorist suspects – including three of the 9/11 hijackers – have entered the U.S. on student visas.
DHS has identified 35 countries of interest for targeting potential terrorist activities, including 34 from predominantly Muslim countries. Here is the internal list, a copy of which was obtained by WND:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- Territories of Gaza and the West Bank