Posted by: Deborah D | August 14, 2010

Birth-right citizenship?

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Birth-right citizenship?

Not so fast. The writers of the 14th Amendment never intended for just anyone born in the United States to automatically become an American citizen. So, how did we get here? Ann Coulter lights our path once again. You can blame it on Clement Bouve. Who’s he? Yeah, never heard of him. He’s someone who just wrote a book once that Justice Brennan read. Brennan, a liberal activist Supreme Court justice with his footnote in a Supreme Court decision basically screwed the American people. This is something that should have never happened. So, once again, whenever there is a major crisis or problem in the country, it’s usually a liberal somewhere who is to blame. Here’s a little history from Ann Coulter (oh, she’s a lawyer, actually practiced law, and clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.)

Democrats act as if the right to run across the border when you’re 8 1/2 months pregnant, give birth in a U.S. hospital and then immediately start collecting welfare was exactly what our forebears had in mind, a sacred constitutional right, as old as the 14th Amendment itself.

The louder liberals talk about some ancient constitutional right, the surer you should be that it was invented in the last few decades.

In fact, this alleged right derives only from a footnote slyly slipped into a Supreme Court opinion by Justice Brennan in 1982. You might say it snuck in when no one was looking, and now we have to let it stay.

The 14th Amendment was added after the Civil War in order to overrule the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, which had held that black slaves were not citizens of the United States. Snip –
The amendment guaranteed that freed slaves would have all the privileges of citizenship by providing: “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.”

The drafters of the 14th amendment had no intention of conferring citizenship on the children of aliens who happened to be born in the U.S… Snip —

The very author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: “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.”

In the 1884 case Elk v. Wilkins, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not even confer citizenship on Indians — because they were subject to tribal jurisdiction, not U.S. jurisdiction.

For a hundred years, that was how it stood…

And then, out of the blue in 1982, Justice Brennan slipped a footnote into his 5-4 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, asserting that “no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.” (Other than the part about one being lawful and the other not.)  Snip –

Brennan based his opinion not on the law, but on a book written by a man named Clement L. Bouve. Um, who’s that? Good question. He wrote his book in 1912 (the Progressive era, don’t ya know.)

So on one hand we have the history, the objective, the author’s intent and 100 years of history of the 14th Amendment, which says that the 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship on children born to illegal immigrants.

On the other hand, we have a random outburst by some guy named Clement… Snip —

…Americans have a right to decide, as the people of other countries do, who becomes a citizen.

Combine Justice Brennan’s footnote with America’s ludicrously generous welfare policies, and you end up with a bankrupt country.

Consider the story of one family of illegal immigrants described in the Spring 2005 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons:

“Cristobal Silverio came illegally from Oxtotilan, Mexico, in 1997 and brought his wife Felipa, plus three children aged 19, 12 and 8. Felipa … gave birth to a new daughter, her anchor baby, named Flor. Flor was premature, spent three months in the neonatal incubator, and cost San Joaquin Hospital more than $300,000. Meanwhile, (Felipa’s 19-year-old daughter) Lourdes plus her illegal alien husband produced their own anchor baby, Esmeralda. Grandma Felipa created a second anchor baby, Cristian. … The two Silverio anchor babies generate $1,000 per month in public welfare funding. Flor gets $600 per month for asthma. Healthy Cristian gets $400. Cristobal and Felipa last year earned $18,000 picking fruit. Flor and Cristian were paid $12,000 for being anchor babies.”

In the Silverios’ munificent new hometown of Stockton, Calif., 70 percent of the 2,300 babies born in 2003 in the San Joaquin General Hospital were anchor babies. As of this month, Stockton is $23 million in the hole.

It’s bad enough to be governed by 5-4 decisions written by liberal judicial activists. In the case of “anchor babies,” America is being governed by Brennan’s 1982 footnote. 

Read all of Coulter here:

Related: Remaking America through birth-right citizenship.

This is from Cindy Simpson of the American Thinker website. She says that five years ago Republicans took up the 14th Amendment and did research into it, so there is no need to re-examine it. The Committee researching it came to conclusions—there’s no need to repeal the 14th Amendment. It has basically been circumvented by liberals and continues to be. Anchor babies are not authorized. So, why are we still automatically allowing them citizenship?

The fact is, the majority of both conservative and independent voters are already infuriated over this administration’s lack of support in the Arizona immigration conflict. The Fourteenth Amendment “cherry” had already been picked and thoroughly examined in a hearing held just five years ago. The conclusions reached by the Committee?

No Constitutional amendment or new statute is necessary, since “the existing one tracks the language of the Fourteenth Amendment precisely,” requiring only a “resolution,” “Executive Order,” “Solicitor General Opinion,” “or other alternatives to underline what Congress’ intent is.” A review of the transcript of the hearing shows that all present agreed (some reluctantly) that the Constitution did not authorize the present anchor baby practice.

This hearing generated little media attention, as noted by Phyllis Schlafly. Nothing was done, and now the subject of immigration reform has reached a “roiling boil.” As George Will observed, “A simple reform would drain some scalding steam.”

A mere five years after the hearing, and now there are calls for another. The Constitution hasn’t changed during that time. What else has?

Other than staggering increases in the millions of illegal immigrants and the numbers of babies born to them, thousands more have been awarded citizenship thanks to a newly thriving birth tourism industry.

We also have five more years of entrenching this constitutionally inaccurate practice in the psyche of our politically correct population, which embraces hyphenated descriptions of fellow Americans based not just on ethnicity, but on citizenship. The U.S. Oath of Naturalization, though nowadays rarely enforced, requires rejection of all past citizenships and sole allegiance to the U.S. In addition, the granting of birthright citizenship typically results in the child having dual citizenship. One can only imagine the nightmare if the U.S. became involved in a worldwide conflict while having a huge percentage of citizens claiming not just heritage, but actual citizenship in, and therefore implied allegiance to, the very countries with which we might be at odds.

Dr. John Fonte, in his 2005 report, referred to dual citizenship as a form of “civic bigamy.” The founding fathers, who paid for their own citizenship with the blood of patriots and swore faithfulness to the Constitution and the United States of America, would no doubt be horrified by the very idea of divided loyalties.

This writer goes on to discuss President Barack Obama’s status as a citizen of the United States, and how he actually has dual citizenship. Is that what we want for future presidents? Dual citizenship means dual loyalties, not a singular loyalty to the United States and its Constitution. Why would this country want to include people as citizens who don’t believe in the country or its laws or its institutions? It wouldn’t. Our founders wouldn’t. Normal Americans wouldn’t, only those who don’t like their own country would. Read it all here:


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