Wednesday, June 16, 2010 Open Discussion: Anchor Babies.

Clearly, the state of Arizona is in full blown "eff' them Mexicans" mode right now. From the new immigration law that could lead to racial profiling, to removing Hispanic studies classes from high schools, to even whitewashing a freakin' mural, it's clear the state is in many ways living up to its reputation of intolerance. As if those incidents weren't enough, witness what's about to go down next in The Valley Of The Sun.
The author of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law is considering a new proposal that would block the children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens if they were born in the United States.

Critics of the bill that Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce is weighing say it would fly in the face of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.

Pearce contended that the bill would not violate the 14th Amendment, saying only that “we would write it right.”

Previous efforts to get around the citizenship provisions in the amendment, including one in the late 19th century challenging the citizenship of the children of Chinese immigrants, have been unsuccessful.

Still, Gov. Jan Brewer and other Arizona Republicans have indicated their support.

“It is illegal to trespass into our country. It has always been illegal, and people have determined that they want to take that chance,” Brewer said in a recent interview with Tucson ABC affiliate KGUN. “They can take their children back with them.”
Well, say what you will about Jan Brewer, but at least the woman's upfront about her intentions. No need to wonder where you stand with her. Hopefully Arizona voters will show her where she stands this fall when re-election time comes.

For those unclear about what an "anchor baby" is, here's a bit of background info from The World's Most Accurate Encyclopedia.
"Anchor baby" is a term used by immigration reductionists in the United States to describe a child born in the U.S. to illegal aliens. It is generally used as a derogatory reference to the supposed role of the child, who as a U.S. citizen through the legal principle of jus soli, may facilitate immigration for relatives through family reunification. Family reunification, or family-based immigration, in the USA is a lengthy process and limited to categories prescribed by provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

The term "anchor baby" assumes that having a US citizen child confers immigration benefits on the parents and extended family. This is generally a false assumption, as immigration law does not allow a US citizen child to sponsor his parents until he or she turns 21. Once the child turns 18, immigration law also allows a US citizen child to sponsor his own siblings with a 15 to 23 year quota delay. Immigration law does not provide categories for any other relatives that would apply in this situation. In addition, if the parents are illegal immigrants, they are usually barred from immigration despite having a sponsor.

In the public debate surrounding "anchor babies", it is also frequently assumed that an "anchor baby" would be beneficial in deportation proceedings. Such benefits do not exist except in the very rare case of extreme and profound hardship on the child. Approximately 88,000 parents of US citizen children have been deported in the past ten years. Federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court have upheld the refusal by the Immigration and Naturalization Service or Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stay the deportation of illegal immigrants merely on the grounds that they have U.S.-citizen, minor children.
Legalese aside, I can sorta understand where opponents of the whole "anchor baby" concept are coming from. On the surface, a person benefiting from an illegal action shouldn't be rewarded with citizenship simply because they have a child on US soil. While I've repeatedly said here that I think under the table cheap labor is the disease and cracking down on illegal immigrants is merely treating a symptom, reality is these folks cost taxpayers a grip in entitlements without paying their fair share in return. And that's wrong. Especially not when there are millions of people trying to become US citizens via the proper channels.

On the flipside, much like all the rest of the immigration-related sabre rattling in Arizona, I can't help but think that is yet more election year posturing by Brewer. Suddenly getting concerned about an issue when your job is up for grabs is a bit disingenuous, and since "anchor babies" seldom have prevented deportation proceedings in court, this just seems like more "Us vs Them" style politricks as usual.

What say ye'?!?

Question: Should having a child on foreign soil automatically make you a citizen? Is Arizona wrong for cracking down on "anchor babies" or is this just political posturing?

Arizona targets 'anchor baby' citizenship [Politico]

blog comments powered by Disqus

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.