T Nation

Birthright Citizenship


Maybe were finally starting to get somewhere on illegal immigration? I personally think that ending birthright citizenship and errecting a barrier along the entire US/Mexico border would be a dynamic step towords solving our huge immigration problem.


GOP mulls ending birthright citizenship
By Stephen Dinan
November 4, 2005

House Republicans are looking closely at ending birthright citizenship and building a barrier along the entire U.S.-Mexico border as they search for solutions to illegal immigration.
A task force of party leaders and members active on immigration has met since the summer to try to figure out where consensus exists, and several participants said those two ideas have floated to the top of the list of possibilities to be included either in an immigration-enforcement bill later this year or in a later comprehensive immigration overhaul.
"There is a general agreement about the fact that citizenship in this country should not be bestowed on people who are the children of folks who come into this country illegally," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, who is participating in the "unity dinners," the group of Republicans trying to find consensus on immigration.
Birthright citizenship, or what critics call "anchor babies," means that any child born on U.S. soil is granted citizenship, with exceptions for foreign diplomats. That attracts illegal aliens, who have children in the United States; those children later can sponsor their parents for legal immigration.
Most lawmakers had avoided the issue, fearing that change would require a constitutional amendment -- the 14th Amendment reads in part: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States."
But several Republicans said recent studies suggest otherwise.
"There's been recent scholarship that says we can do it by statute, and we ought to try," said Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, who usually finds himself on the opposite side of immigration issues from Mr. Tancredo.
"How in the world can you explain that's a good policy to have? It simply doesn't promote respect for the rule of law," Mr. Flake said.
Several lawmakers said the U.S. and Mexico are the only major Western countries to have birthright citizenship. Most European countries have moved away from birthright citizenship in recent decades.
"I am as surprised as anyone that this thing has got legs," Mr. Tancredo said, adding that he views it as a major step forward for the immigration debate. "This is the issue that motivated me to deal with immigration."
While some members said it could be part of an immigration bill later this year, Rep. Dan Lungren, California Republican, said it will take longer to drum up public support for such a major change, though he backs ending the policy.
"Some of us believe we have depreciated the value of citizenship," he said.
Meanwhile, the idea of a fence or other barrier also is gaining support.
At this week's "unity dinner," House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, said he supports a barrier system of fences in some places and electronic surveillance or vehicle barriers in others, one participant said.
Mr. Hastert's spokesman said the speaker would not talk about the private meetings.
Border barriers received a big boost yesterday when Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, announced a broad enforcement bill with a fence as its centerpiece.
"The fence works," Mr. Hunter said. He led the fight earlier in this Congress to complete a 14-mile section of fence near San Diego, and he and other members said the success there gives the idea momentum.
"Those who say the fence won't work, frankly, don't have experience with fences," said Rep. Geoff Davis, a Kentucky Republican who is supporting Mr. Hunter's bill.
But Mr. Flake and fellow Arizona Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe, who both support legalizing illegal aliens and raising legal immigration levels by 400,000 per year, said a fence would not work.
Mr. Flake said it would not affect those illegal aliens -- about half of the total immigrant population -- who came to the United States on legal temporary visas and have overstayed. He also said he does not want it to sap energy from a comprehensive solution.
"My fear is people will say let's build a fence and put off any guest-worker, border enforcement, interior enforcement for years," he said.
Rep. John Shadegg, the Arizona Republican who runs the dinners, said they are reaching some areas of consensus, though he would not specify and said committee chairmen would have to write the eventual bill.
But he said the effort has convinced the White House to do more to enforce the borders -- something he said was reflected both in President Bush's remarks upon signing the homeland security spending bill and in congressional testimony by the Homeland Security secretary.
Mr. Shadegg said the group has talked about border barriers and electronic surveillance, and said he is a fan of using unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol the border, particularly because they can track criminal behavior, which is crucial in establishing a chain of evidence to convict drug or alien smugglers


Can you be any more bigoted?

Seriously, I'm not trying to be funny or anything. Can you?


You mean requiring someone to enter the country legally is bigotry? Seriously man, I don't get your question.


Pat Buchanan? Is that you?

Just an FYI. You really don't need to post the link AND the full text of the article. Either one is sufficent.

Maybe we should build a big dome over the whole country so nobody can get in.
Then you won't have to see any new brown people. Utopia!!
Would that make you feel safe?


I think the issue is illegal immigration. Are you for that?


Everytime amnesty is granted for some fuck fuck who sneaks into our country it is a slap in the face to the millions who worked hard at immigrating to this country. I don't think anyone (okay there are some I'm sure, especially after seeing the beleifs of some people on this board) that oppose all immigration, but to allow people to come into our country and enjoy all the benefits without any of the restrictions (taxes, laws etc.) is insane. Why don't we just do away with legal immigration and just tell people to catch a plane and just have a website sign up list for SSNs.

Birthright citizenship needs to stay. But it should be limited to just the citizen, no mother or father. They can ask to immigrate legally, but until they do. The kid is either in foster care, adoption, or wow... probably gonna be taken back home to their family.


-Whatever your opinion on immigration is, the fact remains that illegal immigrants do hold a niche in our society. They are taken advantage of at least as much, an usually more, than they recieve in return.

I don't see too many millionaire illegals running around trying to skirt our tax laws. In fact, it's often the millionaire citizens who pay them far less than minimum wage in cash, so they won't have to hire "real" Americans and be subject to same said taxes, not to mention pay them more. It all balances out in the end. So, economically, illegal immigration actually needs to exsist. Without illegal migrant workers, our agriculture industry would collapse.

I could see some security concerns with our borders, but will building a muti-billion dollar wall solve the problem? Not likely, since we still have a few thousand miles of coastland to worry about, and I'm not even taking the Canadian border or air travel into account.

But that has nothing to do with birthright citizenship. I doubt that all the pregnant terrorist that are coming over want their kids to be citizens anyway.


It is incidental that the vast majority of illegal aliens streaming in to this country are from Mexico. That is simply the closest third world country. The same way it is incidental that all of the immigrants streaming into western Europe are from eastern Europe and north Africa. The "bigotry" here is not racist, it is classist. The problem is purely economic.



One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Nice try guy.

But I challenge you to this. Find even one post of mine where I've shown myself to be a bigot.

I await you reply with great anticipation.


How about this one?


Just a shot in the dark, but maybe he was talking about this line:
"I personally think that ending birthright citizenship..."

Maybe not "biggotry" by it's exact definintion, but definitly ignorant.

I a child is born here, you don't think he/she should be a citizen?

I agree with the above post saying that the child born here should be a citizen, not the parents. The parents could have the right to keep their child of course, but they have to bring his/her child to their own country.

I don't get how it's so easy for them. My wife has been here for 12or 13 years, served in the military for 4, and is married to me, a US born citizen, and we have a daughter born here, yet she's not a citizen.

Yes, Bush did say that citizenship will be expidited for all service men and women who are serving/have served, but we still would have to pay over $300 that we can't afford right now.

It's not even like she's illegal either. She's a legal resident alien, and the only benefit she gets for being a citizen is the right to vote. Not worth $300+ for us right now.


Thank you for the compliment. Pat Buchanan is one of America's greats.

I realize this, however, I like to post both as this proves that I didn't alter the article.

I am very pro immigration cheesedick. Does it make you feel safe knowing that al-queda could smuggle a dirty bomb across our soft southern border, or across our northern border for that matter?
And I have many "brown" friends, including someone who made the border cross personally. One of the reasons that America is so great is that we were molded from so many different cultures.
The fact that the US is the greatest nation on the face of the earth, is in direct correlation to our incredibly diverse culture. This is an undeniable fact.


I believe that the us needs to nurture an immigration policy that courts legitimate workers who WANT to be American. The US economy does indeed rely on immigrant workers.

But what is wrong with agressively controling our borders? And what is it about a barrier along our border that makes you wet your pants? Immigrants, all immigrants, need to come through the damn gate. Not only is this a matter of enforcing our own laws, it's a matter of national security.

Reagan said once: " A nation that cannot control it's own borders, is not much of a nation."




I actually laughed out loud when I read your reply.



I fail to see where this post has made me a bigot.


That's the problem.


Having a well-defined immigration policy hardly constitutes being a bigot. Heck, an immigration policy is part of what defines a country as a country (i.e. who is part of the group and who is not from a simple point of view). Do we need a better system at figuring out how to handle illegal immigration? Hell yeah, but I don't see how rewarding illegal behavior is really going to get us anywhere.

The biggest problem we face with immigration from Mexico has more to do with the fact that the Mexican government is not doing anything to help out its own people, hence their looking for work elsewhere. In fact, Mexico has gone so far as to print up those pamphlets from a few months back that give instructions on how to illegally enter the U.S.

More than anything else, we need to get beyond this as a race issue and figure out how to handle the problem. I don't think throwing up a wall, mind you, is really going to be the solution.


Too bad niether yourself or harris has made an intelligent reasoning on why this post has made me a bigot.

Sorry kids, the nana nana boo boo your a bigot argument doesn't hold weight.


I've argued over this at least three times on this board, so I'm just going to repost what I posted last time:



I fail to see where this post has made me a bigot.

BIG, the problem is that the minute you have differing view point from a liberal they verbally attack you as opposed to answering the question. If an illegal alien crosses the border and gives birth in an American hospital the child is automatically a citizen. The bottom line is that this person had no right being in the country to begin with, they broke a law to get here. Why does this child deserve citizenship. There is nothing linking this child to this country aside from the fact that the parent broke a law to come here and have the child. I believe this a slap in the face to all who have legally come here and attained citizenship legally. The border is a huge problem and it needs to be fixed, not just the flow of illegals but drugs and everything else comes through.


Ok, poor choice of words on my part. I should have said:"your ignorance is appalling... redneck (sorry rainjack)."

Now can you actually focuse on what I posted (and just leave out the redneck part, I couldn't resist... you can call me a wetback if you want, I'll take no offense).