Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has brought up another serious problem that is taking our country down, one that is pressing but has been ignored by the political ruling class: birthright citizenship.
Many of Trump’s opponents in the race for the GOP presidential nomination have tried to sidestep the issue. Instead of viewing it as a political minefield, they should simply address it head-on.
Forget political correctness! The term “anchor baby” is descriptive of hundreds of thousands of children who are born to mothers who come here, legally and illegally, for the soul purpose of having a child in the United States which will give them an “anchor” into this country. It allows those with means to bypass the normal, lengthly immigration process and allows those without means, the ability to stay here indefinitely and tap into our generous welfare benefits, even those who have broken in to our country illegally. The more babies, the more taxpayer dollars that flow to these families.
This not only is unfair to the millions of immigrants who have stood in line and played by the rules, it is especially unfair to U.S. taxpayers.
How serious is this problem of birthright citizenship? The Center for Immigration Studies acknowledges that birth tourism is hard to pinpoint, but estimates there are some 36,000 “tourists” who come here for the purpose of giving birth to a U.S. citizen each year. However, CIS estimates that approximately 350,000 to 400,000 children are born to illegal alien mothers each year, or one in ten births.
This is costing us billions! Nationwide, almost 71 percent of illegal alien-headed households are receiving welfare benefits (as of 2009). Add to that the cost of education and the mandate that was imposed on hospitals in 1986 called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which has driven up the cost of healthcare for every citizen who must pay his or her own way.
How did we get to this place? It is unclear. It represents years of overreach by the executive branch, unelected bureaucrats, activist jurists and slothful Congresses composed of politicians who just want to go along to get along and not rock the boat. As a result, our immigration laws have been turned upside down and taxpayers are getting fleeced.
Can anyone remember the time when immigrants to this country had to guarantee they could pay their own way?
Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore support the present policy. Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham do not.
Scott Walker has tied himself in more knots than a pretzel over this issue. It’s been impossible to pin Mike Huckabee down.
Clearly, the issue of granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens or those who are in the country temporarily didn’t originate with the 14th Amendment. Anyone who hides behind the 14th Amendment, like GOP hopefuls Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and Rick Perry, are either ignorant or disingenuous. This is sad, particularly for Fiorina who has recently made it into the top tier.
The Fourteenth Amendment has an important clause that puts a limit on birthright citizenship:
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 clause “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is not defined. However, if you go back to the debate in Congress when the 14th Amendment was added, you can see that our present policy was not the original intent.
Is there any statute enacted by Congress that directs the granting of citizenship to children born to illegal aliens or temporary aliens. The answer is no.
In the 1873, slaughter-house cases, the Supreme Court explained birthright citizenship this way:
The phrase, ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.
Children of diplomats who are born here are not automatically given U.S. citizenship because they are subject to their parents who are “under the jurisdiction” of another country just like the children of those who are here temporarily or illegally.
Only 30 of the 194 countries in the world grant citizenship to the children of illegal aliens, and only two with advanced economies. Must we forever remain chumps? Anyone who thinks so, clearly should not be considered for president.
Dr. Ben Carson, hit the nail squarely on the head when he labeled this policy a “stupid” concept. By a 2-1 margin voters agree.