Thursday, August 12, 2010

We're All Illegal Now

Saw the headline: .14th Amendment: Is Birthright Citizenship Really in the Constitution?  And I thought, "uh oh, better get the Maalox."

And I was kind of hoping this would be some sort of slamdunk against the "anti-baby anchor" crowd who insists that illegals are bad because they're illegal, and that applies to their kids born here who are legal.  But no, the article was really just an anti-Birthright fluff piece that didn't really take the topic seriously, which meant giving the anti-immigrant position while glossing over the reality.

And here's the meat in the article, explaining why Birthright Citizenship might not be required of us:
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment begins this way: "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 key phrase here is "subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

Illegal immigrants are not subject to US jurisdiction, in the sense that they cannot be drafted into the US military or tried for treason against the US, said John Eastman, a professor at the Chapman University School of Law, in a media conference call Monday. Their children would share that status, via citizenship in their parents’ nation or nations of birth – and so would not be eligible for a US passport, even if born on US soil, according to Dr. Eastman.
Uhhh, what?  Illegal immigrants aren't subject to US jurisdiction?  Really?  Whose jurisdiction are they under and why do we keep arresting them if they're not in our jurisdiction? 

And...huh?  I thought the whole point to this amendment was to determine who was a citizen.  Yet, this guy's arguing that they're not citizens because they're illegal, and they're illegal because they're...illegal.  Yet, all we'd have to do is make them legal from birth, which is what we currently do, and then they're not only subject to our jurisdiction, but we can also draft them in the military and try them for treason.  In fact, that'd be a great answer to ALL illegals: We make them legal and then they're legal.  I have yet to see some reason why we need to make it so difficult for them to become citizens.

And hell, just as easily this rationale could be used to deny citizenship to ALL of us.  If you can't be a citizen unless you were already a citizen, and you're not a citizen until we determine that you're a citizen, then nobody can be a citizen.  It's that simple.

One Legal Scholar Agrees

Just to show what a joke the article is, the writer says:
Many legal scholars believe that changing the policy would require changing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, on which birthright citizenship is based. But “many” legal scholars is not the same thing as “all.”
Yuk, yuk.  How hilarious.  He found one crazy law professor who said a crazy thing, and that becomes the basis for an entire article.  And even worse, the article has a "Crazy said, Sane said" air about, emphasizing the crazy side yet not labeling it as crazy.  The reality-based position is relegated to the last three paragraphs, and only cites one person making the claim. 

I'm sure this was because the writer really wasn't taking it seriously, and didn't see the need in actually emphasizing the reality-based position.  But still, by treating it seriously and acting like both sides have a valid case, it helps legitimize the crazy position.  And that's absolutely something that real journalism shouldn't do.

BTW, of the things I learned in the comments section there is that 100% of an "anchor babies" don't complete college and 90% don't complete high school, and they're all criminals and drug smugglers.  I also read all about how they're only interested in getting free handouts and stealing our jobs.  But hey, these people aren't racists.  They're just telling it like it is.  Ugh...I really need to learn to avoid Yahoo messageboards.

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