Detaching the Anchor from Anchor Babies

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, January 14, 2011

It’s long overdue for Congress to stop the racket of bringing pregnant women into this country to give birth, receive free medical care, and then call their babies U.S. citizens entitled to all American rights and privileges plus generous handouts. Between 300,000 and 400,000 babies are born to illegal aliens in the United States every year, at least 10 percent of all births.

We have tolerated an entire industry called “birth tourism,” offering “birth packages” costing thousands of dollars, to import pregnant women from all over the world, Korea to Turkey (12,000 U.S.-born Turkish babies have been arranged since 2003). An electronic billboard in Mexico, advertising the services of an American doctor, proclaims, “Do you want to have your baby in the U.S?”

The advantages of birthright citizenship are immense. The babies get Medicaid (including birth costs), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and food stamps. Obviously, the baby shares his goodies with his family.

As soon as the child becomes an adult, he can legalize his parents, bring into the U.S. a foreign-born spouse and any foreign-born siblings. They all can then bring in their own extended families, a policy called chain migration.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has stepped up to this challenge and already has 26 co-sponsors for his bill, H.R. 140, to define citizenship. It states that the “subject to the jurisdiction” phrase in the Fourteenth Amendment means a baby born in the United States only if one parent is a U.S. citizen, or a lawfully-admitted resident alien, or an alien on active duty in the U.S. armed services.

Rep. King is not trying to amend the Constitution. He is simply using the Fourteenth Amendment’s Section 5, which gives Congress (not the judiciary, not the executive branch), the power to enforce the citizenship clause.

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The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, overruled the Dred Scott decision wherein the U.S. Supreme Court declared that African Americans could not be citizens. {snip}

The Fourteenth Amendment denied citizenship to American Indians, even though they obviously were “born” in the U.S., because they were subject to the jurisdiction of their tribal governments. Congress did not grant citizenship to American Indians on reservations until 1924, 56 years later.

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There is no ambiguity about the solemn oath that all naturalized Americans must take. “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen . . . so help me God.”

Any naturalized U.S. citizen who claims dual citizenship with his native country betrays his solemn oath. If anchor babies have citizenship in their parents’ country, they should not have U.S. citizenship.

{snip} The Rasmussen poll reports that 58 percent oppose it, while only 33 percent favor it.

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