Tuesday, August 03, 2010


From Yahoo news:  "Leading Republicans are joining a push to reconsider the constitutional amendment that grants automatic citizenship to people born in the United States."  I don't think anything will come of it; since when have politicians had this kind of courage?  However........

Well, at least I consider this a step in the right (i.e. correct) direction.  Clearly the amendment was written at a time when people made a huge effort to move to this country and make a place for themselves here.  Modern travel methods have clearly made that effort obsolete.  Now there is at least the fear that people come to this country for a day just to have a baby here and obtain the associated rights for that baby.  And for the child's parents. 

I guess that perhaps I would like to modify the 14th Amendment.  Let's think about the different children we are talking about. 

1. A child born of a woman who simply walked across the border for the day. 
2. A child born of a woman who is here illegally; either by overstaying a visa or by sneaking into the country by some other means.
3.  A child born of a woman who is here legally; though of limited duration - i.e. a student visa.
4.  A child born of a woman who is here as a legal immigrant (with a green card).

It seems to me to be obvious that the first two examples are people who need not be granted citizenship.  The third example is at least questionable; if the mother isn't intending to stay, why would the child?  However the final option would seem to be completely reasonable candidate for citizenship provided that he or she was willing to take the oaths required of new citizens. 

BTW, my FIL is the son of a wetback so this discussion hits close to home. 

1 comment:

Croft said...

My mother was actually an American who fled an abusive home in the US at the age of 12 to live with an aunt in Canada. This happened in 1922 when crossing the border was a lot less formal. She stayed (illegally) in Canada and had three kids. I suspect this makes me a gringo as well as a canuck.

My mother was always afraid when we crossed the border to shop in Bellingham. She obtained Canadian "papers" based on a false entry in her aunt's Bible showing her to be born in Canada. It was all so confusing she never really did know exactly when she was born.

Sort of the same thing as your FIL only different...