GOP leaders want hearings on birthright citizenship; bogus political ploy? (McCain, Graham)
* Lindsey Graham - someone frequently known as "Grahamnesty" due to his support for comprehensive immigration reform - recently said he might introduce a constitutional amendment to revoke the practice of birthright citizenship (for the children of illegal aliens; see UPDATE 3) .
* Just today, John McCain - previously the top Republican Senator supporting amnesty - also called for hearings on the matter.
* Mitch McConnell - someone who supported amnesty in 2007 and who's involved with the "National Council for a New America" - said "I think we ought to take a look at it - hold hearings, listen to the experts on it."
From the above, you might reasonably suspect that such calls are just a political ploy. Perhaps they're trying to appeal to the GOP base, or perhaps they're trying to arrange bargaining chips to use when helping the Democrats push amnesty. Mark Krikorian says they're making a mountain out of a molehill (link), although others disagree (link).
Whatever their actual motivations, such a push gives more ammunition to the far-left and at the same time it does ignore things that are easier to accomplish such as increased workplace enforcement. It would be extremely difficult to push through a constitutional amendment, especially since those above and their supporters aren't really prepared to deal with the backlash that would result. The other side would use them as a pinata and there's little they could do about it because their supporters don't know how to do things correctly.
UPDATE: As could be expected, buffoonish illegal immigration supporter Luis Gutierrez gets up on his high horse (link). He says there should be hearings, because he thinks they'd break his way. And, he's probably right, and that's a combination of those listed above not really supporting (at least fully) what they pretend to support combined with the fact that those who control the debate - the Democrats and more generally the establishment - would pull out all the stops to make those on the other side look bad. And, there's little that the anti-birthright citizenship side could do because, as stated above, their supporters don't know how to do things correctly. These are the same people who barely said a word about Sonia Sotomayor having been a member of the National Council of La Raza, and now they're expected to get a constitutional amendment passed?
UPDATE 2: As also could be expected, it becomes clear that Graham is doing this for political reasons. From the interview here:
I think it’s fair to say that I need to go home to South Carolina and say: listen, I know we’re all upset that we have 12-14 million people illegally. I’m going to have to be practical. We’re not going to deport or jail 12-14 million people. A practical solution is not awarding this citizenship on day one, but to allow them to stay here on our terms, learn our language, pay a fine, hold a job, and apply for citizenship through the legal process by getting in the back of the legal line.
That to me is a practical solution. But, I have to be able to say, as part of doing that, we looked at all the incentives that led to the 12-13 million coming, and we changed them. That we did secure our border, unlike any other time in the past, that we now have laws that make it possible to verify employment; we now have a temporary worker program that will allow people to come here and work on our terms temporarily, and help our employers with labor when they can’t find American labor. I have to be able to say that, because I think most Americans are willing to clean this mess up. They’re not willing to perpetuate it.
In the first paragraph he promotes comprehensive immigration reform and uses two bogus talking points: deportations false choice and immigration line. If he were serious he'd explore much less difficult options, such as making sure that the Obama administration is enforcing the law to the greatest extent possible. Instead, this amounts to little more than a show.
UPDATE 3: This post uses the phrase "birthright citizenship" just to mean the practice of giving citizenship to the children of illegal aliens; the debate is just about that.