birthright citizenship

birthright citizenship: Page 1

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Stephanie Mencimer's flawed reporting on Mia Love and immigration (Mother Jones, Margaret Stock, Stuart Anderson) - 09/28/12

A post at Forbes catches Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones in flawed reporting. From [1]:

The controversy over how Utah Republican Congressional candidate Mia Love's family became lawful permanent residents may have another twist - Love may be right about how her family received their green cards, which allowed them to stay in America.

Texas 2012 GOP platform goes "liberal" on immigration (IRCOT, Koch) - 06/09/12

The Texas GOP has passed their 2012 platform, and it includes an immigration plank that some will present as somewhat "liberal" or "lenient".

Chinese "birthing tourism" houses shut down (temporarily; Los Angeles Times; birthright citizenship) - 03/26/11

Back in 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported on "birth tourism" by Koreans: citizens of Korea temporarily visiting the U.S. in order to give birth and abusing our laws which have been interpreted to grant birthright citizenship.

Now, they have a report on unlicensed "birthing centers" for Chinese nationals that were recently shut down in San Gabriel (east of Pasadena). Per them ("'Birthing tourism' center in San Gabriel shut down" by Ching-Ching Ni, link):

Southern California has become a hub of so-called birthing tourism. Operators of such centers tend to try to blend in, attracting as little attention as possible.

But on quiet, residential Palm Avenue, neighbors had noticed an unusual number of pregnant women going in and out, and some complained about noise.

On March 8, code enforcement officials shut down three identical four-bedroom townhouses functioning as an unlicensed birthing center.

...Most of the women go back to China after giving birth. But they know their children can return easily in the future to enjoy such benefits as free public education.

That bothers some of those living near the San Gabriel center.

"If they lived here, I don't mind," said Duke Trinh, who lives a few houses down. "If they are running a business, I don't want them here. It's not fair for us if [the mothers] go back to China and later send their kids here for education — because they don't pay taxes, we do."

Lamar Smith might be weak on immigration (GOP DREAM Act?) - 12/24/10

Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico offers "Lamar Smith avoids hard line on immigration" [1]. Because we're dealing with definitions of those who aren't trustworthy (such as Brown), it's difficult to tell whether Smith will be weak on immigration matters or whether he just won't support nonsensical "boob bait for Bubba" policies.

Smith's first two hearings as head of the House Judiciary Committee will be about eVerify. However:

At the same time, he downplayed the key planks in the conservative immigration agenda... He won’t say when his committee plans to tackle birthright citizenship, the policy of granting citizenship to every child born in the country. He doesn’t want to talk about whether he will pursue reducing the level of legal immigration, family migration or work visas - all at the top of the wish list for anti-illegal-immigration advocates... “That is later on in this Congress; that is not our initial focus,” Smith said. “We don’t have any specific plans now in the early months to move on these issues. The focus is on creating jobs and protecting jobs.”

In the current environment, it isn't really possible to restrict birthright citizenship to those who have at least one citizen parent. Much groundwork would need to be done, specifically involving discrediting those groups that would oppose such a move. Few people with megaphones have shown any ability at discrediting groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. Further, restricting birthright citizenship, at least when proposed by those like Lindsey Graham, is just a political ploy.

Legal immigration is a different matter and is less prone to being emotionalized because those involved aren't physically present in the U.S. There is, however, a lot of money from those like Microsoft involved. It wouldn't be good for Smith to be weak on that, especially since the rationale the GOP appears to be using is to help with unemployment.

* Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies:

“If he is not willing to do it - there is a lot of public support for reducing legal immigration - he is going to find he will be pressured on that issue"... Camarota said he believes Smith is enough of a dealmaker that he might even consider a modified DREAM Act legalizing young immigrants, if it was coupled with a cut in legal immigration and stronger enforcement — although pro-immigrant advocates would be all but certain to dismiss it as a bad deal.

* Alfonso Aguilar

"People like to really vilify Lamar Smith, but he is not Tom Tancredo... He is someone who will not push legislation if he thinks it doesn’t have the wide support of the American people."

* Frank Sharry:

“He is a very disciplined politician, but he is also very ideological. He is very smart at having lots of smallish-looking measures that add up to a whole lot of harsh enforcement."

* Rep. Steve King:

"I read the Pledge to America. It wasn’t particularly moving... So, OK, they decided not to write the treatise that I would have on immigration. It wouldn’t be the first time that I worked on an agenda that wasn’t laid out for me. I can deal with that."

* Roy Beck of Numbers USA:

"We think there are a lot of issues in the Internet world that people get really excited about, and in many ways, it is a side show,” Beck said, referring specifically to cutting off benefits for illegal immigrants. “It is not as important as one thing, which is taking away the jobs. So if Lamar Smith is going to focus on keeping illegal aliens out of the jobs, that is more important than all the illegal immigration stuff put together."


Michael Gerson waves babies, supports bad public policy (birthright citizenship) - 08/13/10

Michael Gerson - a George W Bush proxy - offers "Republicans are ramping up the birthright battle" (link). In the first part he makes a good case that the 14th Amendment was meant to include everyone born in the U.S.

8% of U.S. births in 2008 were to illegal aliens - 08/11/10


An estimated 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were the offspring of unauthorized immigrants, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Unauthorized immigrants comprise slightly more than 4% of the adult population of the U.S., but because they are relatively young and have high birthrates, their children make up a much larger share of both the newborn population (8%) and the child population (7% of those younger than age 18) in this country.

Harold Meyerson lies about GOP's 14th Amendment charade; his push for race-based power - 08/11/10

Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post offers "Why the GOP really wants to alter the 14th Amendment" (link) in which he outrageously lies about the push by some in the GOP to clarify or alter the 14th Amendment in relation to birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens. As with others who've tried to mislead about this issue, he doesn't admit what Lindsey Graham himself implied: the push is just a charade designed to appeal to the GOP base. Not only that, but Meyerson cranks it up a few notches by lying:

By proposing to revoke the citizenship of the estimated 4 million U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants -- and, presumably, the children's children and so on down the line -- Republicans are calling for more than the creation of a permanent noncitizen caste. They are endeavoring to solve what is probably their most crippling long-term political dilemma: the racial diversification of the electorate. Not to put too fine a point on it, they are trying to preserve their political prospects as a white folks' party in an increasingly multicolored land.

The first sentence is an odious lie: Graham and other GOP leaders don't want to revoke anyone's citizenship. Those leaders do want to revoke or otherwise change the parts of the 14th Amendment that confer citizenship on the children of illegal aliens, but they've never said anything about making it retroactive nor would they ever be as extreme. If Meyerson doesn't understand that - or thinks his readers won't understand that - can you trust his opinion?

And, while plenty of GOP leaders - such as George W Bush - wouldn't mind a "permanent noncitizen caste" of "willing workers" (to use Bush's term), that doesn't have to be the case. In fact, dealing with birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens would take away yet another incentive to come here and, combined with increased immigration enforcement, could reduce illegal immigration. If the very unlikely happened and Graham got his wish, it's within Meyerson's power to prevent the formation of a "permanent noncitizen caste" simply by supporting attrition.

Further, the GOP and similar groups bend over backwards to reach out to non-whites, oftentimes giving oxygen to far-left concepts like corporate pluralism. The Democrats aren't shy about wallowing in far-left racial concepts and the other side of Meyerson's final smear above is a Democratic search for non-white, race-based power.

Roland Martin's reconquista rant (CNN) - 08/10/10

Criticizing Roland Martin of CNN is generally useless since it's doubtful whether anyone outside Jon Klein takes him seriously.

GOP leaders want hearings on birthright citizenship; bogus political ploy? (McCain, Graham) - 08/03/10

* 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) [1].

* Jon Kyl - someone who in 2000 recommended the sister of the head of the National Council of La Raza for a judgeship - came out in support of holding hearings on the matter.

* 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.

Bob Barr still trying to fool people on immigration - 07/16/08

Bob Barr has released a slightly more detailed immigration plan:, which I'll henceforth refer to as the Farcical Boob Bait For Bubba Plan That Has No Chance Of Ever Happening ("FBBFBPTHNCOEH").

Under the FBBFBPTHNCOEH, Barr would push through at least two Constitutional amendments: one to block illegal aliens from receiving K-12 education, and the other to end birthright citizenship. More generally, he wants to end non-emergency benefits to illegal aliens. He wants to end foreign language ballots and make English "the national language for government and official public business". He also wants to "secure the borders to the extent possible".

The biggest problems with the FBBFBPTHNCOEH is that few of his proposals have any chance of coming to pass. Moreoever, in those eight paragraphs he doesn't even hint what he intends to do about current illegal aliens. Based on his previous talking point - the same employed by Barack Obama, George W. Bush, John McCain and others - we have to choose between mass deportations and a massive amnesty. In other words, until he says otherwise, Bob Barr supports a massive amnesty for current illegal aliens. By giving that amnesty, Barr would give even more power inside the U.S. to those groups - including the far-left, business groups, and the Mexican government - who would vigorously (to say the least) oppose his other proposals.

Barr is just a dishonest hack, and his supporters would be wise to understand that now rather than before investing any time or money on his campaign.

UPDATE: On a WashTimes live chat, Barr sounded once again exactly like John McCain. Asked how his position differs from McCain, he says:

Immigration is certainly an important topic during this campaign season. To be certain, I do not support amnesty. Our immediate duty is to secure the borders quickly and efficiently. To enter our nation, you must identify yourself, prove you're not a criminal, prove you're not infectious and when you are in our country legally, you cannot receive any of the benefits from our system unless you're paying into them. Let me emphasize that we must end government benefits to those who enter our country illegally. Obviously, there is much more to address on this topic.

John McCain doesn't support amnesty either. No one does (unless they slip up). What they support is "earned legalization". Or, they "require undocumented workers to come out of the shadows". Or, some other euphemism for amnesty. A better question is going to need to be asked to show that, as he's said before, Barr wants to legalize current illegal aliens. And, when he refers to "those who enter our country illegally", he's referring to those who would enter *after* his amnesty.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry strongly supports illegal immigration - 01/12/07

Texas governor Rick Perry is closely following the George Bush playbook as he came out against attempts to prevent illegal aliens from taking Texas college tuition discounts from U.S. citizens. Some in Texas want to repeal the law he signed six years ago, and he's pledged to oppose their efforts. And, he's also revealed he's a liar:

Texas gov Rick Perry: no full fence, yes to anchor babies, guest workers - 12/09/06

From this:
...Republican Gov. Rick Perry earned applause from the crowd [at a meeting of the Texas Border Coalition] when he said strategic fencing along the border makes sense but the idea of a complete wall or fence is "preposterous."

Korean anchor babies and "birth tourism" - 12/09/05

In May 2002 the LAT reported on the phenomonon of "birth tourism": foreigners traveling to the U.S. specifically to have children. Those children would then automatically be declared U.S. citizens and could receive benefits and wouldn't be subjected to the home country's rules. And, once they reach 18, those citizens could then sponsor the whole family to come here as immigrants.

Obviously it's a scam and an attempt by people around the world to take advantage of us, but, since many of those people are non-white, "liberals" reflexively jump to defend this scam.

From "Korean moms want 'born in USA' babies" (link):
...One might say it is the ultimate gift that South Korean parents can give their newborns. Those who can cough up the $20,000 or so it costs are coming to the United States by the thousands to give birth so their newborns can have American citizenship.

Their reasons range from a desire to enroll their offspring in American schools to enabling them to avoid South Korean military service.

Los Angeles is the most popular destination because of its large Korean-speaking population, along with New York, Boston, Hawaii and even Guam. The practice is also believed to be popular among women from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

So many are doing it that a mini-industry has developed here of agencies that refer expectant mothers to travel agents, immigration lawyers, prenatal clinics, hospitals and even baby-sitters, arranging what are, in effect, package tours for pregnant women.

"From birth to citizenship," advertises one Korean-language Web site ( that helps women give birth in Los Angeles...

"If they could afford it, all my friends would go to the United States to have their babies," Kim said. "My biggest complaint about Korea is the educational system. In high school, you have to study past midnight or else you fall behind the others and can't get on with your life. And since the baby is a boy, I thought it would be a big gift for him not to be burdened with military service."

...South Korean-run Hana has three centers for expectant mothers in the Los Angeles area and last year opened an elegantly furnished postnatal facility called Larchmont Villa, in L.A.'s Koreatown, where women can stay until it is time to fly home. Their services include such conveniences as a private car for pickup at the airport and a guide to help get the baby a Social Security number and passport...
If he were ever asked, I have little doubt that Howard Dean would approve of this scheme.

More here.