Anchor Babies: illegal immigration via the birth canal
By JOHN REINIERS
Special to Hernando Today
Published: January 25, 2008
About every six months the population of the U.S. increases about as much as the population of Tallahassee. Who are these hundreds of thousands of new citizens? They are newborns, children of illegal aliens born in the United States — birthright citizens, \”anchor babies\” — not illegal aliens.
This quirky legal right then allows the mother\’s parents and siblings to remain, and later a whole bunch of their relatives to immigrate legally.( see chain immigration at Numbersusa.com
This why they are also known as “Jackpot babies.\”
Just consider Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, the second busiest maternity ward in the U.S. In 2006, 70 percent of the women giving birth in Parkland were illegal immigrants.
That added up to 11,200 babies for which Medicaid kicked in $34.5 million to deliver these babies, the feds another $9.5 million and Dallas taxpayers tossed in $31.3 million.
The average illegal patient is 25 years old and giving birth to her second anchor baby. We could also talk about California, but you get the point.
By law, illegal immigrants cannot be denied medical care based on their inability to pay or their immigration status. These women also receive free prenatal care, medication, car seats, bottles, diapers and formula.
The U.S. and a few other countries offer citizenship to anyone born on their soil. The United Kingdom and Australia abandoned this practice in the 1980\’s after being abused by immigrants for many years.
Why do we allow this to continue? The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the states wherein they reside…
It was added to our Constitution right after the Civil War as part of a package of reforms to prevent any more injustices to African Americans, such as states denying citizenship to native born Blacks. The drafters of the\” Citizenship clause\” made it clear from their debate, that the clause \”subject to the jurisdiction thereof\” meant that the status of the parents of a child born within the territory of the U.S. determines whether of not that child is eligible for U.S. citizenship.
There have been surprisingly few Supreme Court opinions construing this clause — the results being a mixed bag of decisions. The lawyer in me wants to go into detail, but let me be mercifully brief:
The latest case involved a terrorist who happened to be born in Louisiana, when his father, a native of Mecca, Saudi Arabia was working as an engineer for Exxon. He returned to Saudi Arabia as an infant, took up with al Qaeda as an adult, was captured during a battle in Afghanistan and wound up imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay.
The Supreme Court held that this Saudi, being Louisiana born, had a Due Process right as a citizen to challenge his detention as an enemy combatant. This ruling simply does not comport with any of the text or history surrounding the adoption of the Citizenship Clause. Just being born in the U.S. doesn\’t cut it, because such an interpretation renders the \”subject to the jurisdiction\” clause entirely redundant. It is a well settled doctrine of legal interpretation that legal texts — most certainly the Constitution — are not to be interpreted to make some words altogether redundant
. In other words why didn\’t the drafters just say, \”All persons born or naturalized in the United States …are citizens of the United States?\” (Imagine two terrorists — man and wife jihadis — slipping past border guards into a U.S. city to set up a terrorist cell. The wife then gives birth to a child. Should this budding young terrorist be an instant American citizen?)
Help could be on the way, but don\’t hold your breath. In 2007 Representative Nathan Deal, R-Ga., introduced H.R. 1940, The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007, which would end automatic citizenship to babies born in the U.S. to illegal aliens. For those Americans who look to Europe — the cradle of our American civilization — for guidance,
Ireland, in 2004 voted to end automatic citizenship.
That was the last member of the European Union to allow pregnant foreigners to gain residence and welfare benefits as a result of just being born there.
The political fallout of this bill could be enormous. Take California. Republican Governor Pete Wilson supported Proposition 187 in 1994 which was designed to deny illegal immigrants social services, such as welfare etc.
Latinos marched in protest; the issue wound up in the courts, was appealed, and Wilson\’s successor, a Democrat, abandoned the appeal. So it never became law. The media, social liberals and national Latino groups attacked Wilson — a highly successful governor, who got more votes than Ronald Reagan.
Well, that was the end of the Republican Party in California. And in 2008 California is even more Latino. (Just consider the multiplier effect of anchor babies.)
California Democrats still make snide remarks about Wilson\’s insensitivity towards Latinos. Interestingly, Hillary Clinton is courting Latinos in Nevada, just next door – even though they are in minority, but a growing slice of the voters — in order to influence California Latinos, the big enchilada.
It is estimated that about 1/3rd of California is already Latino, and they should be a majority by 2042.
So the larger issue for the Dems is, if they get behind H.R.1940, it could hurt them in California. But as of this writing, Latinos and Californication has not yet overwhelmed the entire U.S., which they want to win in 2008.
Patriotism is when the love of your own people comes first. Politics, for Democrats, is thinking of the next election, and not what is best the next generation of Americans. With that in mind, illegal aliens and their progeny will continue to be one more group on the list of Democrat constituencies.
John Reiniers, a regular columnist for Hernando Today, lives in Spring Hill.