Amnesty is defined as the action of governments by which persons or groups who have committed a criminal offense of a political nature that threatens the sovereignty of a country, are granted total or partial, conditional or unconditional, immunity from prosecution for that crime. Amnesty law, the core of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, is not the solution to our illegal alien crisis, despite misguided claims from the Left. Indeed, past amnesty law dramatically increased illegal immigration, and any suggestion of new amnesty law only encourages more of the same, with illegals crowding into the country to get in under the wire at the prospect.
Even the potential for amnesty rewards lawlessness, penalizes legal immigrants & lawful citizens, leads to a dramatic increase in illegal alien immigration, contributes to the deterioration of American sovereignty, culture & language, undermines our socio-economic stability & growth, and promotes unchecked, single-party dominance, destabilizing our two-party political system. No Amnesty should be offered and no illegal aliens should ever be allowed to vote.
One of the key components of the current illegal immigration crisis is “birthright citizenship”, based on misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Section 1, where it says:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”
Based on this “Citizenship Clause”, even children born in the U.S. to illegal alien parents are currently considered citizens. This definition of birthright citizenship has led to the practice of foreign women crossing the border into the country illegally, for the sole purpose of giving birth to a child in an American hospital, so that baby would be a citizen of the U.S. and serve as an “anchor baby”, facilitating the legal immigration of the entire extended family, and, in turn, the extended families of each individual of the original extended family, and so on. Recent reports have found that, while illegal aliens comprise only 4% of the U.S. population, they account for more than 8% of babies born in the United States.1
Considering this rate of birth of anchor babies, the subsequent family members that will immigrate based on these births, and the current and projected rates of illegal immigration, the sheer numbers of illegal aliens constantly breeching our borders are overwhelming. There is a huge toll to be paid for this; the cost to American taxpayers and culture vastly outweighs any benefit from work done and taxes paid by illegals.2,3,4 Illegal aliens must not receive welfare, medical coverage, Social Security, or any other services at the expense of taxpayers, as this costs the public millions of local and federal dollars, and voraciously consumes local and national resources.
This clause of the 14th Amendment was intended to assure citizenship to the children of African-American, former slaves, in anticipation of Southern challenges to black citizenship rights. Many have the erroneous belief that birthright citizenship applies to all children born on U.S. soil. In fact, children of foreign diplomats born in this country are not U.S. citizens.5 Furthermore, the 14th Amendment was never intended to extend birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens. U.S. Senator Jacob M. Howard was the author of the 14th Amendment “Citizenship Clause”. During debate over this clause, Senator Howard confirmed that children born in the U.S. to foreign or alien parents were not birthright citizens. This was recorded in the Congressional Record of the time:
“This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the family of ambassadors, or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.”6
Congressional debate at the time also established that “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. meant that children born in the U.S. to parents who owed any allegiance to a country other than the U.S. (i.e. a foreign citizen), would not automatically be citizens. Congress was referring, in the 14th Amendment, to those who were completely subject to U.S. jurisdiction, those who would enjoy the full rights and shoulder the full responsibilities of a U.S. citizen, including being subject to military draft, voting and holding office, and being capable of being charged with treason. Illegal aliens simply do not meet this qualification.7
To fix the anchor baby portion of the illegal immigration crisis, it is not necessary to repeal the 14th Amendment, as some have proposed. Rather, congressional legislation could reaffirm the original intent of the “Citizenship Clause” and all children subsequently born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant mothers would retain their foreign citizenship, would no longer be birthright U.S. citizens and would no longer be able to serve as anchor babies.8
Immigration law mirroring federal statute was passed in Arizona in 2010, in response to a virtual invasion of illegals, with thousands of people crossing the border from Mexico each day. Other States have also noted an influx of illegals and are planning similar legislation. State immigration laws like Arizona’s are necessary when the government fails to uphold, and continues to delay, fulfilling federal obligations to provide border security and protection from violent illegals and foreign drug cartels.9,10 While Arizona went to great lengths to assure there would be no racial profiling and the law would meet constitutional muster, many, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, criticized the Arizona law as racist and unconstitutional, before admitting they had not yet read the law.
In fact, President Obama indicated to U.S. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona that he is holding border security hostage until he gets the necessary political cooperation to pass Amnesty law.11 In addition, rather than provide assistance to this embattled State, the Obama Administration, acting through the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, filed against the State of Arizona in federal court and was granted a stay of several key portions of the law. The injunction was reported to have been issued based on the Constitution’s “Supremacy Clause”, where, if there is overlap, federal statutes supersede those of the States. This temporarily halted meaningful implementation of the Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070, pending appeal.12
Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 4 of the Constitution grants power to the Congress to uniformly regulate “naturalization”, which is the process involved in a foreigner obtaining citizenship. However, since the power to regulate “immigration”, the relocation of foreigners into the U.S., is not granted to the federal government, this power, by default, belongs to the States. As such, Arizona and all other States in the Union, have the right and obligation to establish and enforce their own immigration laws.
Article 1, Section 10, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution clearly gives Arizona the right to wage a defensive “war” based on the imminent danger of the illegal immigrant invasion of Arizona and President Obama’s persistent delay in providing assistance:
“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress…engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Article 3, Section 2, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution organizes the judicial system, and determines that where a legal action involves a State, the Supreme Court is the only court where such actions can be tried:
“In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”
Having filed an invalid action in federal court and obtained an invalid ruling from a federal judge in regard to the State of Arizona, Mr. Holder finds himself in another awkward situation. Any action the federal government wants to take against Arizona, must be correctly tried only by the Supreme Court. Whether the federal or State government, in the end, takes responsibility for the border, it is essential that it be secured without delay. The imperative of border security is a key part of National Security and is heightened by the ease with which known terrorists can illegally traverse the border without detection, to infiltrate American society with murderous intent.
Some have proposed, as a solution to our illegal immigration crisis, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, which is Washington-speak for Amnesty. However, we have seen that Amnesty is no solution and would only worsen the problem. The key to a real solution is strengthening and enforcing current immigration law. If proper enforcement prevents U.S. employers from hiring illegal aliens, these jobs will “dry up” and illegal aliens, most of who came here to work, will pack up and go home without further incentive.
Those choosing to commit the crime of illegal immigration understand that family separation is an integral part of this choice. However, families should not be torn apart, if at all avoidable. Rather, as unemployed illegal aliens repatriate themselves, they are encouraged to keep their families intact by taking them along with. Serious consideration should also be given to advancing the legal immigration and naturalization of more highly-educated and skilled workers, if demand exists.
1. Jordan M. Illegal Immigrants Estimated to Account for 1 in 12 U.S. Births. The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, August 12, 2010. http://tinyurl.com/2cmgbp2
3. McNeill JB. Amnesty as an Economic Stimulus: Not the Answer to the Illegal Immigration Problem. May 18, 2009, The Heritage Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/25nyobo
4. Smith L. Immigration: Many Questions, A Few Answers. October 3, 2007, The Heritage Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/2gyz7rj
5. Gordon R. The Diane Rehm Show: The Debate Over Immigration and Birthright Citizenship. Case Western Reserve University School of Law News. http://law.case.edu/Home/News.aspx?id=807&content_id=57
6. Howard JM. The Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, Senate, 1st Session, May 30, 1866, p. 2890. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwcg.html
7. Feere J. Backgrounder: Birthright Citizenship in the United States, A Global Comparison. Center for Immigration Studies, August 2010. http://www.cis.org/birthright-citizenship.
8. Lee M. More Key Issues: Illegal Immigration. Mike Lee for U.S. Senate 2010. http://www.mikelee2010.com/
9. Archibald RC, Cooper H, Hulse C. Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration. April 23, 2010, New York Times. http://tinyurl.com/22q2h4b
10. Brewer J. Arizona Border Security Information: Brewer Letter to President Barack Obama on Immigration. April 6, 2010, Governor Jan Brewer’s website. http://azgovernor.gov/AZBorderSecurity.asp
11. FOXNews.com. Kyl: Obama Won’t Secure Border Until Lawmakers Move on Immigration Package. June 21, 2010. http://tinyurl.com/358m6au
12. Markon J, McCrummen S, Shear MD. Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070 – Judge Blocks Some Sections. July 29, 2010, The Washington Post. http://tinyurl.com/28ry299
2. Wagner PF, Amato D. The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Facts, Figures and Statistics on Illegal Immigration. http://tinyurl.com/ybtwl8s