Amendment to limit citizenship outlandish
The Civil War was the bloodiest war ever fought by the U.S. to date. Until the Iraq war, U.S. casualties from the Civil War surpassed total U.S. casualties from all other wars. The end result was of the civil war the 14th Amendment, which has generated the basis for treatment of all minorities of race or culture under U.S. law.
The equal protection clause, the establishment of citizenship, the organization of representation and several other key items in arranging our government lie in the amendment.
Yet, there remains a faction in our government who firmly believe that some are people who should not gain access to the U.S.’s ‘golden door,’ and have filed, yet again, a piece of legislature denying citizenship to those who were born here.
HR1868 is not targeted legislatively to Hispanic immigrants, but when there are discussions about illegal immigration, the dialogue tends to take place as an immigrant cost issue in the South and as an anti-terrorism dialogue in the North.
At issue is the intent of the writers of the 14th Amendment. The amendment was created to essentially rewrite the portions of the constitution affected by emancipation – issues of citizenship and differing legal treatment – in effect, a reversal of the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision.
During every wave of immigration, factions within the U.S. have sought to exclude specific peoples from naturalization and achieving traditional citizenship.
The concern of being overrun and devoting resources to other cultures has risen from the Chinese immigration to the U.S., through the Irish and German immigration and now with the Hispanic immigration.
For almost a century post-American Revolution, Native American citizenship was also denied.
The impact of political trends on legislation is a fact of life, which is why we have a constitution to prevent abuse of the citizenry in the name of re-election.
Illegal immigration is also gathering a great deal of attention among conservative legislators. In an attempt to minimize the incoming wave of Hispanic immigrants from seeking legal entry and naturalization later, HR1868 was drafted to eliminate the likelihood of maternity tourism.
The concerns about illegal immigration are mostly economic when debated legislatively, focusing on jobs, undercutting of wages, welfare and schooling costs. But the rhetoric is far more disturbing.
Infants born to illegal immigrants are called ‘anchor babies’ or ‘jackpot babies,’ as a reference to the children making their families eligible for benefits under the welfare system of the U.S.
Yet, as the illegal immigration program continues, most illegal immigrants tend not to seek welfare as they are afraid of deportation. They tend not to sign their school-aged children up for free school lunches, and their welfare tends to rely upon community resources and below-minimum wage jobs.
Upon reaching the age of majority, immigrant-born children have the right to sponsor their parents and families for naturalization, but not before that.
The sponsors and backers of HR 1868 also decry this portion of immigrant rights.
The conservative political concern isn’t that of financial strain or flouting of the law, but is far more concerned that immigrants from all areas of the world tend to hold liberal policies.
Most Hispanic immigrants side with the Democratic Party and as more immigrants naturalize, they are voting.
At the end of the day, the legislative ‘anchor baby’ argument isn’t about the financial cost of illegal immigrants, but the political liability of millions of legal immigrant voters.
Shaista Mohammed is an anthropology and communication sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]