A couple months ago I wrote a column titled:”Why Donald Trump is right about anchor babies”, (Aug. 2015).
The subject of anchor babies and illegal immigrants came up again recently in the republican party presidential debates on FOX Business Channel. Contenders Governors John Kasich and Jeb Bush both came down pretty hard on Trump and others who called for the deportation of both illegal immigrants and their children — even those born in the United States.
This brush up on the subject was renewed by an obnoxious and offensive television ad featuring children of foreign born parents who were here illegally taunting Donald Trump, and the rest of us, with foul language and taunts like “F*ck you, racist F*ck.” Nice, really nice.
Shortly after the debate another discussion occurred between Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor” with O’Reilly adamantly arguing that Trump had it all wrong; that babies born to illegal immigrant parents (mothers) in the United States were, in fact, American citizens. The Supreme Court has ruled thusly, he said, in two separate cases already.
O’Reilly who is usually fastidious on his research got this one wrong, however. As noted in my previous column, no such ruling was ever made regarding children born to women who entered this country illegally.
Moreover, as noted previously, the Fourteenth Amendment qualifies who it is referring to in its own text when it states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” and who are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” are American citizens. Why even include the words, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” if the words are little more than superfluous, rhetorical flourishes? The only logical reading and conclusion must be because not all persons born here are “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.
Indeed, I suspect a whole bunch of lawyers representing citizens of other nations living or doing business in the United States, legally or otherwise, might take issue with Mr. O’Reilly and others who claim that the United States has jurisdiction over another nation’s citizens and/or their property.
So what, then, of babies carried in the wombs of mothers who are here not legally but illegally. If the mother is subject to the jurisdiction of another nation what could possibly give the United States claim over her baby? Or her jewelry? Or suitcase?
Babies carried in their mother’s wombs are still living beings and, to the extent a baby can be considered property, the baby belongs to their mother. No state has the legal or moral right or authority to simply take a baby from its mother and declare it a new citizen separate from the mother’s birthright, creating in the process a situation where the mother and the baby become separate citizens from separate nations at the moment of birth. What if the mother wants to take her baby back to Mexico or Guatemala? Can a U.S. attorney intervene and claim kidnapping? Could the United States demand extradition of the baby back to the United States?
So where does that leave us? It leaves us not so much with a legal question, I believe, as with a moral and social one, especially for children born to women in this country illegally, whose children are now attending American schools, who might even be teenagers or college students. Do we send the mother back and keep their sons or daughters here?
It seems to me that the United States can’t just put aside its immigration laws, even though both democratic and republican administrations have not enforced them. Shame on both political parties. And we can’t just allow women to sneak into this country for the purpose of having their babies here and then claiming some type of legal status they never enjoyed. We do, after all, have some responsibility to those who are waiting to enter the United States legally and who do follow our laws.
Here’s my solution. I call it the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid ” option What’s that, you ask? Well, remember the movie of the same name? It was the scene where a gambler called out Butch Cassidy for cheating at cards — and Butch took offense. Butch was ready to draw on a nervous and soon to be dead gambler who almost learned too late just who it was that he challenged. How to get out of this dilemma? Hmmm…
The Sundance Kid stepped in and offered the hapless gambler an out: “Just tell him to have a nice day,” he said, referring to Butch who was ready to draw. “Huh”? the gambler asked. “Just wish him a nice day,” Sundance prompted. And so the gambler said, “Have a nice day, Mr. Cassidy.” When he said that Butch just rose, smiled, took his winnings and said “Thanks.” The crisis was resolved.
I have given this subject a lot of thought and I have no sympathy for those who broke our immigration laws and/or taunt us openly or behind the scenes. But to be fair neither did our government enforce its immigration laws. We created expectations that were undeserved, unlawful and cruel. Both side share some responsibility for this entire mess.
A penalty has to be paid, however, and if it isn’t immediate deportation, it must be something equally severe with deportation as an active option. To start, lets discount anything politicians say about having to learn English, pay a fine and back taxes and have no criminal record. That’s a ruse and it will never be enforced. So, that’s a non-starter.
I start with a simple proposition: all sides must admit that the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply, at least as far as children born to women who entered this country illegally. Neither are citizens of the United States.
I would under strict scrutiny allow those who entered this country illegally — and their children — to stay. That’s a BIG WIN for them. But I would allow it only under the following conditions:
First, they and their children should be required to be registered as foreigners, living in the United States under a special program created for this very purpose. No exception. Failure to register would mean immediate deportation.
Second, they would never be allowed to vote or hold federal or local public office, nor would their children. They are, after all, not American citizens. This would satisfy people like me who argue that this whole thing is nothing but a scheme by democrats to flood the country with new indoctrinated democratic voters.
Third, they would not be allowed to bring any relative into this country under existing laws governing relatives.
Fourth, any son or daughter who enters the military would, themselves, be entitled to apply for American citizenship.
Fifth, with the exception of parents who have severely handicapped children, emotionally or physically, all others must find work after a certain period of time.
Sixth, under no set of circumstances with the exception of the preceding handicap provision, would mothers be allowed to collect welfare or housing or food allowances or other benefits from either the state or federal government. This would have to be the responsibility of private charities. Mothers of young children would either have to self-deport or find non government assistance for themselves and their children. They could not become a burden on the state. They would be allowed, however, to collect social security if they pay into the system for a defined period.
Seventh, any mother, son or daughter with a criminal record would face deportation, but I would allow excerptions to this rule, excluding felonies.
Eighth, congress would have to pass a law making it a federal crime for cities to establish sanctuary cities that would subvert the intent and purpose of this new law.
Lastly, all those entering the country illegally afterward would face deportation. And any family under this program assisting, abetting or aiding in any way the breaking this law would face deportation.
That’s it. Harsh? Maybe. But the prize, the “have a nice day” would be granted — subject to the above limitations.
As for the courts, congress could define the due process protections allowed by the courts limiting such protections not to endless appeals, but rather to the question of whether the person brought before the court fits the category of person subject to deportation and if they do, that ends it. I would also allow agencies to act as courts in this area to speed the process along.
How serious are amnesty proponents if the right to vote is taken away? My guess is they would never buy it because amnesty is not the prize for them: indoctrination into the socialist democratic process is.