Sunday, June 11, 2006

Another Constitutional amendment being proposed by people calling themselves conservative

Congressional Republicans, trying to deflect the anger of American conservatives from their failure to control government spending, have been whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment. One idea being floated recently as part of that effort is that children born in the United States to illegal immigrants should no longer be granted American citizenship. Of course, this would require a Constitutional amendment, although people making the proposal do not seem to emphasize that fact.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution starts with the words: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Well, that is clear enough. All persons born in the United States are citizens. If you were born in the United States you have all the rights of citizenship and no one can take those rights away, no matter who your parents were or what they might have done.

Although the 14th Amendment was written to guarantee the rights of recently freed slaves after the Civil War it was a founding principle of our country that all persons are created equal. Unlike Europe, where the family or class into which someone was born could determine their place and status in society, in America people were judged by their own character and abilities, not who or what their parents might have been.

Now some people who call themselves "conservative" are proposing that the Constitution be amended to say that not all persons born in the United States are citizens, just the ones whose parents had the correct legal status at the time of their birth. Just what is it that these "conservatives" think that they are conserving? It does not appear to be the Constitution or the principles upon which this country was founded.

4 comments:

JM said...

Good points, all. I think many Americans are coming to the realization that currently the Democrats are a more classically conservative party than Republicans are. Keep up the good blogging!

Huck Finn said...

All the discussions about amendments to the Constitution are Republican attempts to, as I like to say, "split wood," or to drive a wedge issue into the political discussion.

The proposed amendment to ban gay marriage and this amendment are simply thrown into the mix to force a vote of a hot-button issue so that incumbents have a candidate stance on the issue come November.

These issues are very carefully chosen for their tactical value to polarize swing voters in one direction on a wedge issue topic, but these same issues are very strategically poor choices for the long-term health of the Constitution.

This is nothing but shortsightedness. Deficit spending, loose supplemental spending, domestic wiretapping, undocumented detention of enemy combatants, and the Patriot Act are all examples of shortsighted acts that chip away at the long-term viability of the Constitution.

I would openly mock the process by proposing amendments to ban federal wiretapping or to ban federal deficit spending.

paladin said...

I consider myself fairly well read, but I've never seen anything about this proposed constitutional amendment.

I noticed you provided no links. Where did you get your information?

Dave Barrett said...

paladin,
Google is your friend. There has been a lot of discussion of this.
Click here to search on 'born to illegal' in Google

You will notice that the people proposing this change do do not describe it as a Constitutional amendment but as clear as the Constitution is on this it should be obvious that only a Constitutional amendment would accomplish this change to the law.

If they do not have the votes for a Constitutional amendment they will probably pass a law and then condemn "liberal activist" judges who declare it unconstitutional -- turning reality completely on its head.