Russell Pearce, the Republican Arizona politician that authored that state’s controversial illegal immigration law now wants to deny the children of illegal immigrants born in the United States automatic citizenship.
Such a law would run directly counter to the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states “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.”
The problem of course is that we all know that this amendment was specifically designed to protect blacks as they emerged from slavery. Those that passed the amendment probably never considered the question of children born to illegal immigrants.
This is a perfect example of why a "strict" interpretation of the Constitution, which would take into account only the original intent of the authors, makes absolutely no sense. The American Democratic Principle has always been if you’re born in the United States then you are an American Citizen, no ifs ands or buts about it. You must understand the principles behind the Constitution and apply them to new conditions and situations even if the authors never imagined such a condition or situation would arise.
It never ceases to amaze me that those that proclaim their patriotism the loudest and shout down any criticism of the country the quickest, even if that criticism may be justified, are the most likely to favor betraying the fundamental principles of the country.
The principles of the Separation of Church and State, Equal Protection Under the Law and an Independent Judiciary all suffer attacks from Right Wing so-called “patriots” who don’t like some of the implications of those principles. Now we’re going to propose scrapping another fundamental principle of our democracy because we don’t like the people that happen to be benefiting from it?
If the principles are worthwhile, then you have to stand by them even if sometimes they have unpleasant unforeseen consequences. Only a complete idiot undoes long term proven principles for short term benefit or convenience.
I sympathize with Arizona’s plight, and I think getting control of our borders needs to be a national priority. But let’s not start tearing apart everything that makes protecting our borders from illegal entry necessary. Sure, we could make this such a lousy place to live that no one wants to come here. That would solve the problem,