Immigration

A Birthright, and a Mess of Pottage

The misguided effort to remove birthright citizenship

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If two foreigners come here illegally and bear a child, the child automatically gains American citizenship. That fact drives some people around the bend. Last year, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said terrorists are sending pregnant women to have children on U.S. soil so they can "come back in 20, 25 years" to "blow us up."

Sure they are, congressman. And while they're here, they're putting LSD in the water supply. Unfortunately, the fear of "anchor babies," as they are known among anti-immigration activists, is spawning not only weird fantasies but actual legislation.

Earlier this month, a group of officials calling themselves "State Legislators for Legal Immigration" unveiled proposed legislation to deny state citizenship to children borne by illegal immigrants—and, for that matter, many foreigners residing here with the full blessing of our laws.

It says that to be a citizen of a given state, someone must be born here and have at least one parent who "owes no allegiance to any foreign sovereignty." By a strict reading, it would exclude the children of many naturalized citizens who retain citizenship in their native lands (as allowed in Canada, Britain, and Israel, among others). It would also bar those born to foreigners here on student visas—or even permanent resident aliens.

The group claims to support "legal immigration." But this measure would punish the legal along with the illegal. A child could be born here, have two U.S. citizen parents, and still be deprived of state citizenship.

The bill is most likely a grand exercise in irrelevance, since the Constitution leaves little room for legislating on this matter. The 14th Amendment says anyone born in this country (except to foreign diplomats) is a citizen of the United States and the state where they live. The feds can't prevent it, and neither can the states.

To deny birthright citizenship to the offspring of illegal immigrants, the opponents would have to do one of two things: persuade the Supreme Court to discard its longstanding interpretation or amend the Constitution. Neither is likely.

And what would the change accomplish? Nothing good. Illegal immigrants would keep coming—simply to get better jobs and lives. Plenty of them, after all, have arrived with children who are also illegal.

But Americans in an expectant mode would suddenly face a new, universal obligation. If being born here is no longer proof of citizenship, then all new parents will have the burden of demonstrating that their babies are actually Americans.

Right now, it's simple: A birth certificate showing you were born in this country settles it. (Well, unless you're Barack Obama.) But once that rule is gone, all parents—not just those who look or sound "foreign"—would have to prove their citizenship.

Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney in Anchorage, Alaska, says that is not always as easy as it sounds. She often gets clients who assume they are citizens only to learn they are not, and she often gets clients who believe they are not citizens but actually are.

"It usually takes an expert immigration lawyer an hour to get through everything to find out," she told me. So intricately complex are the laws, she says, that "there are only a few hundred lawyers in the country who have the expertise to do it." For them, the repeal of birthright citizenship would be a full-employment act.

How complex are the laws? So complex that Obama might be a citizen even if he had been born in Kenya (which, let me emphasize, he was not). So complex that Winston Churchill, whose mother was American, could also have claimed citizenship.

Of course, you can always ask the kindly folks at the Department of Homeland Security to make the determination for you. But that option, says Stock, "is $600, it usually takes a year to do it, and they often make mistakes. Hundreds of people who are citizens have been told they're not, and hundreds of people who are not have been told they are."

Ultimately, she predicts, we would need a national citizen's registry, a national ID card, and a host of federal employees to administer them. In the end, a lot more people would be subject to the unpredictable judgments of a distant bureaucracy.

Less comprehensible laws, administered by a larger and more powerful government? Consider it your birthright.

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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  1. Good morning reason.

    Happy Martin Luther King Day!

    1. “Happy Martin Luther King Day!”

      Another great government holiday for our over worked government “workers”.

  2. You are being silly. The process would not be hard to implement, particularly if you grand-fathered everyone in. All you would need to do is have whomever is creating the birth certificate check the mother’s ID. If she is a citizen or permanent resident, we are done. If someone is claiming to be an American solely based on the father’s status, then this would require a paternity test with a cost of ~$600. That’s a pretty small price to pay for citizenship.

    1. Chad… Forever optimistic about the implementation of additional bureaucracy and the smooth and able running thereof.

      You make me sick.

      1. LC, every country on earth that’s a desirable place to live (outside of the US and Canada) has eliminated the anchor baby loophole. Providing a single additional document after the birth actually isn’t that much bureaucracy. Do you think we should ban driver’s licenses because you hate the DMV?

        You disgust me.

        1. Re: Cato Balls,

          LC, every country on earth that’s a desirable place to live (outside of the US and Canada) has eliminated the anchor baby loophole.

          Desirable place for whom? Not me.

          Just because some other governments play this yet another merchantilist iteration does not mean they are worthy of following.

          The “anchor baby” issue is a red herring – the so-called “baby” has to become 18 before he or she can ask for his or her parents to become residents. That kind of investment requires a LOT of patience.

          1. It’s desirable enough for a lot of semi-literate chubby southern Mexican broads.

            And of course, in reality the parents of anchor babies are almost never deported. But you know that already.

            Maybe you want to finance the education, schooling, health care and feeding of these foreign parasites; I don’t.

            1. no course not. u just benefit fm their cheap labor but pretend otherwise. another dimbulb too far fm the food chain.

              1. Anchor baby moms don’t have to work, so I don’t benefit at all. We would benefit from a guest worker program that doesn’t let in welfare leeches.
                Another moronic reasonoid licking the testes of Cato.

                1. “Anchor baby moms don’t have to work…”

                  That’s an interesting theory. Do you have any data to back it up, or did you pull this bullshit idea directly from your ass?

                2. Re: Cato Balls,

                  Anchor baby moms don’t have to work, so I don’t benefit at all.

                  So your argument is an appeal to collectivism, then? Either it helps all or helps none?

                  We would benefit from a guest worker program that doesn’t let in welfare leeches.

                  Maybe “we” would benefit MORE if “we” do without welfare. How about that?

                3. Guest workers ok, but new citizens not ok?

                  Why is it that subverting immigration policy is ok when corporate interests benefit?

                  I don’t know that I really want the country importing disposable humans from abroad.

                4. MWG, no I pulled it from yours smelly one. If the US government no longer provides welfare, foodstamps and other free (for them) social services to anchor baby moms, prove it.

                  1. Prove a negative? You failed logic 101.

            2. Normally, I wouldn’t respond to such a raging racist/dumbass, but Old Mexican is a regular poster here and I challenge you to find an example of him advocating the use of force to collect money for others’ education, health care, or anything else.

              1. Atanarjuat, aren’t you the PC resonoid sheep, good boy there. Glad I pissed you off. And I’m sure you’d really want to live a state with no /minimal social welfare programs.

                So our choice is no government at all or provide welfare to rest of the world. Nice.

            3. Re: Cato Balls,

              It’s desirable enough for a lot of semi-literate chubby southern Mexican broads.

              Gather your thoughts, CB. You said “every country on earth (outside of the US and Canada)”, which EXCLUDES the US and Canada! Most chubby southern Mexicans do not migrate to Sweden or New Zealand.

              And of course, in reality the parents of anchor babies are almost never deported. But you know that already.

              Yes, they are deported – if they’re caught.

              Maybe you want to finance the education, schooling, health care and feeding of these foreign parasites; I don’t.

              I don’t want to finance the education, schooling and healthcare of your kids either, CB, as that would make them parasites as well.

              1. Couldn’t have said it better. I mean really, how is an American welfare case any less of a parasite?

                1. Most American mothers have paid a substantial amount of taxes before giving birth, whether they’re poor or not, whereas a Mexi broad who crosses the Rio Grande and pops out 3-5 anchor babies and survives off their welfare payments contributes nothing.

                  1. “…whereas a Mexi broad who crosses the Rio Grande and pops out 3-5 anchor babies and survives off their welfare payments contributes nothing.”

                    Your breath stinks… oh wait… you’re speaking out your ass. Many illegal immigrants do pay taxes. They work using fake SS#s and therefore pay into a number of systems (Think SS and Medicaid) from which they’ll never see a benefit. You know very little about the current immigration ‘system’, that much is obvious.

                    1. ^^ MWG is a retarded inbred shithead.

        2. Most of those countries have single-payer healthcare schemes, so we should do that too.

          1. ^ This is where statist conservatives meet the liberal left.

        3. Having the 14th amendment is better than not having anchor babies. That is all.

      2. I’m not against immigration, but if you’re coming to America you should do it legally. It’s like the speed limit, if I speed a cop turns me over. Well, I’m sick of the INS catching and releasing illegals as if they were fish. I’m sick of our government not finishing the damn sense. I’m sick of Hispanic activist groups that demand we don’t wear old glory on Cinco de Mayo which isn’t even a holiday in Mexico. I’m sick of “para espanol, apriete dos.” Every other country enforces their immigration laws, in Mexico an immigrant who participates in a political protest is deported. In America, a politician can’t overpaid a stupid Mexican maid with a horrible accent without getting in trouble.

        Freedom isn’t free, people. Perhaps you’ll get it when you have to pay more taxes so Juanita and her 8 kids can get a public education.

        Or maybe we can make a deal with Mexico, let’s send them our unemployed to Mexico. Good luck, they’ll have to learn Spanish and follow the law. Even the corrupt Mexicans enforce their laws, go figure.

        http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..s-are.html

  3. So let me get this straight, LC. like every misguided libertarian, you are for open boarders? Moron.
    No wonder the Libertarian Party is forever destined to be a backwater, no growth organization. Go back to your bong and chill out.

    1. I’ll take “False dichotomies and ad hominems” for $200, Alex.

    2. Shouldn’t you be in your basement, masturbating to the Turner Diaries, Johnny?

    3. Open boarders? Since when did room and board become an issue?

      1. JohnD is willing to hit the barricades for his 3rd Amendment rights.

      2. #2 your shit is funny

      3. Isn’t room and board practically the only issue? When citizenship was just about the freedom to move past arbitrary lines and have representative government, it was easy enough to invite in the poor, weary, huddled masses. Now there’s reason to be wary, because citizenship is seen as a claim check for your fellow citizens’ stuff. Even universal health care proponents never actually want universal health care – who thinks they can afford to take care of 7 billion people?

    4. Chillax, John. It seems as though one of us is in desperate need of a bong hit, and it’s not me. Are you a bureaucrat and did I offend you and your precious occupation?

      Where in my short post did you read anything about open borders? My comments were directed at the additional increase in federal employees a system which Chad suggests would entail. My comments were also directed at Chad…. because he’s a douche.

      So, in conclusion, John, go stick a dick in your ear.

      1. How about the far larger additional increase in federal employees to provide free welfare, K-12 schooling and food stamps to the anchor baby? And before you say you don’t support those gov’t programs either, concede that as long as we have them we shouldn’t provide them to foreign parasites.

        Also your breath smells.

        1. Why distinguish between foreign and domestic parasites?

          1. Good luck repealing the welfare state. I at least don’t want to provide welfare for the rest of the world.

            1. At least I don’t want to deny the right of Americans (and everyone else) to hire, house or put up with anyone they want to.

            2. I do. The sooner the welfare state collapses the sooner we can move on to freedom.

    5. Excellent comment. Some libertarians are simple minded and believe that we need more fucking idiots in our country. We can produce all the idiots we “need.

      1. Also some people believe that the right to travel is a fundamental human right, and that the state’s claim to territory is bullshit, and that if X wants to employ or rent property to Y, X’s neighbour has no right to stop him.
        But that’s just some people.

        1. Yes, and some people eat shi!

          1. should read “shit!”

            1. Re: Realist,

              Hey, I know a few who eat “shi”. I know a few who eat “cro.” No need to correct yourself.

          2. A thrilling and convincing counter there. I’ll just toddle off and go soak my head.

    6. Hispanics will become a majority within my lifetime. Odds are, they won’t be voting Republican when that happens.

      1. We can only hope!

      2. I’ve seen this argument before here at reason. It’s somewhat strange as this is a libertarian site and you’ll find few republican sympathizers here.

      3. Gee, go figure.

        Hispanics tended to be more pro-Republican before the GOP went all anti-immigrant on their asses.

        They tend to be much more religious and tend to be more socially conservative than the population at large(esp anti-abortion and anti-gay). It’s not like they’re exactly a natural fit for the Blue crew.

  4. Cue the sheep.

    1. Sheep! Where?

  5. I wasn’t mentioned in this article? I’m in favor of repealing the 14th Amendment.

    Why isn’t my opposition to the Federal Reserve a popular issue?

  6. I wasn’t mentioned in this article? I’m in favor of repealing the 14th Amendment.

    Why isn’t my opposition to the Federal Reserve a popular issue?

    1. cause u keep repeating urself

      1. oh lol i c whut u did there!

        ur funny OO glad u post here

    2. Re: Ron Paul,

      I wasn’t mentioned in this article? I’m in favor of repealing the 14th Amendment.

      No, you are not.

      Why isn’t my opposition to the Federal Reserve a popular issue?

      A popular issue with whom? The People? It is. The banksters and their enablers in the Dems and Repubs? It is not.

  7. Instead of spending money on a cruise, perhaps Reason could have spent a few bucks and hired a decent writer. Even when I agree with Chapman, I cringe when reading him.

    So complex that Obama might be a citizen even if he had been born in Kenya (which, let me emphasize, he was not).

    Let me emphasize? Let me be clear? When people say this, don’t they usually follow with bullshit? Doesn’t it really mean “Ok, pulling this out of my ass but I really want you to believe it”? I am not saying I think that Obama was born in Kenya, but how would Chapman’s emphasizing it matter? Because he is an expert? He was there personally? Because he is a hack and thinks that writing “let me emphasize” (the internet equivalent of writing in all caps) is a convincing “argument”?

    1. I feel like this is pointed out in every Chapman article comment thread, but apparently folks never remember it, so I’ll say it once again: Chapman is a syndicated columnist and a member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board. He writes his articles for publication in mainstream papers, so he’s not writing to a libertarian audience. Sometimes I wonder why his articles are reprinted here (since he usually IS singing to the choir here) but it’s not like he makes his living writing for Reason.

    2. Marshall, to follow on what CMS said, I think Chapman simply wanted to point out that he wasn’t in agreement with the Birthers.

  8. European countries got rid of birthright citizenship decades ago, and it hasn’t caused any mass confusion or panic.

    I’ve lived in Germany for many years, and it’s very simple: First, everyone born there gets a birth certificate, whether there legally or illegally. Second, to get a citizenship document/passport, you simply have to show that one of your parents were citizens or were residing in the country legally when you were born. It’s not that hard. And it makes a hell of a lot of sense.

    1. I think the point is not whether it would be workable, but whether it could be adopted without amending the Constitution. Those who seek to abolish birthright citizenship argue that those who drafted the 14th Amendment defined “under the jurisdiction of the United States” to mean something more than simply being born here. That is the issue that needs to be explored further. I do not say at this point that the opponents of birthright citizenship are correct; I am saying that this issue needs analysis.

      I seem to recall numerous articles on this website about the “privileges and immunities’ clause of the 14th Amendment, how the Supreme Court misinterpreted that clause over a century ago, and how the current Supreme Court should overrule that mistaken precedent and interpret the clause as the drafters intended. If that is true, shouldn’t the same reasoning be applied to the “under the jurisdiction” clause (assuming that the drafters did attribute a specific meaning to that clause)?

      1. “Congress shall make no law” has been interpreted to mean “Congress shall make any law”, and “shall not be infringed” has been interpreted to mean “shall be infringed”.

        So why can’t “No State shall make or enforce any law” be interpreted to mean “Any state shall make or enforce any law”?

      2. I think the point is not whether it would be workable, but whether it could be adopted without amending the Constitution.

        That’s sooo 19th century.

        All we have to do is get a few black robes to change their mind.

        Worse case, we propose an expansion of the supreme court to get influence the hold outs.

      3. No Number 2, it doesn’t have to be “explored further.” It just has to be followed as the amendment’s drafters intended, voted on by the Senate and ratified by the states to mean at it’s inception.

        From the Senate debates:

        In 1866, Senator Jacob Howard (author of the jurisdiction clause) clearly spelled out the intent of the 14th Amendment by stating: “Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”

        This understanding was reaffirmed by Senator Edward Cowan, who stated: “[A foreigner in the United States] has a right to the protection of the laws; but he is not a citizen in the ordinary acceptance of the word…”

        Senator Lyman Trumbull, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, elaborated: “What do we mean by ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of the United States? Not owing allegiance to anyone else. That is what it means … It cannot be said of any (one) who owes allegiance … to some other government that he is ‘subject’ to the jurisdiction of the United States.”

        Additionally, Congress subsequently passed a special act to grant full citizenship to Native Americans, who were not citizens even through they were born within the borders of the United States. The Citizens Act of 1924, codified in USC S1401, provides that: The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
        (a) a person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
        (b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe.

        Before this law was passed, a Native American did not have automatic citizenship, even if he/she abbrogated their tribal ties/affiliation.

        I think we would have less problems with constitutional “interpretations” if we would follow this advice: “On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed” — letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823 from Thomas Jefferson.

        1. “Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.”

          I am persistently surprised by people quoting this as though it means that foreign residents’ children are not citizens when it so clearly says that they are.

          Here, let me write it clearer for you, replacing commas with dashes:

          This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners — aliens — who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.

          Does that make it more obvious what he was saying? Feel free to offer a different way to diagram this sentence so it has the meaning you ascribe to it. You need to explain the lack of an “or” before what appears to me to be a qualifier on “foreigners” as well as the wildly inclusive final phrase.

      4. So if immigrants aren’t born under US jurisdiction, I suppose the US has no legal claim to deport them…

      5. The point that you’re all missing is that nobody really understands what the 14th Amendment means anyhow. It’s confusing, because it was written 100 years ago.

      6. “Those who seek to abolish birthright citizenship argue that those who drafted the 14th Amendment defined “under the jurisdiction of the United States” to mean something more than simply being born here”

        I think the only reasonable reading is that the clause means something other than just being born here. In contrast, your reading would render the 14th amendment as:

        All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and simply being born here…

        I don’t think that is an sensible interpretation. Clearly the “and” clause means “and something else I haven’t mentioned previously”, not “and I’m going to repeat the previously mentioned condition for no apparent reason”.

      7. “Subject to the jurisdiction thereof…” isn’t the same thing as “under the jurisdiction.” Obviously, if you come to the US, you must obey the laws there, and if you commit a crime, you are under the local jurisdiction with regard to that crime. (I’m of course talking about average shlubs, not foreign sovereigns, their ambassadors, or others with diplomatic immunity, who clearly are explicitly excused from being under local jurisdiction during their stay in a foreign land.)

        But if some other country has legal claim to you as citizen or subject — if it could, for example, draft you into its military, force you to pay taxes on income earned outside of its borders, or could plausibly demand your extradition on charges of treason — then you are not “subject to the Jurisdiction of the U.S.”

        Minor children are normally presumed to be citizens/subjects of their parents’ country or countries, unless some exceptional circumstance negates or modifies that circumstance. This makes perfect sense. The children of tourists and foreign dignitaries, who are born on US soil, should be treated as if they were born on their parents’ homesoil, for purposes of citizenship. For children to be treated as US citizens, their parents should first enter the country legally and swear exclusive allegiance to the US. In that way, they and their children later born here, would no longer be subject to foreign jurisdiction. To confer US citizenship for merely being born here is, as far as I can see, to abuse the 14th Amendment, against the express intentions of its authors. The Supreme Court erred in “interpreting” the 14th as to provide for blanket birthright citizenship, and this error needs to be corrected.

        I don’t mind if peaceful, law-abiding people come here and stay as long as the want. I think the current immigration process is excessively burdensome and arduous, and that people DO have the right of travel (though the nation has the power to eject foreigners for cause). But I don’t think the Constitution provides for birthright citizenship.

    2. I love how conservatives hate implementing anything vaguely European except for immigration policies. Why would we want to copy European immigration policies when we’re far more successful at integrating immigrants than European countries?

      1. Can I send you the bill for the anchor babies from a single city, say LA? A majority of children born there are to illegals. I think you should pay for their K-12 schooling, food stamps, welfare and in-state tuition since you care so much for them.

        Maybe taxpayers could check a box on their income tax if they want to finance the children of illegals and birth tourists?

        1. Only if I get the returns from it as well. You know the money saved from cheaper construction, agriculture, landscaping, lower restaurant bills, etc. Also, were it not for tighter border security, there’d be less of an issue with what were formerly seasonal workers bringing their family across the border. Greater freedom of movement would mean that seasonal workers would stay in the us during the high harvest season and head home when demand was lower. However, because it’s harder to get in, they settle here and bring their families.

          Every issue you bring up is an issue of the welfare state, not birthright citizenship.

          1. Re: Mo,

            Greater freedom of movement would mean that seasonal workers would stay in the us during the high harvest season and head home when demand was lower. However, because it’s harder to get in, they settle here and bring their families.

            You receive the “Hit Nail On Head” award, Mo. The above is the VERY REASON immigrants try to come in with family and all. If it were easy to come and go, only the workers would come, not whole families.

            It USED to be easy, as work visas were issued more liberaly or, at least, border control was more lax. Workers would come and go, send their remittances home, and not worry much about not being able to come back. NOW the risks have enticed workers to migrate FOR GOOD, family and all. Thank the US Gov and people’s economic illiteracy (i.e. mercantilism) for that.

          2. Try guest worker program. Anchor baby moms don’t have to work. And most illegals come from a single middle income neighbor. Not fair.

            1. Re: Cato Balls,

              Try guest worker program. Anchor baby moms don’t have to work. And most illegals come from a single middle income neighbor. Not fair.

              Not readable. Try writing cogently.

  9. I didnt read the article, just the blurb, but I dont see why supporting a constitutional amendment would necessarily be a bad thing.

    Heck, I support a constitutional amendment to overturn the 16th and 17th amendments. Its not going to happen. Is that misguided?

    1. If that’s wrong, I don’t ever want to be right.

      1. dont worry bout that brett

  10. Just let the parents choose the child’s citizenship, like they choose child’s name. The child could later have name or citizenship legally changed.

    1. As citizen and king of Nickland (which happens to be wherever I am at any given time, let it be known, I am not subject to the United States income tax.

      I like this idea, Polly!

  11. Last year, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said terrorists are sending pregnant women to have children on U.S. soil so they can “come back in 20, 25 years” to “blow us up.”

    Since when is Congress worried about the consequences 20 years down the line of actions taken now?

    1. gohmert also wants to carry weapons on the house floor. a tin foil hat idea if there ever was one.

      1. It is his inherent natural right to defend himself (and thus bear arms) everywhere, even on the House floor.

        1. only to wingnuts.

        2. So in all those Wild West towns that required you to check your weapon at the gate… they were violating people’s inherent natural rights?

          Where did this ridiculous notion that guns shouldn’t be regulated come from? Certainly not anywhere in American history.

          1. Re: Tony,

            So in all those Wild West towns that required you to check your weapon at the gate… [were they] violating people’s inherent natural rights?

            This is obviously off-topic, but here it goes:

            Yes. They were.

            Where did this ridiculous notion that guns shouldn’t be regulated come from? Certainly not anywhere in American history.

            Comes from the non-aggression principle. “Regulating” something means initiating aggression against a person’s property or actions. People’s past actions do not inherently justify
            future actions.

          2. “Shall not be infringed” means shall not be infringed. “Well-regulated” in 1789 meant “in proper working order.” 1789 is a significant year in the American history you wish were different. You see, it’s the year the Constitution was written.

            1. I’ve read (I cannot remember where, but I know I had at least two sources when I wrote a paper on it in college) that the term “well regulated” in the Second meant “well trained.”

      2. As long as he promises to only use it against other Representatives, I’m for it.

    2. Fuck! That was my goddamned plan!

  12. Let’s have an article on free dope for the stoners.

    1. If we don’t provide free dope to the undocumented stoners who contribute to America then it’ll be racist! We must finance their dope. A white man from the Cato Institute told me so!

    2. Good idea, Dave!

  13. It would also bar those born to foreigners here on student visas ? or even permanent resident aliens.

    That’s the idea, because people should go through the process of becoming citizens before they dare procreate…

    1. If that was in place 40 years ago, then Michelle Malkin, an anchor baby herself, wouldn’t have been a natural born US citizen.

      1. Re: Matt,

        Indeed. Malkin is like a NYC taxicab driver: She does not want the competition, so she is willing to lobby to price migrants out of the market.

        1. I think we should have open borders so that the average American will see their wages drop to $15 a day. And see our double population in 2-3 years. Who wants to help me build a fence around my property?

          1. Re: Cato Balls,

            I think we should have open borders so that the average American will see their wages drop to $15 a day.

            Sure, as the average American also mows someone else’s lawns and does someone else’ dishes.

            Did I say people in the U.S. are affected by a total lack of economics literacy? I seem to have found actual evidence of it…

          2. I think we should have open borders so that the average American will see their wages drop to $15 a day.

            Old Mexican already pointed out how wrong this is. The average American sees his wage rise due to immigration, as it affords him greater specialization of his labor.

            But, just to bring up a subtlety that is often missed, both immigrants and Americans can see their respective average wages rise, while the average wage in the nation as a whole falls.

            1. Complete BS, unless you seriously believe construction workers and food processing workers are going to become biologists and programmers. If that was true there wouldn’t be a term “rust belt.”

              I do hope that a Mexi, Chinaman or Indian can do your job for a quarter of the money you get paid though.

              1. Construction and food processing workers don’t constitute the average American.

                And you indeed should hope that someone else can do my job for a quarter of my pay. That means the product of that work is cheaper for you to buy so you can buy more of it or buy more of something else.

                Making the same stuff for lower cost is how people get wealthier.

  14. Folks, it’s very simple. The 14th amendment was created to protect the children of slave, it was not intended to create anchor-babies that later legalize their illegal parents.

    We have immigration laws, it’s time to start enforcing them. It’s not a question of imitating Europe, it’s a question of doing what’s right for us.

    My best friend is a legal immigrant who spent $20,000 between different visas until he got his greencard, so don’t tell me about no Dream Act or birthright citizenship for the offspring of illegals. Do it legally or don’t do it at all.

    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

    1. Re: Gregory Smith,

      Folks, it’s very simple. The 14th amendment was […] not intended to create anchor-babies that later legalize their illegal parents.

      The legal precedent of birth-right citizenship comes from British Common Law, which established as a matter of COMMON SENSE that people belonged to the land that saw them being born.

      Besides this, wouldn’t it be the point letting people who are allegedly in this country illegaly to become legal? Last I saw, it is LEGAL for a US citizen to ask the US Gov to grant a greencard for his or her parents.

      We have immigration laws, it’s time to start enforcing them.

      Birthright citizenship is LEGAL, GS.

      It’s not a question of imitating Europe, it’s a question of doing what’s right for us.

      You’re NOT imitating Europe: the European countries let immigrants come in jsut to keep them unemployed so they can riot and overturn cars. People in the US are at least nominally free to hire undocumented workers.

      My best friend is a legal immigrant who spent $20,000 between different visas until he got his greencard, so don’t tell me about no Dream Act or birthright citizenship for the offspring of illegals. Do it legally or don’t do it at all.

      $20,000.00 is a lot of money. So what you’re saying is that citizenship should be rewarded to whoever brings more loot to the U.S. Gov?

      1. Actually birthright citizenship under English common law came about because the Crown wanted as many subjects as possible to tax. People weren’t citizens at birth they were subjects who owed allegiance directly to the King.

        1. Re: IceTrey,

          Actually birthright citizenship under English common law came about because the Crown wanted as many subjects as possible to tax.

          And since politicians are against taxing people, that explains why they want to end birthright citizenship… Hmmm…. That does not read right.

          Citizens are taxed, so let’s end birthright citizenship…. Wait. Citizens are taxed…. then…. wait. I don’t get it: Even with all my hatred for taxation, I find the argument against birthright citizenship not cogent: what IS the main argument from politicians against birthright citizenship if, I would assume, politicians WANT to tax as many as possibe?

          1. There was no direct taxation of citizens in the Constitution originally. That didn’t come until 1913, 45 years after the ratification of the 14th.

      2. Don’t the lawyers get most of that 20K?

      3. America repudiated the concept of irrevocable birthright citizenship (subjecthood) as early as the Declaration of Independence. The idea of birthright citizenship undercut the claims that the US “by rights” ought to be a free and independent nation. You should, our founders said, be able to renounce previous citizenship or subjecthood, and transfer your allegiance to a new sovereign entity, at will.

        In the 19th century, the 14th Amendment appeared, and was later interpreted by the courts to provide for “birthright citizenship,” falling back to the common law principle that, had it been upheld at the beginning of the nation, would have seen us all be Canadians, or at least fellow members of the British Empire.

    2. anchor-babies that later legalize their illegal parents.

      Ok, but not until the baby turns 21, and even then the parents would be ineligible if they’ve continued living in the US illegally.

      Do it legally or don’t do it at all.

      Well, it’s really just “don’t do it at all,” since the vast majority of foreigners (especially those in Latin America) have no legal alternative under our laws. I’m not trying to defend people who enter the country illegally, but the “they should get in line and do it legally” argument doesn’t hold up.

    3. We have stupid immigration laws that are unenforceable and need to be changed. It sucks that your friend had to go through all of that bullshit, but that doesn’t mean that it is right tot make all immigrants do so.

    4. Do it legally or don’t do it at all.

      http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

      Was libertarians4statism.blogspot.com taken?

      1. How am I a statist? I support the law, not the state, perhaps you’re an anarchist?

        Read this article and call me a statist.
        http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..s-are.html

        1. Is that the right article? That’s some blurb about how black Republicans are less segregated than black Democrats. What does it have to do with not being a statist?

          I support the law, not the state…

          You support crimes without a victim — i.e., crimes against the state — whose enforcement violates individual rights on a massive scale.

          That is not 4freedom at all.

          1. What are you? One of those John Lennon “imagine there’s no borders” types? Do you want America to become like China? Is 300 million not enough? Have you lived in Miami?

            By the way, when an illegal alien kills an American is that a victimless crime? Is that what you’re going to tell the family of some Arizona rancher who got killed by illegal aliens? That his death was victimless? Not all illegal aliens pick oranges, you know. Some are drug smugglers, pedophiles, crooks, vagrants, etc. So enforcing immigration laws and protecting the borders would keep us safe from foreign-born criminals, after all, we have plenty of American criminals to deal with, we don’t need anymore.

            1. No, I am not a John Lennon “imagine there’s no borders” type. I fully recognize that the institutions on the US side of the border are superior to those on the other side of the border. I do not want to eliminate the border.

              What I do want to eliminate is the abrogation of individual rights to travel, work, and live where a person can find suitable arrangements — regardless of what side of whatever border that may be.

              Borders are the limits of government sovereignty. They should not be the limits of either trade or migration.

              1. First of all, don’t use a progressive term like migration. There’s legal immigration and illegal immigration. If I go to your home and take a dump in your pool, am I not trespassing? The same goes for the illegals crossing the border, they are trespassers and as we say in the south. “Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.”

                Our constitution says nothing about the right to work. Our declaration of independence mentions the right to PURSUIT happiness, not the right to be happiness or to get it.

                So don’t tell me that a bunch of criminals, and yes, crossing the border illegally is a federal crime, deserve to have the same rights I do.

                1. “If I go to your home and take a dump in your pool, am I not trespassing? The same goes for the illegals crossing the border, they are trespassers and as we say in the south.”

                  Wrong. The US is more like a BIG apartment/condo complex. Who I have over to my house is really none of your damn business regardless of where they come from.

                  “Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.”

                  What a surprise. You’re a statist that wants our border to look like N. Korea/China.

                  “Our constitution says nothing about the right to work.”

                  Of course the constitution says nothing about the “right to work”. It puts limits on what the govt. can do. It doesn’t spell out our rights… neither does the declaration of independence for that matter.

                  “So don’t tell me that a bunch of criminals, and yes, crossing the border illegally is a federal crime, deserve to have the same rights I do.”

                  You’re speaking out your ass now.
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDo-ZVK4dc0

                  So much for inalienable rights.

                  1. “What a surprise. You’re a statist that wants our border to look like N. Korea/China.”

                    —So if Hitler drinks a glass of water does that mean drinking water is bad?

                    Fine, if you think illegal immigration works, move to Los Angeles or one of those dangerous border towns, see for yourself if it works. Oh, and you better learn Spanish, a lot of those illegals don’t like speaking English so ordering a taco can be quite frustrating.

                    1. “So if Hitler drinks a glass of water does that mean drinking water is bad?”

                      You’re comparing drinking water to shooting people crossing the border? I think you’ve missed the point. You want the govt. to have enough power that it can shoot on sight people crossing the border. Yea, you’re a statist.

                      “Fine, if you think illegal immigration works, move to Los Angeles or one of those dangerous border towns, see for yourself if it works. Oh, and you better learn Spanish, a lot of those illegals don’t like speaking English so ordering a taco can be quite frustrating.”

                      Um… I live in Phoenix and I a little bit of Spanish, though I have a thick Portuguese accent.

                    2. “You’re comparing drinking water to shooting people crossing the border? I think you’ve missed the point. You want the govt. to have enough power that it can shoot on sight people crossing the border. Yea, you’re a statist.”

                      —Well, you’re the one who compares border security with North Korea. I compare it to Israel, they used to have a problem with suicide bombings and then they built a wall, put lots of checkpoints, and now I can’t recall the last time they had a suicide bombing.

                      Border security is not statism. In fact, it’s big business establishment Republicans and union-loving democrats that are looking for the cheap later and future votes that wetbacks provide.

                      Face it, kiddo, libertarian doesn’t mean anarchism. Mi casa no es su casa, you hear? Unless America decides to invade Mexico and make it our 51st state, we ought to enforce our immigration laws.

                      “Um… I live in Phoenix and I a little bit of Spanish, though I have a thick Portuguese accent.”

                      —Kidnapping capital of America, thanks to illegal aliens and their smugglers.

                2. First of all, don’t use a progressive term like migration.

                  Progressive term? It’s a completely neutral term. I want people to be able to migrate wherever they want and can find suitable arrangements. Whether that is immigration, emigration, interstate migration, or moving across the railroad tracks doesn’t matter to me and should matter little to the law.

                  There’s legal immigration and illegal immigration.

                  There’s legal drug use and illegal drug use. There’s legal sex and illegal sex. There’s legal health insurance and illegal health insurance.

                  A few decades ago there was legal riding the bus and illegal riding the bus. There was legal lunch counter sitting and illegal lunch counter sitting.

                  The mere fact that something is illegal does not make it wrong and does not make the law right.

                  Abrogating rights is abrogating rights, whether it is done by a person, a gang, or a government.

                  1. ^Other Retarded inbred shithead again..

                    V

  15. It’s frustrating how unnecessary a factual basis seems for these more, uh, nationalistic political crusades.

    Is there such a thing as an anchor baby phenomenon? Is there an employment crisis caused by immigration that can’t be solved on the employer side (which would seem to be the easiest way to do it)?

    Is this about anything other than an expression of racial anxiety? I’m willing to be wrong here, but I just don’t often see any data on this issue.

    1. Tony wins troll of the week! But seriously, this pretty much sums up my attitude and, I suspect, the attitudes of many pro-immigration libertarians. If you want to change my mind, here’s what you have to do: show me some hard facts on the impact of “anchor babies.” All I’ve heard are platitudes, and until I hear otherwise I’ll devote my time to promoting policies that target spending across the board rather than a dubious end-around policy of supposedly saving federal dollars by changing our legal immigration policy.

      1. Well, lonewacko Cato Balls claims that over half of the babies born in L.A. are ANCHORBABIESFUCKINGHATE’EM.

        Okay conservatives, let us have immigration laws just like Europe. Is that what you really want? Really?

        It is funny watching the right use all of the same arguments for this that liberals use for their causes; “every advanced country on earth does it this way”, and “the constitution is like 100 years old and doesn’t apply to this”, and “our founding father didn’t mean what they clearly wrote, they meant this”.

        Keep hammering away at ANCHORBABIESFUCKINGHATE’EM and maybe people will forget that you have no intention of actually reducing the welfare state.

        1. If you’re wondering why the Libertarian party never polls at more than 1%, even after the two major parties flushed this country down the shitter, the comment above is why.

          Not specifically on anchor babies but the below is pretty close to my feelings on this issue:
          http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/…..ality.html

      2. But, Club, look at them will, ‘ya. They’re brown, man!

        We can’t have more brown people coming here.

        1. Even if they ain’t brown I might have to compete to keep my cushy union job!

          That unamericanal, that it.

          I’d say more, but it’s quittin’ time. Gotta go.

          1. Most illegals and a large plurality of legal immigrants come from a single upper-middle income neighboring country, which is a both a functioning democracy and home to the world’s richest man. I’m sure you think that’s fair, especially to the dozens of far poorer countries around the world.

            Racist much?

    2. Re: Tony,

      Is there such a thing as an anchor baby phenomenon?

      I don’t know for sure. I believe, however, the issue is a red herring. It takes 18 years for the “baby” to be able to ask for greencards for his or her parents and, if that’s the case, so what? Just because the parents are not US Citizens, the new adult is suddenly incapable of being productive once in the U.S.? Incapable of paying taxes, once he or she migrates to the U.S.?

      This “problem” stems more from people’s lack of knowledge of economics and cultural biases (i.e. chauvinism). The canard “they take our jobs!” is nothing more than yet another iteration of mercantilism and protectionism. NOBODY IS ENTITLED TO A JOB. Period.

      Is there an employment crisis caused by immigration that can’t be solved on the employer side (which would seem to be the easiest way to do it)?

      The problem is the different government interventions of the labor market: regulations, taxes and minimum wage laws. This prices unskilled labor way higher than what the market will bear, which one can witness by looking at the number of undocumented workers that live in the U.S.

      Is this about anything other than an expression of racial anxiety?

      I honestly do not know if it goes that far – maybe, maybe not. But one thing is clear: The usual justifications for “curbing” migration are protectionist/mercantilist in nature. More likely than not, anti-mmigration bias stems more from economic illiteracy.

      The other set of objections are actually indictments on the Welfate State than inherent problems with immigration – you don’t want undocumented migrants to receive state services? Then don’t provide them. You don’t want public schools to take them? Then don’t accept their kids (even though ilegal aliens pay into the system through the property taxes their landlords pay.) Again, it stems from economic illiteracy.

    3. Yes, there is an anchor baby phenoemonm. Every immigrant knows that having a baby in the USA is the best thing you can do for that baby, then the kid can have double citizenship and live in two countries, use our public education, get treatment in emergency rooms, etc, etc, etc.

      The 14th amendment was meant for slaves, do you see any slaves now? And no, so-called “economic” slavery doesn’t count.

      http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..s-are.html

  16. How is H&R commentary like YouTube commentary?

    1. thinking about it-don’t give the answer yet.

    2. Our trolls are of the same caliber as YouTube commenters.

      1. Sorry for interrupting, feel free to resume your circle-jerk with the other 10 Reason Magazine subscribers.

        1. Counting is HAAAARD. Try 59,999.

  17. We should just assign citizenship based on the political affiliation of the parents.

    Libertarian kids get Somali passports!

  18. Is this about anything other than an expression of racial anxiety?

    I don’t know either, but I’ll say this. I’m just out of law school and looking to get into immigration law. When that comes up around my more conservative acquaintances, I’ve gotten some very interesting reactions, often along the lines of “are you trying to bring them in or keep them out?” and “you’re talking about helping the legal immigrants, right?”

    Basically, people act like I’d be somehow contributing to the immigration problem, but these are the same people who say things like “I have nothing against immigrants, as long as they do it legally,” which is precisely what a lawyer helps them do. So the negativity seems to be more of a knee-jerk reaction to immigrants in general.

    1. Oops. I meant to post that as a reply to Tony a few comments up.

      1. Hmm… Somebody born to two American citizens would know how to properly use threaded comments. You’re not one of THEM, are you???

        1. I’m prepared to release a certified copy of my birth certificate, if necessary.

  19. Is there an employment crisis caused by immigration that can’t be solved on the employer side

    Put everybody out of business!

    Tony, you’re a fucking GENIUS!

    1. Re: P Brooks,

      I would cut some slack for Tony here, PB, as he is asking a valid question. I don’t believe in penalizing employers for deciding to whom their OWN money is given, but as a question regarding solving the problem of “illegal” workers, it is valid.

  20. How am i a US citizen if i am not a citizen by birth right?

    Doesn’t taking away birth right jeopardize everyone’s citizenship?

    1. Re: Joshua Corning,

      Doesn’t taking away birth right jeopardize everyone’s citizenship?

      Yes, it does, as it shifts citizenship from its common law roots towards some bureaucrat’s will. If people decide to end birth-right citizenship, you would have given even MORE power to government to issue rights. May the gods have mercy on you all if that happens.

      1. Think about how efficient our justice system will be when we can easily annul someone’s citizenship. Instead of lengthy and expensive “trials” we can just ship people accused of selling narcotics salty food to egypt for torture reeducation.

  21. And of course, in reality the parents of anchor babies are almost never deported. But you know that already.

    The fact is that parents of “anchor babies” are deported on a regular basis. And I defy you to cite a single case where one who was apprehended by the ICE was not.

    No I don’t know that and neither do you. In fact your talking out your ass, since there is absolutely no basis in fact for this assertion.

    A majority of children born there [in LA] are to illegals.

    Bullshit!

    1. html fail. That second sentence soesn’t belong in the first blockquote.

      it should be the second para to to the response to this moronic statement:

      And of course, in reality the parents of anchor babies are almost never deported. But you know that already.

  22. “Non-aggression principle means no taxes!”

    (libertarians cheer)

    “Non-aggression principle means no regulations”

    (libertarians cheer)

    “Non-aggression principle means open borders”

    (libertarians start rioting)

    1. What libertarians would riot at open borders?

    2. What libertarians would riot at anything?

      We’re generally against destroying other people’s private property.

    3. Yep that really describes libertarians conservatives.

  23. If you want to see this in action, just look at what the Dominican Republic did when they took away birthright citizen recently.

  24. One other thing – those who hate IMMAGRINTS! might consider fighting to end the drug war. Who wouldn’t want to get away from that violence?

  25. Everything else in the Constitution is ignored why not the 14th?

  26. Immigration seems to be one area in which many libertarians have unfortunately prioritized good intentions over actual consequences. We’re an odd bunch, I guess. cynically conservative in some ways, bleeding heart liberal in others.

    1. Boohoo, letting people be free is sooo haaaard.

      Get over it.

    2. I’m not conservative or liberal on anything. The true ends of the spectrum are liberty (i.e. libertarian) or statism. Conservatives and liberals are just the mush brains in the middle who are incapable of a consistent thought process, so they just pick liberty or statism, seemily arbitrarily, on any given issue. While I 100% disagree with hardcore statists, I can at least appreciate their consistency.

  27. Why, even at Reason, any time there is an issue that touches on race, people have to immediately get dishonest?

    You can make arguments in favor or against. But the argument that “it’s all too complicated” doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    Sure, you can concoct scenarios where it is complicated. For most people, it won’t be at all.

    We limit immigration. If you disapprove of those limits, I can understand that. But in the context of a system where we have decided (like the rest of the world) to control immigration, making an automatic exception to that limit based on being born here is what requires justification.

    Sure, I suppose it is a little easier on the paperwork. That’s a tiny bit of justification. It’s a matter of judgment and values on whether that offsets the costs of subverting immigration policy.

    But let’s not pretend that every time a child is born, we’ll have to hire immigration lawyers to sort it all out.

    1. We limit immigration. If you disapprove of those limits, I can understand that. But in the context of a system where we have decided (like the rest of the world) to control immigration, making an automatic exception to that limit based on being born here is what requires justification.

      Automatic exception? You’re making it sound like the 14th Amendment is some new-fangled thing dem liberals done put in dat der Constitution.

      The only thing that needs justification (and this needs ALOT of justification) is why we should ignore what the Constitution says on this matter. You guys are the ones who want to make the exception.

  28. But as Steve Chapman notes…

    Everybody knows that Steve Chapman is a huge, huge, towering intellectual giant. A giant, I tells ya.

  29. Welfare Tab for Children of Illegal Immigrants Estimated at $600M in L.A. County
    http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..z1BWY8ZelM

    So, what do the open borders crowd have to say about that? Is it “freedom” when someone comes to your country uninvited, has kids, and you end up paying for their breeding?

    Is it “racist” to enforce the law or should we create some sort of Politically Correct Super Law that decides what crimes will be punished (smoking on airplanes) and which ones will be ignored (entering the country illegally).

    And yes, I do support ending welfare, but why can’t we do both? End welfare and illegal immigration.

    1. And yes, I do support ending welfare, but why can’t we do both? End welfare and illegal immigration.

      Or simply put children of immigrants on the welfare schedule of their parents. Parents not eligible for welfare? Children not eligible for welfare.

      1. ^butthurt shithead.

        |
        V Too fucking bad.

  30. The group claims to support “legal immigration.” But this measure would punish the legal along with the illegal.
    http://www.youneedbuy.com/Repl…..atches_c71

  31. This plan has no merit

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