Children from El Salvador

I have had a change of heart. A couple of months back, I posted about my personal decision to not share my personal opinions online, including on this blog. In recent days, I have come to the conclusion that this is a path I cannot continue to follow. Too much of the rhetoric I am hearing and reading online is abhorrent to me and I can no longer ignore it. I feel that the time has come for me to begin blogging about the topics that are most near and dear to my heart. I admit that I make this change with a bit of trepidation as I don’t enjoy conflict. However, I have come to the realization that I can no longer hide on issues that are important to me.  I begin today with a topic that is being hotly debated online and in forums around the country.

With the focus on immigration during the current election cycle, attention is being drawn to citizenship as granted in section one of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United 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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Originally added to the Constitution in order to protect recently freed slaves, this amendment grants citizenship to all who are born in the United States. The citizenship status of your parents does not matter. If you are born in the United States, you are a citizen of the United States.

I think that this opportunity is one of the things that makes the United States great. In some countries it is almost impossible to gain citizenship. It doesn’t matter how long you live there, and in some case even if you were born there, you cannot become a citizen of those countries. However, in the United States we have continued a tradition of allowing the United States to be a melting pot. We provide a means for those not born in this country to gain citizenship.  Even more importantly, if you are born here you are a citizen. Sadly, there are those who would like to see this automatic citizenship end.

They are being deceived by politicians, such as Donald Trump, into thinking that ending birthright citizenship will help bring an end to the illegal immigration problem. They even use the term “anchor babies” to help them in their cause. However, there are a couple of flaws in the deception they are creating.

First, in order for this to be true, most illegal immigrants would need to be coming here simply to have their children be citizens of the United States. Were this to be true, then this solution would help the issue. The problem lies in the fact that most illegal immigrants are not coming here for the purpose of giving birth in the United States. Oh I am certain that you can find instances where this is true. But it’s not true for the majority. Most are coming here in search of jobs, of a better life and in the process give birth to children in the United States.

Second, and the use of the term “anchor babies” really helps here, having a child who is a United States citizen will not prevent illegal immigrants and their minor children, even if they are citizens, from being returned to the country of their parents origin. Illegal immigrants with citizen children can absolutely be deported and their children will be sent back to the country from which their parents originated. What birthright citizenship creates is an opportunity for those citizens to return to the United States when they are adults. They can then have all the opportunities available to other citizens of this country.

There is also another issue I have with this plan to eliminate birthright citizenship. How do those supporting the plan want this to work? For a moment, let’s ignore the fact that an amendment to the constitution eliminating birthright citizenship will more than likely fail (thankfully). How will this work? Will this only apply to children born after the amendment is passed or will it be applied retroactively? Could someone who is 21 and served faithfully in our military lose their citizenship? What happens if your parents have birthright citizenship and then they lose it. Do their children born while the couple were citizens also lose their citizenship?

Eliminating birthright citizenship is a bad idea. It will solve nothing and only create more issues and heartache. I for one will not be supporting any candidate that supports ending citizenship by birth in the United States.

If you made it to the end of this post, I appreciate your sticking around. Regardless of your political persuasion, please take a moment to consider whether ending birthright citizenship is really the right thing to do. I for one, do not believe this to be the best road for our country.