The New Hampshire First in the Nation Primary has taken another detour into the land of the absurd this past week. As the unimaginative within the press core and political elitists try to paint the illusion of a GOP clown car, their whimsy merely falls flat and does nothing to advance any sense of a rational conversation. The latest rallying point, the term ‘anchor baby.’ Nothing like a good, old-fashioned battle rooted in political correctness to get ‘the base’ all riled up. Too bad it lacks any real intellectual integrity.
This past week two leading Republican candidates, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, used the term ‘anchor baby’ when talking about illegal immigration. The fact is that the media went beyond asking a question, with two activist ‘journalists’ interjecting themselves into the story by claiming the term was ‘offensive.’ The false basis for this belief was created solely on the unqualified decree from the unknown arbitrators at the Oxford Dictionary. Additionally, the basis for their question, birthright citizenship and the historical understanding of the 14th Amendment, showed either a political agenda or a gross misunderstanding of the intellectual complexity regarding the 14th Amendment, as well as our country’s immigration policies. Both Trump and Bush countered by asking ‘what term they should use.’ Regardless, the term is only offensive because it is politically expedient.
Of course Hillary Clinton pounced on the media generated controversy by Tweeting (in reference to defining babies born to illegal immigrants) – “How about “babies,” “children,” or “American citizens.” Clinton’s camp also made it a point to Tweet out the same phrase in Spanish (los llamamos “bebés,” “niños,” o “ciudadanos.”). Of course Clinton’s sentiment does not apply to the pre-born babies (regardless of their citizenship classification), because for Clinton and many of her allies if you are a baby in the womb, then it is sólo un feto (only a fetus), no un ser humano (not a human being). The truth is Clinton’s unwavering support for Planned Parenthood (in light of the horrific videos) and her position on the barbaric practices of partial-birth abortion are far more offensive than a term arbitrarily deemed as offensive by the self-appointed PC police.
Not only was this a case of pure pandering by Clinton, but it begs the question, why Spanish? Some would say that it was prejudice on Clinton’s part to assume that illegal immigrants of Latino decent should solely be associated with the term ‘anchor baby.’ The reality is that the practice of buying U.S. Citizenship, known as ‘maternity tourism’ (http://tinyurl.com/buyingbirthright), has become an epidemic, practiced by illegal immigrants from all parts of the world. Irrespective, Clinton was probably just relieved that the media seem to take a respite from beating her up over the FBI’s email/server investigation. Not to worry Hillary, the media will quickly return to whacking their favorite political piñata once they realize the faux anchor baby controversy is a waste of time.
Clinton’s tweet was not only an unfair prejudgment of those of Latino decent, but a woeful misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment and the established legal pathway to U.S. Citizenship. However, Clinton is not alone. Many people are clueless of not only the chronological path that the 14th Amendment took to ratification, but its true intent. Casual research of the history surrounding the debate regarding the 14th Amendment is illuminating.
First, the 14th Amendment was to directly address the appalling Dred Scott Supreme Court decision. It was never intended to address citizenship of anyone other than to protect the rights of native born Black Americans who had been recently freed from slavery. The 14th Amendment was written to prevent state governments from denying Constitutional rights and protections to Black Americans born in the United States as slaves. Sadly, like so many Constitutional provisions, the 14th Amendment has been perverted, either due to ignorance or malice.
Additionally, there is no Constitutional tested law or regulation that in fact grants U.S. citizenship to a baby born in the United States to parents who also happen to be illegal immigrants. There are two Supreme Court decisions that deny ‘birthright’ citizenship for children born to non-U.S. citizens (Slaughter-House and Elk v.Wilkins). Another Supreme Court case, Wong Kim Ark, was based strictly on the 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court affirmed the legal status of the parents to be decisive in determining the citizenship of the Wong Kim Ark.
What we have seen this week is that once again the very people who claim they want ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ start from a position of their own bias and misinformation. Too many people are not interested in having an honest discussion regarding immigration, preferring distractions and distortions. The mob is led by some in the media and candidates like Clinton who prefer instead to promote a false narrative based on a political agenda, and shout ‘offensive’ in a transparent attempt to shift the conversation away from reality, or their own failings. Demonizing people and pandering to your uninformed base may make for Tweets zingers, but it rarely makes for honest journalism or governance.
NOTE: Next week’s article will address the issue of the 14th Amendment in more detail.