– Real World Implications of ‘Anchor Babies’ Aren’t So Funny –
BY MARIA FOTOPOULOS
AUGUST 9, 2010
Comedian Jon Stewart, the news source for many who don’t watch “traditional” news outlets, often cuts to the core of an issue as he strains current headlines through his sieve of sarcastic wit for The Daily Show.
A recent bit made a legislator look foolish for indicating al-Qaeda could be sending pregnant women to the U.S. with the nefarious plan of then training their offspring to become terrorists.
Certainly that is ridiculous, since there never have been reports of terrorists gaming the immigration system.
Except, for instance, there were those five dozen foreign terrorists operating in the U.S. who were involved with visa or immigration fraud in the lead-up years to the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
Maybe that representative isn’t so foolish.
Using the term, “Drop and Leave,” South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham did give Stewart an easy target. This was the Republican senator’s clumsy way to describe illegal aliens who come to the U.S. and birth children who gain “instant” U.S. citizenship status.
Overall though, Stewart’s comedy doesn’t get to the essence of the problems with mass illegal immigration that has resulted in a population possibly as high as 38 million, plus “anchor” or “jackpot” babies.
Through gross misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, U.S.-born offspring of illegal aliens have “birthright citizenship” simply by virtue of being born here. These anchor babies are just one unintended consequence of years of immigration enforcement run amok.
An estimated 3 million jackpot babies impact taxpayers. Billions of dollars in public funds have gone toward these children’s births followed by ongoing costs for their health, education and, sometimes, imprisonment, seemingly costs ad nauseam.
On its face, before even looking at the contents of the 14th Amendment, that offspring of those in this country illegally should have automatic citizenship simply by virtue of being born here sounds illogical. Such nonsense has led to ludicrous events, including the 2006 vote by Mexico’s Congress to ask the U.S. to not deport one of Mexico’s citizens, Elvira Arellano.
An illegal alien, Arellano repeatedly broke U.S. laws and was convicted of identity theft. She produced a child while in America, and together they became the image of the New Sanctuary Movement. Between living in a Chicago church where she sought “sanctuary,” “risking” a public appearance in Los Angeles and subsequently being arrested, Arellano’s “plight” was plied to tell the tragedy of family separation due to deportation.
What the Arellano story really illustrates is the creation of a creepy netherworld of illegal aliens and their “American” children that has adulterated the value of U.S. citizenship.
Then there’s the actual 14th Amendment, 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.” John Eastman, dean of the law school at Chapman University, says most people overlook the clause, “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” when reading the amendment.
It means that one owes allegiance to this country and becomes part of our system of government, recognizing the importance of the rule of law, Eastman says.
Eastman’s academic reading and analysis shows that many people don’t meet the requirement outlined in this amendment. “They’re not ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ in the sense that the 14th Amendment intended,” he says.
The anchor baby debate and the broader mass unchecked illegal immigration debate will continue winding through public discourse, because 70 percent of Americans want to see immigration laws and our borders enforced. Maybe Stewart will take another shot at getting to the real heart of these issues.
Los Angeleno Maria Fotopoulos is a Senior Writing Fellow for the Santa Barbara-based organization, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS | capsweb.org), where she writes about the population-sustainability connection. Reach her at [email protected], on Twitter at TurboDog50 and Facebook at Maria K. Fotopoulos.