Re: Allan Wall’s blog item Rep. Steve King Introduces House Bill to Close Up Anchor Baby Loophole
From: A Young Illinois Reader [Email him]
Rep. King's bill and the Des Moines Register's description of it illustrate both the strength and the weakness of Immigration Patriotism today. [Rep. Steve King proposes status restrictions for immigrant births, by William Petroskey, Des Moines Register, January 7th, 2013]
It is, of course, commendable that King and others are working to cease conferring citizenship upon individuals whose only claim to that status derives from their parents' malfeasance.
It is undoubtedly true that many anchor-parents hope to parlay their opening gambit into eventual legal status for themselves. Thus critics of birthright citizenship are surely correct in claiming that it incentivizes illegal immigration. I wish Mr. King and his co-sponsors well
However, I can't help but notice that the preceding argument is incidental to the question at hand. The conferral of citizenship to anchor babies is wrong in the first instance, not because it provides a magnet for illegal immigration, but because the children of illegal aliens have no moral claim to the ministrations of the American state.
Birthright citizenship for the children of illegals would still be a bad policy even if all anchor-parents explicitly renounced any desire to acquire legal status for themselves.
I understand the tactical desire of restrictionist politicians to make the issue about the lawbreaking parents, rather than about what the US owes or does not owe their children. But only by employing the latter analysis can we attack the root of the problem: the widespread notion that America exists only as some infinitely elastic, universal ideological abstraction.
This notion must be fought. Responsibility for the next generation naturally resides with the parents and nation to which children are born. Foisting one's progeny upon a foreign people cannot suffice to transfer one's responsibilities.
We are under no obligation to be colonized, let alone to pay for the privilege!
Framing the issue in such terms is the only way to move public opinion where it needs to go.