Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Call for an end to birthright citizenship

Currently I am on assignment working at the US Consulate in Nogales, Mexico. I believe that I would be remiss if I didn't bring up this topic.

"Birthright citizenship", or jus soli (Latin for "right of soil") is the legal principle that states that a person is a citizen of the country where he happens to be born. The United States is one of a dozen countries that still adheres to this principle.

I will be the first to admit that at one time this principle served us well. That time was during the Westward expansion and subsequent immigration booms. However, the frontier is settled now. We no longer need massive influxes of immigrants.

Worse, birthright citizenship is being abused in a systematic fashion. In Korea there is a whole industry geared towards assisting pregnant women to travel to the United States for the sole purpose of obtaining US citizenship for their children. The primary purpose of this is so that their children can attend US universities and avoid military service.

As I write this, there is a Mexican couple at the window that are here to collect a passport for their "US citizen" child. A few weeks ago my father forwarded me an email article about how Parkland Hospital in Dallas (originally famous as the hospital to which JFK was rushed after being shot) is now basically a halfway house for Mexican illegals to have their "US citizen" children.

I, for one, think this is a disgrace. I bristle at the idea that US citizenship is being treated like a fashion accessory, or as a means by which to secure goods and services for the extended families of the "anchor babies". In the past, I have written my Congress critters encouraging them to put an end to birthright citizenship.

I guess it's high time I wrote them again.

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