U.S. cit­i­zen­ship not right of all

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - PAUL BLOUSTEIN Cincin­nati

A num­ber of ex­tra­or­di­nary ideas have been launched by pres­i­den­tial con­tenders in both ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties, and some are find­ing trac­tion. One such idea fo­cuses on birthright cit­i­zen­ship, es­tab­lished by the 14th Amend­ment (“Trump says end­ing birthright cit­i­zen­ship back on agenda,” Web, Aug. 21). Many of those who be­lieve birthright cit­i­zen­ship should be re­tained of­fer as ar­gu­ments that it is en­shrined in the Con­sti­tu­tion and is a fun­da­men­tal Amer­i­can value. But which comes first? Is it a fun­da­men­tal Amer­i­can value be­cause it is in our Con­sti­tu­tion, or is it in the Con­sti­tu­tion be­cause it is an im­mutable fun­da­men­tal value?

Birthright cit­i­zen­ship fits the ethos of Amer­i­can ex­cep­tion­al­ism but has out­lived its util­ity. Its orig­i­nal pur­pose was to grant for­mer slaves the right of cit­i­zen­ship in their coun­try, not to serve the self­ish mo­tives of tourists and un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants. The num­bers are daunt­ing: In some re­cent years, 300,000 to 400,000 ba­bies were born in our fair land to these groups. As “an­chor ba­bies,” they can, upon reach­ing the age of ma­jor­ity, bring their ex­tended fam­i­lies here in or­der to ob­tain cit­i­zen­ship and qual­ify for our en­ti­tle­ment pro­grams — de­spite not hav­ing paid into them.

This is­sue is far more con­se­quen­tial now that il­le­gal im­mi­grants seem­ingly can­not be stopped. It is proper fod­der for our pres­i­den­tial con­test.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.