I recently wrote a blog on citizenship and what a hot tamale it has become in the past couple of years. I observed a lot of trash on Facebook with folks complaining about “anchor babies” . . . which is a term I just despise. The simple truth is, these are just babies . . . and, frankly, have no knowledge of their parent’s citizenship status. They are just precious little babies, who cry out for a bottle, or to announce the diaper needs attention.
I clearly understand and agree with the frustration over illegals entering the country and living on public assistance. That is wrong on many different levels, and it is something that I understand better than most. I have operated affordable apartment complexes in Eagle Pass, Texas. They happen to be some of the southernmost assisted complexes in the continental USA, and sit just a couple football-lengths off the Rio Grande River . . . the international boundary between the U.S. and Mexico.
The area is hot and humid, and is a difficult place to keep qualified maintenance employees. Most USA citizens are in the dark, but regulations on specific affordable housing programs prohibit any requirements of citizenship in eligibility criteria. Therefore, there are illegals occupying such housing. It is especially a trying situation when such an illegal sits on the front porch drinking beer watching a legal citizen mow his yard and then heckles him with, “I am not even a citizen and I get free rent, food stamps, an unemployment check, and do better than you do working like a slave.” That is just wrong!! I resent it . . . I especially resent that his claim is accurate.
Yet, as frustrating as that is, I do not allow it to blind me to the rights and wrongs of the bigger picture. Since Billionaire Donald Trump made his famous statements relative to illegal aliens, there has been much said, written, and read about anchor babies. Most of what is said and written is ignorant, shallow, bigoted, and mean. The simple truth is that our Nation has addressed this issue a long time back. It is called the 14th-Amendment of the Constitution. It is one of the “Reconstruction Amendments” and reflects the nature of a Christian nation. The Amendment was ratified on 7/9/1868, and grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the US” which included former slaves, who had just been recently freed. That was also an era in which there were strong racial tensions in this nation of immigrants.
The 14th-Amendment settled this issue of the legal status of one born on this soil. It was an Amendment that also afforded equal protection, and limited State’s rights and action on the issue, as well as those of local officials.
The greater truth is that ANY and ALL people born in the US are legal citizens – regardless of where or how one’s parents got here! We are all US citizens simply on the basis of our birth on this soil, and our parent’s legal status never entered into the equation. In fact, the only ones who are original citizens are the American Indians, and their parent’s absolute legal status only served to get them all dispatched to a reservation and a life in abject poverty, being lied to, cheated, abused, and forsaken, while they watched others squander what was naturally theirs.
In fact, such behavior and thinking became increasing easy, and as a nation, we adopted a mindset which would actually be given a name, “The Monroe Doctrine,” under which we marched across the world taking pretty much what we wanted, when we wanted, with little to no regard for how our behavior hurt and damaged others. We did it all under the belief of magnificent destiny, fully believing we were privileged and God actually wanted us taking things as we wished!
That was foolish and wicked thinking then. Denying a newborn his rightful status as a US citizen because of the sins of his or her parents is wrong-headed, mean, ignorant, and against human decency!
Those sweet little babies are Americans, just as our sweet little babies are!
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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.