The most recent conflict on immigration reform is one concerning what are referred to as ‘anchor babies’, those children born to parents here illegally who then are accorded citizenship based on an interpretation, however discombobulated, of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Statistics indicate that about 1 in 12 births in this country yearly are to parents here illegally. That is about 8% of total births to about 4% of the population, that portion of the total U.S. population deemed to be in the country illegally – or about 12 million people, the vast majority, probably about 75%, from Mexico.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1868 to ensure the right of citizenship to freed slaves after the Civil War. Clearly, it has become prostituted in the current state of affairs concerning the vast number of intentional violations occurring especially on our border today. It cannot be disputed that there are an inordinate number of pregnant women crossing over to have a baby here in the United States for the sole purpose of that newborn having automatic citizenship accorded to it from the moment it takes its first breath.
With that citizenship comes certain other ‘inalienable’ rights such as welfare, medical care, schooling, etc. to which the child becomes entitled. It is an emotionally charged debate owing to this specific situation alone not even considering the unpaid costs to hospitals for postnatal care. But, the conundrum is how do you arrest and deport a mother nursing a baby who is a citizen?
Unmistakably, the amendment has become misused to the point of it now creating an untenable influx of unwarranted births for which the average American will pay. The irrefutable facts indicate that there are an inordinate number of pregnant women crossing over to deliver a baby here in the United States for the sole purpose of that newborn having automatic citizenship accorded to it. And, there are a significant number of illegal border crashers who come here who then have babies which are granted automatic citizenship in accordance with a loose interpretation of the amendment giving them that right, something obviously not intended originally.
In towns and cities adjacent to the long border with Mexico, most hospitals face a common dilemma – admitting illegals into the hospital for the purpose of having their baby. This is most commonly and frequently occurring in emergency rooms where treatment may not be refused regardless of the patient’s status in the country. A hospital must provide this service; it cannot be refused for any reason. The word has spread far and wide as to this flaw in our system and the indigent from other countries take full advantage of it. Why wouldn’t they? There are no penalties for so doing. (If I were living in poverty in a third world country, I’d take advantage of the hole in the wall, too.)
I recently confirmed this in my own local hospital where dozens of births occur every month – births to suspected illegals who have travelled some 50 miles north of the Mexican border to take full advantage of our naiveté. An emergency room worker, a higher up in the system, related his frustration with the problem which is a frequent occurrence there. He would not go on record about the exact nature or scope of the crisis, but he did confirm that it exists and in an excessive number of cases suspected border crossers have no local address nor proof of their being an American simply not able to afford health insurance. No, they are there for one reason and one reason only – to have a baby in a hospital which cannot refuse them and for which they will most likely never pay, and to afford that baby the right of becoming an instant US citizen with all the rights and privileges accorded to anyone born here, legal status of the parents notwithstanding.
The Obama administration disagrees with those who would amend the Constitution to correct this problem. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently criticized the Republicans who have proposed this change to the 14th Amendment. “I am surprised, to say the least, that discussion is being had about amending the United States Constitution before we even get to the table on amending the statutes that actually carry out immigration policy,” Napolitano told reporters Friday, August 13th. “I think that’s where the action needs to be. And any talk of amending the Constitution is just wrong.”
Robert Gibbs, the President’s mouthpiece, says “The president and Secretary Napolitano agree on this … The 14th Amendment enshrines – and has for more than 150 years – equal protection and due process, two things that we don’t think need to be tampered with.”
President Barack Obama himself is not commenting on the matter, yet. He will do so when it becomes a political benefit for him, when he ascertains the political climate on the matter to be in his favor.
Of course, the White House spin machine reflects the current issue as Republicans on the wrong track, again: “It is always interesting — that those that have, with steadfast fidelity, talked about not tampering with our Constitution, have now swerved to pick the 14th Amendment as the best place to address comprehensive immigration reform … It is – it’s rich in its irony.”
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has proposed holding hearings to reconsider the citizenship rights of illegal immigrants’ babies born in the United States although he emphasizes the need to concentrate on border security as a priority. He is not alone in this regard.
This current discussion has become an emotional one and one filled with trepidation for many Republicans. I recently heard a TV commentator remark on this problem of amending the Constitution to correct this flaw by saying that the Republicans pursue this course with consequences, most fearful being the permanent loss of the Latino vote which is calculated as to be of such a nature as to prevent Republicans from ever gaining the White House again and likely not gaining a majority in the legislative branch of our government to boot. Due to the growing Latino vote in several key states – Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas most prominently – the Republicans risk the required number of electoral college votes needed to win presidential elections as well as the popular vote to win legislative office.
However, the status quo cannot be sustained indefinitely and must be addressed as a legitimate concern and certainly as part and parcel of any immigration reform package the Washingtonians may finally come up with. That is, if they ever have the courage to do anything meaningful about the now uncontrolled flood of illegals across our borders generally, and into our hospital emergency rooms to give birth specifically. It is doubtful that our elected officials will muster the mustard to address immigration in any meaningful way let alone to quell the tide of so-called ‘anchor babies’. But, the sheer numbers alone demand something be done, and soon.
The politics of immigration reform must be put aside by both parties if anything is to become of developing a comprehensive, long term solution to what may be considered an invasion of sorts. I have my doubts that this will occur. Democrats are basking in the pure numbers they witnessed from the last election cycle where Republicans took a bath in Hispanic-heavy states and the numbers indicate that Republicans are losing Hispanic voters’ confidence in record numbers.
Politics be damned! We elect our officials to go to Washington to deal with the weighty issues needing their attention. This they fail to do in the best of times; in the worst they fail miserably as they are now. I am personally fed up with our Senators and Congress persons’ complete lack of courage to effect bipartisan changes needed to steer our country on the right path in times of obvious trouble – as is the case of rampant illegal immigration and their penchant to birth their children in our country where they were neither invited nor welcomed.
Rest assured that Congress has neither the guts nor gumption to tackle this problem, this year especially. The Democrats fear rejection on a mass scale this November, and rightly so with an approval rating hovering under 25%. Some Republicans, most notably Mitch McConnel along with John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have pussy-footed on the issue suggesting it would be appropriate to at least have discussions in Congress on the immigration problem in general, and that the anchor babies issue, undeniably an out-of-hand concern, should be part of any ultimate solution. But they may quickly retreat if the winds of political discourse do not blow in a friendly manner.
Meanwhile, our borders are being violated every day by thousands of trespassers who are disrespecting our laws and our sovereignty. We have the right as Americans to demand that our borders are protected and our laws respected. This is not happening although we are clearly in a crisis in this aspect. We are literally being invaded in an out of control fashion in such a manner that lasting, irreversible effects are occurring to our nation. (Pat Buchanan has written an excellent book “State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America” which details the dangers of unfettered immigration and the future effects on our culture. I highly recommend it.)
Let’s demand our Congressional representatives get hot on this immediately and stop delaying action for political reasons. Part of why we elect them is for them to have courage in the face of danger. So far, for years on end, they have displayed none.
If our elected representatives fail to act soon, before the problem becomes completely unmanageable, a condition which is closing upon us–let us deport