Anchor Babies and Birthright Citizenship

Is this just more silly rhetoric from xenophobes?

By VirtualChicano
Published on LatinoLA: December 6, 2005

Anchor Babies and Birthright Citizenship

Recently, a new term has entered the realm of the anti-migrant racists: "anchor babies". The one issue candidate Gilchrist, the lopsided Lou Dobbs, and the Save Our State (from Mexicans) lobby has now decided that their citizenship is so much more American, so much more legitimate that they can now take cheap shots at American citizens of lesser value: children and babies of migrants - so called anchor babies.

According to immigration based websites and other sources there is a conspiracy by migrant single women and married couples alike to purposely become pregnant and give birth to a child here in the United States for the sole purpose of securing citizenship for themselves. Supposedly, the term anchor babies originated in the households of these very migrants. One would now have to assume that anchor babies originated in Spanish. I've never heard the term 'creatura ancla' or 'bebe ancla', not even as a cari?o. I've never heard a mother refer to her child as an ancla in English or Spanish. But according to the anti-migrationists, this is a well practiced, premeditated method of becoming U.S. citizens. Yet critics insist that anchor babies are what they are called by their own parents.

Is this just more silly rhetoric from xenophobes? Is this going to become yet another legally oppressive insult to our Mexican American culture that we must live with? Is this a precursor to eliminating birthright citizenship? There has been more than just "floating" going around about the idea of ending birthright citizenship. Birthright citizenship is a right guaranteed by the 14th amendment.

Georgia Congressman Nathan Deal in HR698 wants to put an end to birthright citizenship. This bill would deny citizenship to children born of parents who entered the country illegally even though the courts have already ruled that children are not responsible for the crimes of their parents and therefore cannot be punished as such. Most migrants who come here help satisfy the demand for labor that American industry desperately needs. They leave their homes and families hundreds if not thousands of miles away to fill jobs most legal Americans will not do. They should have the red carpet rolled out for them and welcomed by us, not treated like common criminals.

In a recent article in the Washington Times "GOP Mulls Ending Birthright Citizenship" by Stephan Dinan. He quotes Colorado Republican Rep. Tancredo as saying "There is a general agreement about the fact that citizenship in this country should not be bestowed on people who are children of folks who come into this country illegally." This would require a constitutional amendment to the 14th amendment that reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States." The U.S. and Mexico are the only major western countries that have birthright citizenship and changing this would make Mexico look real good and the U.S. really bad, again.

UCLA law professor Stephan Bainbridge quotes Tamar Jacoby's powerful argument that birthright citizenship is a major difference between the U.S. and France: "Newcomers put down roots and invest all-out in their lives here because they know their children will be guaranteed full membership. And children, knowing they have a secure place and a shot at the same opportunities as all other young people, feel entitled to aspire to the nation's highest pinnacles of success.

Things are different in Europe. No European nation grants birthright citizenship to the offspring of its immigrants. And largely as a consequence, no European nation has succeeded in giving second-generation newcomers the sense that they truly belong, and are fully entitled participants in the economy, the body politic and mainstream society. For the result, look at the Turks in Germany, now in the third generation and still not far from permanent underclass status.

Is this what the United States has in store for the future of our country? Who is having a permanent underclass supposed to help? It seems to me that when one is in a hole they should stop digging, not buy a Caterpillar. So listen for "anchor babies" in 2006 as a favorite catch phrase by racist xenophobes like Gilchrist, Trancedo and Dobbs. Look for them and others like them to be the masterminds behind the social engineering that will make the riots in France in 2005 look like the opening act for the U.S. 2025. People who use terms like "illegals" and "anchor babies" are not interested in immigration reform. They are interested in keeping America racially pure.


About VirtualChicano:
VirtualChicano is webmaster for
A website dedicated to Chicano and Mexican-American culture.

A website dedicated to el recien llegado, el campesino y la dignidad de nuestra gente y nuestra raza querida.

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