Ending Birthright Citizenship

The crack cocaine of the nativists movement

By Daniel Maldonado
Published on LatinoLA: November 22, 2006

Ending Birthright Citizenship

"And subject to the jurisdiction thereof" reads the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This one little clause is what the nativists will be betting the farm on next year. But first, they'll need a test case that makes it all the way to the Supreme Court.

The nativists are hoping that the Supreme Court will end the long standing policy of granting citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil.

As we all know, any child born in the United States is a United States citizen, regardless of how the mother entered the U.S. But the nativists don't like this policy. The nativists like hate. The nativists like hate so much so that they repeatedly attack children, even American children. And next year the nativists will stoop to a new all time low (if they can go any lower).

Next year the nativists will attack babies, or as they so eloquently refer to them as: "anchor babies." "Anchor babies?" One can only wonder if the intellectual who first coined this term would now like to stand up and claim his or her prize. Let me clarify though, they don't mean white babies, just the brown ones.

This brings us to color.

And color is important here because the 14th amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution to insure that the children of slaves, who were black, were given citizenship by the states, who were run by whites. That's why it was added, but no where does it say that that is its sole intended use, or that it cannot apply in any other context namely to children of immigrant parents.

In any event, Texas Republican state Rep. Leo Berman is the latest political opportunist to parrot from the cue card that John Tanton wrote. Who's John Tanton? In short, he is the father of hatred towards anything and anyone who isn't like, well, John Tanton. But that's a different article for a different time. For now, Texas House Bill (HB) 28, sponsored by Berman, is the topic at hand because if Berman gets his way, it will be the deciding test case before the U.S. Supreme Court that establishes, once and for all, if the "and the jurisdiction thereof" clause of the 14th amendment applies to children born in the U.S.A who do not have a parent who is a citizen or resident alien.

In a recent AP article Berman said: "Texas can no longer afford to lure illegal immigrants to give birth on U.S. soil by promising citizenship and access to lucrative public benefits." This explains why HB28 is loaded with vicious, mean spirited goodies that make the KKK look mainstream. The official caption reads: "Relating to the eligibility of an individual born in this state whose parents are illegal aliens to receive state benefits."

Should HB28 become Texas law it would: deny employment to American born children of undocumented parents, deny benefits such as retirement and un-employment insurance, deny primary education, secondary education and higher education and, of course, deny any sort of public assistance such as health care, disability, welfare, food stamps and public housing. All denied to American born children.

However slim the odds that HB28 will become Texas law, it was clearly written by Berman to insure that if it does, it will become the U.S. Supreme Court's test case of the century. Surely, the ACLU, MADEF and other civil rights groups will challenge HB28 in Federal Court and most likely win. Texas would then have to appeal it all the way to the court of last resort.

Ending birthright citizenship is the crack cocaine of the nativists movement. It is ironic, however, that the nativists will have to prove that children born to undocumented parents in the United States are not "subject to the jurisdiction and, hence, the laws of the United States in order to end it." Legalizing racism is the real intent of HB28. Forcing brown people into a state of economic slavery is the real intent of HB28. Even if the intent were to save the taxpayers some money the long term effects are nothing to look forward to.

Someone should ask Berman how much money France saved during last summer's intifadas. The intifadas were a result of stateless youth demanding a home were they can be productive and prosper in. They wanted citizenship.

The U.S. has little to gain by laying the framework for such discontent here at home. The U.S. has not done the right thing in decades and, as a result, the U.S. has been plagued by bad Karma. To make matters worse, the U.S. has been accused of genocide. And we all know what happens to countries that commit genocide. Countries now in vision a world without the U.S. Ending birthright citizenship just might serve as the catalyst for the future fragmentation of the continental United States thus allowing for the formation of a nativist nation state, a white only state without racial and ethnic minorities.

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