Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Anchor-Baby Myth

One argument of Wendy Murphy's that I won't even try to defend is her rant about illegal aliens who supposedly come to the US to have babies, and then use these (citizen) children to get some sort of immigration advantage:
I know we're talking about babies, and it's hard to be tough on babies, but let's remember, we're talking about illegal aliens coming to this country for the purpose of birthing a child, not because they love the kid, but because they want the child to provide them with the benefits of U.S. citizenship. In other words, that's not the kind of child who's going to be raised well and be a productive citizen. The child is barely loved. It's more like a thing and a commodity than a human being.
This argument--that illegal aliens are soulless automatons who procreate solely for the purpose of a green card--is ridiculous on every level.   It's like an Onion satire of a conservative argument.  Not just because it implicitly dehumanizes both the parent and child--but also because so-called anchor babies actually confer practically no rights on their illegal-alien parents.  If an illegal alien who has a citizen child is picked up by immigration authorities, the child's existence is not a defense to deportation (unless the alien can "prove ten years of good moral character and that deporting her would be an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to her US citizen child").  What will happen in almost every case is that parent will be deported and the child will go with the parent.  Why?  Because the parent loves its child and doesn't want to leave it behind in a foreign land.

So, to my mind, recent rhetoric about amending the 14th Amendment to restrict the right of birthright citizenship is aimed at a problem that doesn't really exist.

But see:  this recent article about Chinese nationals purposely planning to be in the US when they give birth so that their children will have the gift of US citizenship.  This is, perhaps, a whole other kettle of fish.

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I played a very, very small role in doing some prop bono research on this topic at my last job.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on posts older than 30 days are moderated because almost all of those comments are spam.