The Washington Times reported the following–
Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate — a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced.
Mr. Huckabee, who won last week’s Republican Iowa caucuses, promised Minuteman Project founder James Gilchrist that he would force a test case to the Supreme Court to challenge birthright citizenship, and would push Congress to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to remove any doubt.
Then the Huckabee campaign issued the following statement.
I do not support an amendment to the constitution that would prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens. I have no intention of supporting a constitutional amendment to deny birthright citizenship.
Before stating my own position, I’m going to quote two of my favorite bloggers on this news. If anyone hasn’t noticed, they are James Joyner at Outside the Beltway and Dr. Steven Taylor at Poliblog. I link to Steven and James more than anyone else around, probably because I find myself in agreement with them so often, or if not, find what they have to say very interesting. James and Steven are close friends, having taught together at the same University. l also have to note, they each let me write at their sports blogs, but that doesn’t have anything to do with my opinion of them.
In principle, though, I’m not opposed to this from a public policy standpoint. There’s no good reason to grant automatic citizenship to children born to illegal aliens. “Birthright citizenship” was instituted to grant full legal rights to the freed slaves, not reward law breaking. As a practical matter, though, such an amendment would have no chance of achieving the two-thirds support in both Houses of Congress and majorities in three-quarters of the state legislatures required.
Steven takes a different view on Birthright Citizenship-
Beyond that, while there are clearly problems created when persons in the county illegally have children on US soil, it is also the fact that birthright citizenship is the fastest way to assimilate persons into the US. If we start creating more complex pathways to citizenship we will find ourselves with some of the problems that Europe currently has with disaffected, unassimilated populations who are neither citizens nor really foreigners either. This is not a desirable direction in which to head.
Who do I agree with? I’ll put my hard hat on first……
It is Steven. I agree with him when he says it is both the fastest way to assimilation in addition that eliminating birthright citizenship is almost certain to create problems in this country that been seen in Europe of late.
Also I’ll raise the point of how is this supposed to be administered. How many of us carry proof of citizenship? A social security card doesn’t even proof citizenship. My wife had a card for 4 years before attaining citizenship. It does mean a person has the right to work here. Which isn’t the same thing as citizenship. What happens for those who can’t prove citizenship? I remember something about innocent till proven guilty. Then I forget that too. As Michael Corleone said, we’re all part of the same hypocrisy.
That’s my opinion on what is a complex issue. Feel free to throw rocks, I am after all The Florida Masochist.
Steven and James both agree(and so do I), a ammendment to change birthright citizenship will never get passed. So all the arguing is going to get us no where.
Update- Let me note there are plenty of recent news articles where illegal alien mothers were deported when they had US citizen children. How about Elvira Arellano for example? How about mothers caught up in the strange and absurd quirks of the immigration system. Like Dahianna Heard, the widow of a deceased contractor killed in Iraq, who faces deportation under ‘The Widow Penalty’. So much for anchor babies.