Maggie A's Meanderings

 

 

 

March 13, 2011


Anchor Babies Away!


In the interest of full disclosure let me say up front that I don't have a drop of Native American blood in me.  The nearest I'm related to the indigenous population of the United States would be from before they crossed over the Bering Strait land bridge during the last Ice Age.  I am pure immigrant and some of it's very recent because my mother immigrated to the United States.  Although I was born here, my mother hadn't received her American citizenship when I was born so I was born to a citizen of another country.  (It took about ten years after my parents were married for my mother to become a U.S. citizen.)  So if I were against immigration that would be less like shooting myself in the foot and more like wiping out my entire existence.  I doubt the cross-continental pollination that resulted in my birth would have happened without the U.S. history of immigration.  (And when I say cross-continental I mean it: Part of my family's from an island off the western coast of a continent while part of it's from an island off the eastern coast of the same continent with about 6,000 miles between the islands.)

So I'm a big supporter of immigration.  And I wholeheartedly support immigrants having a path to citizenship.  I especially approve of the accelerated path to citizenship for any immigrant who serves honorably in the U.S. military.  

What I don't support is illegal immigration.  To use the old saw......My mother came here legally.  I expect other people who want to be here to jump through the hoops to be here legally the same way my mother had to.  

Recently there's been a lot of news coverage of the support for changing the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment to no longer give automatic citizenship to any baby born in the U.S. (birthright citizenship).  Part of the reasoning to do this is to eliminate "anchor babies."  
I admit I don't grasp the concept behind "anchor babies."  Just because someone had a child born here in the U.S., we're supposed to be reluctant to deport them?  Personally, the idea of deporting the parents doesn't bother me at all.  As far as I'm concerned just because the child is an American citizen, doesn't give the parents any rights to stay here.  Now I'm not saying we forcibly separate the child from the parents. They are the parents --- that gives them certain rights such as the power to make decisions for a minor child.  The parents can decide if they want the child to leave the country with them or if they want the child to stay in the U.S. without them.  If the parents decide to leave the child in the U.S., then the child can be placed with a relative that is here legally or put into the foster care system.  If the parents decide to take the child with them, the child is a U.S. citizen and can always return later.  (And do not --- I mean, do not --- even try to equate the child leaving with the parents as we "deported" the children.  I grew up in a military family.  I all too well understand the concept that children go where the parents say they go and that the U.S. government can have a say in where the parents go.  As children we were dragged from pillar to post, including out of the country.)  
 
But the reality is we have been deporting the parents.  A quick Google search will turn up multiple cases.  The New York Times reported we deported more than 100,000 parents of children born in America.  So I'm not sure if "anchor babies" actually exist in practical terms.  As far as I know the only advantage of having a child who's a U.S. citizen is that when the child grows up he or she can sponsor the parents for immigration (legal immigration this time as opposed to the illegal method used earlier).  And if that's what people have a problem with, the answer is simply to disqualify the parents from immigration.  

The major problem isn't the babies.  It's that the parents and other illegal aliens* are here, period.

Frequently politicians will say something to the effect that we can't deport X million people.  I use "X" because the number keeps changing.  What doesn't change is every time I hear "We can't deport X million people" or "There's too many to deport" I get the urge to slap the speaker upside the head.  (Fortunately, even if I were close enough to slap them, I go by the legal opinion that "Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man's nose begins" so I'd restrain the impulse no matter how badly my hand itched.)  I don't know what I hate more: politicians being disingenuous or that the politicians think we, the American public, are too stupid to notice they're being disingenuous.  And that statement of we can't deport X million people is an example of both.  Of course we can't deport X million people.  We don't have too.  If they can't work or live here, they'll deport themselves.

How to make it so illegal aliens cannot live or work here?  These would be my suggestions:

Employment:
  • Require employers to verify that anyone they hire can work here legally.  There's already a voluntary government program (E-Verify) in place to do exactly that.  Make the program mandatory.  
  • Any individual or small business (as defined by the Small Business Administration) who hires someone without verification and that person turns out to be here illegally faces a $500 fine per person per day for the length of their employment.
  • For big businesses the fine shall be $5000 per person per day for the length of their employment.
Housing:
  • Housing property owned by people who are not here legally is subject to confiscation.
  • Rental properties must verify that anyone they rent to are here legally and must maintain records of the verification.  If that verification was not done and the renter turns out to be here illegally, there will be a fine equal to 5 times the rent for the duration of the rental period.
I know I'm shouting into the wind ---- no, into a hurricane.  I know none of that is going to be done because it would depend upon Congress to do it.  And Congress has two things: Republicans and Democrats.  
Guest Worker Program:

I do not know if a Guest Worker Program can work. There's a Time Magazine article with some food for thought on the subject, (Can a Guest Worker  Program Work? -- Time Magazine)

But I'd be willing to try one as long as:

People will have to pay to apply for the program. The application fee will cover the costs of background checks both here and in the country of origin.

Guest workers would be subject to the exact same laws (minimum wage, working conditions, etc.) as all of the other workers here in the U.S.  

I would even allow people who are already here illegally to apply for the guest worker program as long as they can pass the background checks.  

And I do think the guest worker program should be a route to permanent residency and citizenship. However, anyone in the program must show respect for U.S. laws by leaving the country after their job is over and not returning until they have another job.
The Democrats won't do it ---- to tell you the truth, I'm not sure just why the Democrats won't do it.  I'm a Democrat and I don't know what the reasoning is.  Illegal immigrants can't vote, only citizens can.  Do the Democrats think any citizen who's of the same ethnicity as the illegal immigrants is going to vote for them??  Have enough illegal aliens fraudulently registered to vote to swing elections?  (And since Republicans are also pro-illegal immigration why would the illegal aliens only vote for Democrats?)

The reason why the Republicans won't do it is crystal clear.  Cheap labor.  Too many of the businesses that support the Republican politicians depend upon the cheap labor of illegal aliens.

Ask any member of Congress and they'll all say they're for securing our borders.

But it's funny how the very people with the power to do anything about the problem are the very people who aren't doing anything about it.

Anchor Baby
* If you have a problem wiith the term "illegal alien," from Dictionary.com
illegal alien
–noun
1. a foreigner who has entered or resides in a country unlawfully or without the country's authorization.
2.a foreigner who enters the U.S. without an entry or immigrant visa, especially a person who crosses the border by avoiding inspection or who overstays the period of time allowed as a visitor, tourist, or businessperson. Compare resident alien.
Also called illegal immigrant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2011.


For more on politics and Congress not doing its job read "Social Insecurity" about outrageous wastes of money in Social Security Disability like the man who's getting disability checks because he claims he's too distracted by women's breasts to be able to work.
Please take a moment to look around the Archive.

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