Let’s get some conversation started on this birthright citizenship business.
A number of Republican Party presidential candidates want to do away with the constitutional provision that grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States of America.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wants it to remain a right of “natural-born” Americans. He writes this:
“Ending ‘birthright citizenship’ used to be an idea embraced by far-right whackos. But since Trump trumpeted it, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, Scott Walker, Rand Paul and others have joined him. Even Chris Christie now says the current policy needs to be ‘re-examined.’ And Jeb said today he doesn’t find the term ‘anchor babies’ offensive in the slightest.
“Can we get a grip? The right of anyone born in the United States to be an American citizen lies at the core of the post-Civil War concept of citizenship. It underlies the entire framework of rights and governance built around citizenship — including the 14th Amendment. It undergirds our entire history of immigration. And it prevents America from having permanent underclass of non-citizens spanning generations, as some other countries do.
“For Trump and other Republicans to make this proposal a centerpiece of their campaigns is not just to scapegoat immigrants for the economic anxieties of the middle class but to scapegoat innocent children as well. It is shameful.
I think it’s the “innocent children” aspect of this effort that offends me the most.
So, talk to me.