For Immigration Answers, Look To Liberty

What should be done with the estimated 15 million people living in the United States without the legal right to be here? It seems most politicians and many Americans come down on one or the other extreme.

Many Republicans, including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, have the idea that they can round up 15 million people and ship them back to wherever they came from. Many Democrats, on the other hand, would grant them blanket amnesty, give them citizenship, and make sure as many as possible are fully signed up to the welfare ranks.

Has anyone thought for a moment about how difficult, expensive, disruptive and dangerous to our civil liberties it would be to turn over every stone in this country to search for someone who might not be here legally? How many billions of dollars would it cost? The government would likely introduce a national identification card in effort to determine who should be here and who should not. The cards would no doubt be equipped with biometric data to transmit to the government information about law-abiding American citizens that they have no right knowing.

But on the other hand, how many billions of dollars per year does it cost to provide federal, state, and local welfare and other benefits to individuals who are not legally in the United States?

The situation seems impossible, and it is true there are no easy answers. I have suggested in my book “Liberty Defined” that some status short of citizenship might be conferred on a case-by-case basis. Perhaps a “green card” with a notation indicating that the person is not eligible for welfare and not permitted to vote in the United States. I don’t think there is any doubt that many who come to this country illegally simply want to work and will take jobs that Americans refuse to take.

The fact is, in a more libertarian society, citizenship itself would not be all that highly prized. Immigration could be controlled to a degree using property rights instead of building walls and issuing a national ID card. One very important “right” currently granted by U.S. citizenship is the “right” to all the free stuff from the government. A more libertarian society would likely have a more restrictive immigration policy because entry into the U.S. would not be accompanied by guarantees of free things, and most property would be owned privately.

Similarly, the issue of birthright citizenship would be much less difficult if acquiring American citizenship by the fact of being born on U.S. soil did not grant the child the ability to take advantage of the welfare state. Remove the welfare magnet, and you will greatly reduce the incentive to give birth here in order to gain citizenship for the baby.

Congress has within its power the authority to clarify the 14th Amendment’s definition of citizenship by making it clear that it does not grant citizenship by birthright. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution is very clear: Congress has the power, “To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States.”

This power has been used in the past to clarify birthright citizenship, including for the children of diplomats born on U.S. soil and foreign prisoners who may give birth while in jail. There is no reason Congress cannot provide further clarification of what the 14th Amendment means when it refers to “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.

It is our weak economy, caused to a great degree by the Federal Reserve system and the business cycles it constantly creates, that makes the immigration situation worse for us. Neither extreme position is correct because neither takes this into consideration. A move toward more liberty would be the first step toward a normal immigration policy.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Debunking The ‘Anchor Baby’ Myth

I had a former “anchor baby” in my office the other day. That child, now in his teens, was born in the United States and therefore became a citizen at birth.

This didn’t much help his parents, who worked long and hard and paid massive fines to become documented. Little “Pedro” simply stood on the sidelines as mom and pop did everything I told them to do so they could finally obtain legal status. He was, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant.

But to people like Donald Trump, my “anchor baby” was a menace to all good Americans who did things the right way, making sure that they didn’t pass through the birth canal before getting the passports of both sets of grandparents as well as a certificate of authenticity from Ancestry.com.

I don’t often write about immigration. But every now and then, I can’t avoid the topic.

I looked the other way when Obama’s executive orders prompted discussions about imperial presidents who exceed their constitutional powers. I ducked when the tragic deaths of innocent Americans at the hands of criminal aliens focused a laser on sanctuary cities. I even swallowed hard, but held my tongue, when fellow columnists tried to claim Pope Francis as the new St. Amnesty.

But it is impossible to play the ostrich when Donald Trump starts reinventing the Constitution and doing it over the bodies of diapered tykes. So let me wade across this political Rio Grande and try to explain why most lawyers, with a few notable exceptions, believe that Pedro, Sergei and Giuseppe are U.S. citizens as long as they draw their first bountiful breaths on U.S soil.

According to the 14th Amendment, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

This is not a statute, or an administrative regulation. This is not an executive order which can be challenged in federal court, as Obama’s immigration initiatives have been attacked. This is not a fanciful judicial interpretation of marriage, or the humanity of the unborn child.

This is We The People, speaking in most solemn terms, through the Amendment process. Critics have argued that the wording of the Amendment is vague (what does “subject to the jurisdiction of” mean?) and that the legislative history of the citizenship clause shows that it was only meant to restore dignity and wholeness to former slaves. Some of those critics, like renowned judge Richard Posner, are eloquent and persuasive.

But it is extremely difficult to avoid the thought that the whole question of birthright citizenship got traction at precisely the moment illegal immigration became a political hot potato and, therefore, that questions about its legitimacy are intellectually dishonest.

My proof? Well, it seems that opponents of birthright citizenship only woke up to its horrors when illegal aliens started producing Yankee Doodle babies. All of a sudden, those swaddled “invaders” were a cause for concern because, supposedly, they opened the floodgates to a long, vast, swiftly-moving phalanx of chain migration.

Let me assure you that this is not the case, and I have twenty years ofexperience to prove it. If, in fact, “anchor babies” were an ingenious way of keeping people in the United States and getting them green cards, I’d be a very rich woman.

Anyone who knows me can confirm that I have far less personal capital than, say, Donald Trump.

In order to be able to sponsor a parent for legalization, an “anchor baby” needs to have reached the age of 21. It’s hard to imagine that most immigrants, legal or not, think that far in advance, as in “let’s have a baby and then two decades from now we can vote!”

Another way that an “anchor baby” could help is if the parent is arrested by immigration and he can prove that deportation would cause hardship to that kid, but only if the parent has been living uninterruptedly in this country for at least ten years

This idea, then, of a quick meal ticket to citizenship because you happen to have a child born in the United States is the strange figment of a nativist imagination.

I’ve heard all the arguments about the 14th Amendment never being intended to give this great gift of citizenship to an accident of birth. But both Supreme Court precedent, as well as a clear reading of the constitution, make it highly unlikely that Donald Trump or his friends will be successful in stripping Pedro, Sergei and Giuseppe of their birthright. Plus, it’s really hard to amend the constitution, as Gloria Steinem and crew found out with the ERA several decades ago.

I don’t underestimate the frustration people have with our current immigration mess. I live it, breathe it, try and navigate its turgid waters every day. But catchy sound bites, unrealistic policy papers and opportunistic political promises will not solve the problem.

So Trump should just stop whining, or he’ll start sounding like an “anchor baby.”

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Trump Gives Nickname To His Border Wall – The Great Wall Of Trump

After sparking the discussion for illegal immigrants from Mexico, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump chose a nickname for his proposed border wall.

As you know, I know how to build. I know how to get it done. We’ll have a great wall. We’ll call it the ‘Great Wall of Trump.’

While he joked that wouldn’t actually be its name, he did say it would be far easier to build than the famous wall in China.

You look at the Great Wall of China, that was built 2,500 years ago – it’s 13,000 miles. And we’re really talking about something more than, a little more than 1,000 miles. So it’s something that can be absolutely done, not done at tremendous cost.

Mr. Trump concluded by saying it would also be a handsome wall.

We’ll have a great wall, actually it can be a good looking wall, as walls go. But we will have a really terrific wall.

Should the U.S. build the Great Wall of Trump? Share and comment below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

WATCH: Illegal Reveals He Works At Trump Hotel. But Here’s One Thing He Didn’t Mention…

A video from a Brooklyn immigrant opposing presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments regarding illegal immigrants has prompted reaction from both Trump and attorneys for the restaurant that employs the native Mexican.

Ricardo Aca, 24, decided to make a video as a way to state his view on the immigration issue. Aca, who claimed to be an undocumented immigrant, works as a busboy at the Koi SoHo restaurant. The restaurant is located within the Trump SoHo hotel and is considered “a third party tenant.” It is not part of the Trump Organization.

Aca’s video went viral on Aug. 17, drawing more than 300,000 views in 24 hours. The attraction was largely because the video title, “Meet Ricardo, an undocumented immigrant who works in a Trump Hotel,” insinuated that Aca was in the country illegally and working for a Trump enterprise. Neither is true, according to Suzanne Chou, a lawyer for Koi Group.

“Our company follows the law, and if you are eligible to work at Koi, you can apply,” Chou said.

Aca came to the United States at age 14 with his 12-year-old sister. His mother was already here. She tried to secure visas for the family, but the legal avenue failed. She was working in a New York sewing factory when she arranged to bring her children over through Arizona. Because Aca came to the U.S. as a child, he entered into a 2012 program that granted deportation deferrals and allowed for work permits. So, he is legally working at the restaurant. His mother, stepfather, and sister remain in the country and are working.

The Koi restaurant group demanded the video be taken down because of the fact that he is a legal immigrant. David W. Leopold, former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, is volunteering to assist filmmaker Chase Whiteside in responding to the request. Leopold said that legally, “deferred action does not confer lawful status.” The video remains up.

Trump said he wanted to check Aca’s file, but doesn’t have an issue with Aca or his opinion.

“He’s got a legal work permit. I’ve heard he does a good job. We thought he was an illegal immigrant at first,” Trump said.

Aca said he wants people to understand that Trump’s remarks about immigrants being mostly criminals aren’t true. He isn’t a criminal, doesn’t deal drugs and has never raped anyone. He works three jobs, as do most of those in his family.

“Those are not the immigrants that I know. That is not what we’re like,” Aca said in the video.

Aca said immigrants want to achieve. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood Queens and earned an associate’s degree in photography from LaGuardia Community College.

“Everything my family has we earned it by working. We came to America because we wanted a better life. My mom was able to put me and my sister through college, which I’m not so sure that if we were in Mexico we would be able to do that,” Aca said in the video.

Aca thinks most do not agree with Trump on the issue, in spite of surging crowds seeking to see the billionaire who wants to be president.

“I don’t think the rest of America feels the same way that he does. I hope that they don’t,” Aca said.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Rush Just Made A HUGE Revelation About ‘Anchor Babies’ That No One Realizes

On his syndicated radio show Thursday, Rush Limbaugh noted that the United States is one of only two countries that give automatic citizenship to children born on their land.

Limbaugh quoted an article published in March by The Fiscal Times. “Among developed nations, only the U.S. and Canada still offer automatic citizenship to children born on their soil. Not a single European country follows the practice,” author Liz Peek wrote. The article continued:

We take this right for granted, but the evidence is that this entitlement encourages a booming birth tourism business (which undermines our immigration objectives) and virtually guarantees that the number of people in the country illegally will continue to grow.

“Did you know that?” Limbaugh asked his audience rhetorically. “In other words, let’s say that you live in Morocco, and you want to go to London. You go to London, you’re a woman and you get pregnant, you give birth, your kid is not a citizen of the U.K. The United States and Canada still are the only countries, developed nations, that offer automatic citizenship to children born on their soil. Not a single European country follows the practice.”

“For prosperous Chinese or residents of unstable countries like Russia, an American passport represents an invaluable safety net,” Peek wrote. “Some estimate that as many as 40,000 children from all over the world are born under such circumstances in the U.S. each year. Over time, with family members climbing aboard, the total allowed into the country multiples.”

Once those babies turn 21, and if they are in the country, they can sponsor other family members to enter the U.S. Under our law, which promotes family unification, parents, siblings and minor children of a U.S. citizen are welcome. According to a report from John Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies, admitting family members account for most of the nation’s growth in immigration levels. Of the 1,130,818 immigrants who were granted legal permanent residency in 2009, a total of 747,413 (or, 66 percent) were family-sponsored immigrants.

The issue of birthright citizenship has recently come to the forefront among the Republican presidential candidates. Donald Trump, for example, has proposed an immigration plan that would revoke birthright citizenship altogether. In an interview with Bill O’Reilly Tuesday, Trump contended the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee birthright citizenship. Another so-called top tier candidate, Gov. Scott Walker, agrees.

But former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida said Tuesday that birthright citizenship is a “constitutionally protected right” and “doesn’t support revoking it.” Former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina believes it would take a constitutional amendment to revoke birthright citizenship. “It’s part of our 14th Amendment. So honestly, I think we should put all of our energies, all of our political will into finally getting the border secured and fixing the legal immigration,” she told NBC News Monday.

What is your stance on birthright citizenship? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth