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Public evenly split on changing 14th amendment?

An amazing finding, just in from CNN:

As you may know, the Constitution says that all children born in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens regardless of their parents' status. Would you favor or oppose a Constitutional amendment to prevent children born here from becoming U.S. citizens unless their parents are also U.S. citizens?

Favor 49%

Oppose 51%

No opinion 1%

The public is just about evenly split on whether to repeal birthright citizenship. Hey, what's another Constitutional amendment between friends, anyway?

Perhaps this reflects frustration with the government's failure to solve the illegal immigration problem. Or perhaps the decision by some GOP officials to openly flirt with changing the 14th amendment is succeeding in legitimizing the idea. Or maybe both those factors are combining to produce a toxic result: The mainstreaming of ideas that by any measure should be dismissed as extreme by public officials and voters alike.

Oh, one other result in the poll: A solid majority, 60 percent, favors the $26 billion in aid for teachers. A majority of independents, 57 percent, also favors it. Only Republicans oppose it.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 11, 2010; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  Immigration  
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Comments

The part about the teachers is promising, the other is sad.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 11, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"The public is just about evenly split on whether to repeal birthright citizenship. Hey, what's another Constitutional amendment between friends, anyway?"

Interesting. It still remains a bad idea. Also, 50% is not sufficient for an amendment.In 1999, a Gallup poll showed that 63% of the American public favored an anti-flag burning amendment. Didn't really come close to happening. Repealing the 14th amendment, or even parts of the 14th amendment, is not going to happen.

I'd be curious if the poll asked any following up questions. "So, you favor the government deciding who is a citizen, and under what conditions, rather than having it be any kind of "birthright"? And what if there was another way to deal with so-called "anchor babies", perhaps a better way to handle immigration--would you still support repealing birthright citizenship? Do you think every child born should be reviewed, in order to see if it qualifies for citizenship?

And so on. I'm guessing that poll, given recent news stories, sounded too much like "are you opposed to 'anchor babies'" and not enough like "would you support ending birthright citizenship, and all that entails?"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 11, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Public opposes Ground Zero Mosque by a margin of 68% to 29%.

Posted by: ath17 | August 11, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

A couple of small tidbits about this 14ther issue.

1) It will never happen. Ever. Anyone who thinks they will be able to amend the constitution to get rid of "anchor babies" (a term I still think is disgustingly racist) or ban gay marriage or outlaw abortion should be forcibly removed from the gene pool.

2) Any politician who claims they will accomplish #1 is pandering to people he/she thinks are stupid.

Posted by: nisleib | August 11, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The results of eradicating history and citizenship education in favor of frequent testing are beginning to show?

Posted by: janinsanfran | August 11, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Can we have a rational discussion on this issue.

I would like some more information on the subject.

If an undocumented parent gives birth in the USA, does the law actually state that the parent can not be deported, and take her child with her, while allowing the child to retain American Citizenship, which it can use, to return, if it chooses to do, once it becomes an adult?

Can we start here. What is the answer to that question.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

More of the same GOP bs.

"Republicans Love the Constitution So Much They Want to Change It"

It really is sad. If you look at the cross-tabs, on issue after issue it is clearly the older, white, Southern Conservative who is against anything and everything... In this case: aid for teachers, constitutionally-provided right to citizenship, and a moderate Muslim center in one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in the world.

The old, white, Southern Conservative is literally bent on destroying this country because it's not "theirs" anymore.

All of society's ignorance of the last 300 years is bottled up in modern Republican Party and they are taking their racism and xenophobia out on the rest of us. STUPID. Just totally STUPID.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 11, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'd venture that the vast majority of the public, maybe even 90% or better, have no clue what the 14th Amendment did, the problems it solved, how it took the awarding of citizenship out of the political sphere, and what the implications are of changing it.

I'd also love to hear Bobby Jindal's opinion, since is was at birth an "anchor baby."

Also interesting, Marco Rubio is opposed to changing it.

"Crist And Rubio Agree: Don't Change The 14th Amendment"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/crist-and-rubio-agree-dont-change-the-14th-amendment.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 11, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Here is the question the pollster SHOULD have been asking:

As you may know, the Constitution says that all children born in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens regardless of their parents' status. Would you favor or oppose Congress wasting a bunch of time arguing over this issue, even through there is zero chances of any Constitutional amendment, thereby increasing racial tension and furthering the Republican’s “Southern Strategy”?

Posted by: nisleib | August 11, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

That was a badly worded poll question. It didn't exactly ask "Do you want the 14th Amendment repealed?" Of course, I bet the majority of Americans probably couldn't even tell you what the 14th Amendment is and why it was passed in the first place, unless maybe they have been following this recent push to repeal it.

I have to say, left-leaning progressive that I am, I don't see why a baby born here to parents who are in the country illegally should automatically be granted citizenship, other than the fact that it is in the Constitution. And the Constitution can be amended. I think one of the great things about America is our welcoming to immigrants, and I think the 14th Amendment is a cool thing to have. Diversity is a good thing. But I think it's a fair debate to have.

So what really is fair? I'm not in favor of kicking out every undocumented immigrant, simply because of the financial cost and the trauma to broken families. Perhaps it would make more sense for babies born here to gain legal status without being citizens.

I'm sure that wouldn't be enough for most right wingers, and it's a bit arbitrary, but something has to be done. And unfortunately, like the health care bill, no one will be completely satisfied with the result.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 11, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"does the law actually state that the parent can not be deported, and take her child with her, while allowing the child to retain American Citizenship, which it can use, to return, if it chooses to do, once it becomes an adult?"

No. The parent can be deported and has every right to take the child. The child as a citizen can help their parents immigrate to the US, but only after the child is 21.

I grew up on the border and this used to occur all the time. Women in Mexico would often cross the border while in labor to give birth on the US side. It was a real issue because they often ended up at the county hospital where taxpayers would have to pick up the tab.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 11, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I still would like an answer to my question;

Does the law actually state that an undocumented parent can not be deported, once they give birth to a child on American soil?

I want to know what the facts are; since I keep hearing the term; "anchor baby' tossed around by The Right.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@sdjeff:I think one of the great things about America is our welcoming to immigrants, and I think the 14th Amendment is a cool thing to have. Diversity is a good thing. But I think it's a fair debate to have.

If you look at the history of the 14th amendment, it clearly was intended for both freed slaves AND immigrants' children to be citizens. Even when the Chinese were being deported around the turn of the 20th century their children born here were not automatically deported because they had citizenship. I don't see any upside to making citizenship a political football, with the govt making and changing citizenship laws depending on the political advantages of the moment.

Posted by: srw3 | August 11, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Liam: "Does the law actually state that an undocumented parent can not be deported, once they give birth to a child on American soil?"

No, it does not. However, if you deport the child along with the parent, you are deporting an American citizen.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat

Thanks for the answer. So the term; "anchor baby" is not even factual.

I wonder; does anyone have the actual numbers of how many such babies were born here in the last decade. I am talking strictly about babies that were born to mothers who entered the country while pregnant.

I have my doubts that very many poor women actually plan on getting pregnant, and then entering the country ,just to gain a residency foothold here. It all sounds a bit far fetched.

Very few poor women, if any, would intentionally do such a thing; and especially since having their baby here does not bestow legal residence on the parents.

Sounds like just another one of those Right Wing ploys, designed to whip Xenophobes into a frenzy.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

srw3: "I don't see any upside to making citizenship a political football, with the govt making and changing citizenship laws depending on the political advantages of the moment."

Exactly. Citizenship should be beyond politics.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 11, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

During the fight over Prohibition, the Drys (mostly West and Midwest Republicans plus Southern Dems) proposed that non-citizen immigrants not be counted in the reapportionment of Congress after the 1920 census. As I mentioned yesterday, they also actually refused to reapportion Congress until 1929, nine years after the census, and had the new allocation of seats take effect in the 1932 election, AFTER the 1930 census! This was all in an effort to preserve the Dry majority and prevent any tampering with the Volstead Act. We all know how well that worked.

This is a rerun or rather maybe a sequel, except is to try to keep the GOP a viable party even as it becomes older and whiter than the electorate.

I really don't think this is going anywhere. Like the Human Life Amendment proposed in the 1980s, this would create problems for all of the state legislatures if it got out of Congress (which it won't), might tie things up during a time of serious economic problems. And it won't be forgotten by Latinos and Asians who go the polls this November.

I suppose in the unlikely event that the GOP takes Congress Ken Buck and Rand Paul and Sharron Angle can lead the charge and report out an amendment, but I'd still bet against it. Now, as then, it is divisive xenophobia designed to excite the nativists, but it is going to boomerang given the demographics.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 11, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

If you deport the undocumented parent, and they have a minor child, then I see no reason to worry about the child having American citizenship status. Parental custody rights do, and should transcend that. A minor is still a minor. It can retain it's American Citizenship rights, and exercise them, as an adult, should it choose to. Until that time comes along, a minor belongs with a parent, so I see not great reason to change the 14th Amendment.

If the parent must be deported, then the right thing to do, is let her take her child with her.


Lately; I have heard some Republicans Senators and Congress members saying that we should consider altering the 14th amendment, because those who created it, could not foresee how things would turn out in this modern era.

I find that stance astonishing; since those very same Republicans often us the exact opposite argument when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, Right To Bear Arms, issue.

Then those Republicans are all about sticking to "Original Intent".

However on the 14th Amendment, which was added in 1868, they want to change it because the "original intent" does not hold up.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@liam:Does the law actually state that an undocumented parent can not be deported, once they give birth to a child on American soil?

I believe the answer is no. Parents can be deported even if their children are citizens. Now, whether they would enforce that edict immediately and deport the mother of a newborn is an open question, but there is nothing in the statute that says the parents of citizens are granted any special consideration...The parents do move up the line for legal immigration because they have relatives that are US citizens, but that's about it as I understand it.

Posted by: srw3 | August 11, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff: Right now a birth certificate, which is filled out in a hospital, records the fact and place of birth, as well as the names of the parents. Citizenship derives from the place of birth.

Without this, how would you propose counties establish the citizenship of the child? Have the parents present their papers at the birth of the child? All parents or just the brown ones? Leave it as is, but require all children to establish their parents' citizenship when they need to prove their own citizenship, i.e., if they want to leave the country? Or if it otherwise becomes an issue?

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 11, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The poll also showed that when they last asked this question back in 1993, the results were virtually identical: 49 percent in favor, 47 percent opposed (opposition has actually increased by a few points). So there's nothing new here. Fortunately it takes huge majorities to change the Constitution, so this isn't going to happen.

Posted by: DB55 | August 11, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@Liam: "I have my doubts that very many poor women actually plan on getting pregnant, and then entering the country ,just to gain a residency foothold here. It all sounds a bit far fetched."

Yeah, I certainly don't have any statistics, but where I grew up mixed-nationality families was so common that I never really gave it a second thought.

And keep in mind that even though the child may still be taken back to Mexico, they still retain the right to travel back and forth - so this can have great benefits to families who live close to the border. For instance, it was not unusual in school to have classmates who lived in Mexico and commuted back and forth each day.

And it isn't just poor women that do this. My husband's Mother was Mexican (his dad is an American citizen so he's not an "anchor baby") - and all of her sisters made sure to have their children on this side of the border. Even though the kids all grew up in Mexico, most of them now live on this side. And now that the situation is so bad over there with the drug cartels, the kids are now able to bring their parents over to live here, too.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 11, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Yet another epic fail by the Democrats. We should be discussing repealing the Second Amendment, the right to possess deadly weapons, but instead we're talking about repealing the 14th that guarantees equal rights and citizenship. Face it: The Obama White House couldn't sell lemonade in the Sahara. And then they have the audacity to blame Liberals for being unimpressed and unenthusiastic. Oh, and the only audacity this Administration ever seems to muster is attacking the Left. Real tough guys.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 11, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

WoeBegone is what you should be calling yourself.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat

Well, Texas did belong to Mexico; so in a way, they are just going back to see The Old Sod.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad they didn't ask how many people have the faintest clue what the 14th amendment actually says.

Posted by: CalD | August 11, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

'It's too bad they didn't ask how many people have the faintest clue what the 14th amendment actually says."

It is even more telling, I think, that without knowing what it means half the country automatically sides with the GOP/Teabaggers. Talk about losing the debate. Good lord, the Est Democrats are pathetic. I guess that mature and prudent decision to capitulate over and over to the loons didn't really work so well. Who could have guessed?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 11, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Really? If we're going to pick and choose who gets to become citizens, then let's make sure that the children of child molesters are banned from the country as well. What are the statistics on children of molesters becomming molesters later? While we're at it, maybe we have too many women, or Asians, or Muslims. Everyone knows Mormons have too many kids. Maybe only the first 2 should be citizens?

Posted by: helloyou101 | August 11, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised the citizenship question was not based more on the actual proposals that are popular. Citizen for children born in the US based on at least one parent being a US citizen, a lawful permanent resident alien whose residence is in the United States or an alien performing active service in the US armed forces.

Thus citizenship would be limited to the children born in the US of those who have permanent ties to the US and are in the country legally.

This seems much more inclusive then the question asked which would have required both parents to be US citizens only.


Posted by: win1 | August 11, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Snark Alert:

When are we going to stop all those Adoptions of Foreign babies.

After all; those foreign orphans are just taking advantage of the USA, by using Anchor Parents.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Horribly worded question. It makes it sound as though you would be "prevented" from EVER becoming a U.S. citizen unless BOTH of your parents were citizens at the time of your birth. Is anyone proposing that?

If we amend the 14th Amendment in that manner, and make it retroactive, it would reduce the population of the country significantly. I, for example, wouldn't be a citizen, because my greatgrandparents weren't citizens when my grandfather was born (they were here legally, but not citizens until years later), meaning my grandfather wouldn't be born a citizen, and if my grandfather wasn't born a citizen, then my father wasn't born a citizen, and if my father wasn't born a citizen, I'm not a citizen. The U.S. will have to deport me back to Scotland.

You can all come visit me for a nice haggis dinner.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | August 11, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to those who have pointed out how poorly the poll question was worded, and how unlikely it is that most respondents actually understood the underlying issues. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if a more trustworthy survey yielded similar results.

Still, at least we can take consolation from the fact that the bar for amending the constitution is set high enough to make approval of lamebrain schemes like this nearly impossible.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | August 11, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"Without this, how would you propose counties establish the citizenship of the child? "

Mimi, I wouldn't propose anything, I just said it's a fair debate. Look, our side cannot possibly be right about EVERYTHING. I look for possible common ground with the opposition. If we don't, we'll never get anywhere. That may be Obama's shortfall too. He expects cooperation when in fact no one is willing to meet him in the middle.

In response to your question, I'm assuming right wingers would propose that the process of birth certification be overhauled. Don't mistake that as me suggesting that's what should be done, but I'm just saying it's a possible solution. It's in no way a hindrance.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 11, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Jeff,

They are talking about changing the 14th amendment to do something that will have no effect on the immigration situation.

If the parent is illegal, she can be deported now. Taking away the birthright of the baby does not change that. Both mother and baby are just as likely to be deported now, as they would be after the constitution was changed.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Nobody was complaining when part of the 14th Amendment (Section 2) was changed the first time (via the 19th Amendment):

"Why was the Fourteenth Amendment controversial in women's rights circles? Because, for the first time, the proposed Amendment added the word "male" into the US Constitution. Section 2, which dealt explicitly with voting rights, used the term "male." And women's rights advocates, especially those who were promoting woman suffrage or the granting of the vote to women, were outraged.

Some women's rights supporters, including Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and Frederick Douglass, supported the Fourteenth Amendment as essential to guaranteeing black equality and full citizenship, even though it was flawed in only applying voting rights to males. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the efforts of some women's suffrage supporters to defeat both the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, because the Fourteenth Amendment included the offensive focus on male voters. When the Amendment was ratified, they advocated, without success, for a universal suffrage amendment."

Why would anybody suggest that we should return to the days in which women were prohibited from voting?

Posted by: kamakiri001 | August 11, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

A real poll would find
70% favor,
30% oppose.

Posted by: mlimberg | August 11, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

That would be your own personal "real poll" that you conducted up your rectum, I assume?!

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"They are talking about changing the 14th amendment to do something that will have no effect on the immigration situation."

Liam, this has everything to do with immigration. Republicans are afraid their anti-latino immigrant policies will render their party powerless.

Don't know if anyone referenced this Post article, but it's very good, especially the last few paragraphs.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/10/AR2010081004586.html

Posted by: SDJeff | August 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Immigration is going to continue to be a GOP talking point, particularly since most other nations that have people Republicans might approve of, already have a higher standard of living than the average American.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | August 11, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

HERE ARE ALL THE DEVELOPED NATIONS OF THE WORLD
THAT OFFER BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP TO THE BABIES
OF TOURISTS AND ILLEGAL ALIENS:

* United States


That's right, every other modern Developed nation in the world has gotten rid of birthright citizenship policies.

Yet, most of U.S. news media and politicians the last two weeks have ridiculed the comments by some other politicians that it is time for the U.S. to put an end to birthright citizenship for tourists and illegal aliens.

Folks, the U.S. stands alone.

Posted by: mayaying | August 11, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Republicans just want to stop all Hispanic immigrants from ever becoming citizens. That way they will never be able to vote.

Since Republicans have gone all in with their strategy to woo nativists, by scapegoating hispanics, they have written of what many call the fastest growing voter group. Therefore, perhaps Republicans have decided to engage in tactics that would stop that growth in it's tracks, by making it almost impossible for any immigrants, even embryos, to ever become US Citizens.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

mayaying, so now conservatives only care what other developed nations do? Whatever happened to American exceptionalism? Where was this argument when democrats were pushing single-payer universal health care, a version of which is offered in EVERY SINGLE DEVELOPED NATION ON EARTH, except ours?

All I got back then was "What you want to be like France?"

Posted by: SDJeff | August 11, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@mayaying : Well, you know what republicans say. Foreign laws should have no bearing on US laws. Repub senators rail about how international law standards are being stealthily incorporated into US law by the evil, unamerican democratic judges and legislators. Why should what other countries do affect US law in this case and not say in regards to capital punishment trying children as adults, the treatment of the mentally impaired in the justice system, labor law, etc. ?

Just askin'

Posted by: srw3 | August 11, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm a pretty moderate guy, who considers himself more logical than passionate, and I haven't heard any compelling reasons for why we would implement such a policy today if it came up for a vote. I understand why it came into existence, but I'm just unaware of what benefits we get from it today as a society.

The best argument for not changing it is that amending the Constitution is a serious process and while I'm not sure of the benefits, I'm pretty sure the actual costs are pretty low. If someone could prove otherwise, it might tip the balance for me.

Posted by: sanity_check | August 11, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

What is incredible is the false premise of the question.

The 14th Amendment provides no such thing. This was nothing g but a propoganda poll. Citizenship is conferred only upon persons born in the US "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 11, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

The United States is the laughing stock of the modern world. Only the U.S. values its citizenship so lowly as to distribute it promiscuously to the off-spring of foreign citizens visiting Disney World on tourist visas and to foreign citizens who have violated their promises on their visitor, work and student visas to stay illegally in the country, as well as to those who sneak across our borders.

Posted by: mayaying | August 11, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

The same margin was reported about equal protection and due process in the 14th amendment (gay couples wanting to marry)

And they are U.S. citizens by birth.

Maybe American needs to hang up signs at the borders and the halls of government and justice:

CLOSED. GONE FISHIN' OR GONE CRAZY. COME BACK WHEN WE GROW UP.

Posted by: ldfrmc | August 11, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Managing the affairs of over 300 million people is task which has been accomplished by only three Governments (in all of human history). The problem becomes more acute, in the circumstance where a Constitution sets the limits, while Common Law determines the Conventional Practice. The balancing act between Constitution and Convention can be diverse even with a static document. Changing a word or phrase may not have the intended effect of the Amending Party. Brave (or foolhardy) are the individuals who believe that they can control the focus and agenda of any forum to amend the Constitution of the United States. For once pandora's box is opened someone else will be trying to nail down the "right to bear arms" and "free speech" portions of the Constitution (among others). Those that lead this charge may find out the Miss Pandora can be very cruel indeed.

Posted by: cbelleau | August 12, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Lindsey Graham and the Republicans are seeking to repeal and replace the 14th Amendment. According to House Minority Leader, John Boehner, they want to replace it with a 28th Amendment that is twice as strong. They claim that the Democrats slipped the 14th Amendment through as part of the $15,000 Buggy Bailout Bill of 1866.

Read this article. VERY FUNNY.

http://www.dailygoat.com/?p=2508

Posted by: eye95 | August 12, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

How about counting them as 2/3 of a person for census purposes, not letting them vote and and force them to work for nothing?

Oh wait, tried that.

Better yet. How about never voting for a Republican again because all they have to offer is fear, hatred, distortion, distraction and division.

Posted by: thebobbob | August 12, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

...and now we see the Tea Baggers shoot themselves in the foot, & put it in their mouths...
When even Huckabee demurs....!

Actually, I'd like to propose stripping the citizenship of anyone who tries the strip the citizenship of others-- sounds fair, no? So watch out Mitt Romney, George F. Will, and all the rest of ya!!

Posted by: thompst1 | August 13, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Janet is a joke.

Posted by: usapdx | August 14, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Someone wrote: "Can we have a rational discussion on this issue. I would like some more information on the subject.
If an undocumented parent gives birth in the USA, does the law actually state that the parent can not be deported, and take her child with her, while allowing the child to retain American Citizenship, which it can use, to return, if it chooses to do, once it becomes an adult?

Can we start here. What is the answer to that question."

I do not believe that the law states the parent cannot be deported with their USC child. It doesn't need to. The reality is that in such cases the undocumented immigrant can apply for various types of relief from an immigration judge and will often/usually get it - the argument being that such a child will have a much worse life in rural Mexico of wherever than in the US. There is obviously no realistic (or desirable) way to separate the child from its parent.

But it's really more of a political issue. For many, having USC children is a compelling reason for granting permanent status to undcoumented parents. It's very easy to understand why. While I do not use the term "anchor baby," I think it is pretty much undeniable that when an undocumented immigrant has a child in the US it greatly diminishes the chances of his/her being removed. You may or may not like that outcome, but that is, I believe, the truth of the matter. And it is in fact a strong argument for those who favor legalization.

Posted by: dwatson01 | August 17, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

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