Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If you are born here you are a citizen!

This post will be short and to the point. According to the Constitution of the United States, the country I was born and raised in:
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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Why am I quoting the Constitution? Not just because every American should at least be familiar with it but because of this article in the New York Times called State Lawmakers Outline Plans to End Birthright Citizenship, Drawing Outcry
They acknowledged that the state bills were not likely to have a practical effect anytime soon, since they will quickly be challenged as unconstitutional. But the legislators — from Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina — said they chose the first day of a new Republican-controlled House of Representatives to start an effort that they hope will end with a Supreme Court decision on birthright citizenship, and spur legislative action in Washington.
Why would it be considered unconstitutional? Probably because it is. I discussed in a previous post that changing the Constitution is not easy (with the help of Maddow) and while they are not saying this it seems to me that this is their long term goals. It's disgusting. Let's say that they succeed and you do not become a citizen based solely upon being born here but also your parents legal status. How far back would this go? Would it start with children born from now on or would it be retroactive? Everyone who was here illegally or without paperwork would have to leave and their children would not be citizens. Who is really here legally from the beginning?? Or maybe it's because of the criminality of it? The parents are here 'illegally' so they children should not be citizens by virtue of being born here. So will it continue to exclude excons, those on probation or would it extend to petty offenders like first time shoplifters? Not everything is a slippery slope but "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!"

The next part of the conversation is what are you going to do about it? As the Vice President of a student club I plan on trying to mobilize my members. I suggest you do the same. Why? It starts with the children of immigrants who do not have paperwork. Who's to say it won't go further towards immigrants in general and people of color and further still with religious minorities? I'm going to quote Rev. Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.
These attacks on the 14th amendment whether veiled or not are attacks on immigrants and people of color and on American values. As immigrants/children of immigrants/people of color and as Americans we cannot let them take away our rights. You or your loved ones could be next?

UPDATE 1/6/11 12:10PM
Just found this article with tons of videos to check out. Called Deport 'Em All: The Dred Scott Republicans Who Want to Repeal Birthright Citizenship. Written by Prerna Lal on Buzzfeed.

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