By Beverly Frimpong
Elm Staff Writer
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Immigration Act of 1965 uses the term “anchor babies” for children born to illegal alien mothers in the United States. This descriptive term is in reference to the burdensome weight that these children put on the US government, for they are often the loopholes through which most illegal families enter the US. Arguments have been brought forth to strip them, the children, of their citizenship.
Those who argue in favor of stripping these children of their citizenship offer two arguments. One claims that the initial amendment, the 14th, was not meant to be interpreted or applied to these situations. Thus, an illegal alien mother and her children should be subjected to the jurisdiction of her native country. Also, that it will stop the millions of immigrants pulled in by the 300,000 anchor babies born annually. Though this might seem like a solution, the subliminal message and repercussions are problematic.
The most noticeable and current subliminal message is the ever-present idea of discrimination and preference in the United States. I have seen this idea applied to all shapes, shades, forms, and norms. It is woven into the fabric of the American culture, and now has manifested itself in the question of nationality. The original amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.” Any child born in the United States should fall under this amendment. Making the narrow distinction between Americans born of a native parent, and those who are not ia both hypocrisy and discrimination.
The 14th amendment provides no additional clause for special situations such as an illegal alien mother. One can argue that the lack of specificity shows the irrelevance of the situation during the creation of the amendment. This is because the amendment was created to grant freed slaves and their families’ citizenship. I am sure the leaders grappled with the same questions that we are dealing with presently. Not all the slaves were native born or born of a native. Yet most, if not all, received their citizenship.
This is not too far of a stretch from the children born of illegal alien mothers. Also, a further interpretation presented by, then, Senator Jacob Howard provides clear limitations to the amendment, which do not discredit alien mothers. He wrote: “This [citizenship] will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.” If we carefully read and interpret this excerpt, and are honest with ourselves, we will all reach the same conclusion: that every other class of persons includes illegal alien mothers.
The solution is for the DHS to keep the boarder secure, but if they should fall short, then they should readjust their strategy for success. Denying a natural born American of his/her birth right, and/or extraditing them along with their illegal alien mothers would be abandonment and disgrace in its purest form. Not all aliens are out to breakdown or cheat the American system, in fact, it is quite the contrary. Many simply bring their tired, poor; huddled masses yearning to breathe free, in the hopes of achieving their American dream.
However this issue is debated, puzzled over and resolved, I have unwavering faith in the American people. When it comes down to it, the purity of America’s will, always, shines through its blissful benightedness.