Claims against granting citizenship prove hypocritical


There are numerous debates about whether children born in this country but to non-citizen parents should have the right to a public education. The fact that this is even a topic of discussion is a reminder that yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question.

A child who was born in this country should have the same rights as any other child born in this country. And yes, they should even be able to legally run for president, unlike, let’s say, oh I don’t know, a Canadian-born Ted Cruz?

Many approach this argument on the basis that giving these children citizenship is unconstitutional, with specific reference to the language of 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 the States wherein they reside.”

Some focus on the “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause, arguing that the jurisdiction discussed by the Framers does not refer to physical boundaries.

Opponents of immigration argue that only American-born citizens can be considered citizens.

Effectively, they call into question the validity of this child’s loyalty since they would still be raised under a non-citizen household.

This Constitutional argument about technicalities is for the sole purpose of denying American citizenship to the children of non-citizen parents. Using the Constitution to deny rights to certain persons is the wrong way to use the Constitution.

The intent of the 14th Amendment was, shockingly enough, to curtail the effects of what happened when citizens were treated as second-class citizens. Second-class citizenship is just another way of saying that there are certain persons who will be denied rights that they are actually entitled to.

This amendment is designed to protect the very children that are now being prosecuted because of where their parents were born. The 14th Amendment is a way to rectify the institutional racism that is so prevalent in society. Now there are people trying to use it to enforce their ideologies about who does and does not get rights within this country.

Another argument as to why children that were born in the U.S. but were born to parents that immigrated here illegally is the concept of the “anchor baby.”

“Anchor baby” is a largely pejorative term that is used to describe a child born here in the United States to non-citizen parents. It is a derogatory poke at why the child was conceived in the first place and is a reference to the child’s role of facilitating the transition from illegal to legal status for their parents.

Recently, I sat in my home that I share with two good friends. Upon discussing the citizenship of my parents, and that I was actually born here in the United States, I was referred to as an “anchor baby.” The individual in question never meant to be callous or hurtful.

I was supposed to take it as a joke, and not get upset about it. There is no reason to dwell on the harmful ramifications of this comment, because they should be pretty clear.

Instead, there is the ignorance of this comment – as well as the misconception that encompasses the term “anchor baby.” Citizenship by birth does not actually guarantee the parents the right to stay in the United States – at least not until the child reaches the age of maturity. Often, the parents and child are removed from the country, and the child has the ability to return to the United States once they are of age.

That comment and this term are both borne of ignorance. That is kind of the point, though: ignorance.