SHAME ON THEM

              There has been a lot of news lately concerning immigration. Much of that news is the reporting of the exhortations of a number of politicians to stem the tide of immigrants and to ensure those filthy bastards don’t cast a shadow on American soil. If they do, they will be quickly rousted and any advantage they sought by moving here will be denied.

               One of the more egregious proposals to accomplish this “ideal” is to repeal or rewrite the 14th Amendment to our revered Constitution so that babies born to immigrants are not automatically entitled to American citizenship merely because of that birth.

               There has arisen a common belief that a large percentage of these filthy folks, if not a majority, cross the border to drop a kid, hoping its citizenship will eventually enure to the benefit of the mother, if not both parents. In fact the term “anchor babies” has been coined as a description of denigration for this supposed trend.

               Like so many of the alleged facts about illegal immigrants, this one lacks substance and proof. I could cite so many examples it would make your head spin. (All cliches and trite phrases are free of charge).  But, to complement my previous post, Hail Hail The Constitution, I will confine my remarks to this situation.

            Here is a link to a refutation to the basic claim:

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/06/lindsey-graham/illegal-immigrants-anchor-babies-birthright/

        Here is the complete text of the 14th Amendment. Take time to read it and consider it.

Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Note History

1. 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.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

             The main provision drawing ire is paragraph number One. The naysayers emphasize the phrase awarding citizenship to all those born in this country. Some context is in order.

           This amendment was ratified in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War and in the wake of the total abolition of slavery.  The citizenship language essentially meant that these  now ex-slaves were afforded the same rights as all citizens. And they attained their citizenship not through any formal process……after all, the Dred Scott case, among other things, denied them the privilege of citizenship………..but by virtue of being born here, regardless of slave status.

           And the possibility that these rights would not be recognized in those so recently recalcitrant and secessive southern states, necessitated the specific  provision that individual states could not abridge these rights.

                Now anyone even remotely familiar with this nation’s history knows that states violated these rights in so many ways that it required an awakened sense of decency and justice, the sacrifice of numerous lives to racial violence, an extraordinary social movement and an enormous cost to our collective conscience, that culminated in the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Congress had finally fulfilled its role as outined in Paragraph 5 of the Amendment.

          Even before that momentous event, the provision was occasionally invoked and enforced as intended. Not often enough, but it wasn’t completely ignored either.

        Fast forward to the twenty-first century. Few Americans have not benefitted from the protections offered by this Amendment. It has been or could be applied to racial and gender issues, religion, and so many other aspects of our lives. It served as at least a partial rationale for the recent decision nullifying California’s anti-gay marriage law.

           To repeal or change this amendment would be a travesty and an offense to the sacrifices, physical and otherwise, made by those good Americans that enhanced the freedom of us all. Shame on those demagogues and tyrants who would destroy these protections.

           I love my U.S. Constitution.

            DON’T FUCK WITH IT!!!!

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