Immigration status should matter in birthright citizenship claims

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The author of the recent letter, “Caravan fears, citizenship change vanish after Election Day,” (Deborah A. Baro, Monday) claims that President Trump is no longer interested in the illegal migrant caravan or rolling back the dubious “right” to confer citizenship on children born to illegal aliens. The author may have missed the press conference the day after the election where the caravan was a central theme. Indeed, it was the precipitating topic in a dust-up between the president and the oleaginous Jim Acosta from CNN. The president has also addressed the topic of anchor babies and birthright citizenship since the election.

The history of the “constitutional right” to citizenship involves the 14th Amendment put forth by Republicans to confer citizenship on newly freed slaves following their liberation from bondage in Democrat-controlled Southern states and to reverse the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott ruling.

Then in 1982, Justice Brennan added a footnote to an opinion on the Plyler v. Doe ruling that stated, “no plausible distinction with respect to 14th Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.”

One might quibble that the whole illegal vs. legal distinction should matter. That footnote gave impetus to the anchor baby boom resulting in birth tourism in California and elsewhere among other unintended consequences.

The misrepresentation of the caravan folks as the victims of horribly oppressive regimes who have been reduced to a pitiable mass of migrants meekly seeking asylum rather than mostly young, able-bodied males looking for jobs is a classic ploy of those who wish to damage or provoke the demise of the United States through the de facto abolition of its borders.

The author’s attempt to draw a parallel between Hitler’s denying citizenship to Jews and Trump’s proposal to revisit and relitigate questionable citizenship status based on a footnote to a Supreme Court ruling falls flat. Additionally, Democratic attempts to turn the caravan into a winning midterm propaganda point failed and that explains the press’s lack of wall-to-wall coverage.

It is time to step back, take a deep breath and accept that we can have differences of opinion that can be resolved by ballots without resorting to Antifa-style tactics leading to an erosion of our democratic processes and trust in the electoral system.

Tom Haitema