- - Thursday, August 22, 2019


A number of extraordinary ideas have been launched by presidential contenders in both major political parties, and some are finding traction. One such idea focuses on birthright citizenship, established by the 14th Amendment (“Trump says ending birthright citizenship back on agenda,” Web, Aug. 21). Many of those who believe birthright citizenship should be retained offer as arguments that it is enshrined in the Constitution and is a fundamental American value. But which comes first? Is it a fundamental American value because it is in our Constitution, or is it in the Constitution because it is an immutable fundamental value?

Birthright citizenship fits the ethos of American exceptionalism but has outlived its utility. Its original purpose was to grant former slaves the right of citizenship in their country, not to serve the selfish motives of tourists and undocumented immigrants. The numbers are daunting: In some recent years, 300,000 to 400,000 babies were born in our fair land to these groups. As “anchor babies,” they can, upon reaching the age of majority, bring their extended families here in order to obtain citizenship and qualify for our entitlement programs — despite not having paid into them.

This issue is far more consequential now that illegal immigrants seemingly cannot be stopped. It is proper fodder for our presidential contest.



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