Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Citizen Ship

If you're like me, and who isn't these days, you probably wonder about those articles that start with the phrase, "Republicans want to," followed by some sideways or confounding political agenda. That's how I reacted when the mainstream media tossed me the headline: "Republicans want review of birthright citizenship." Of course they do, but before I read the entire article, my mind was already racing ahead with all the reasons why.
It seemed to me like the perfect way to get that 2008 election back. If there was a chance to prove, once and for all, that Barack Hussein Obama was not a citizen of these United States then the last year and a half would only be a bad dream, a bump in the road. If he's not a citizen, he can't be President, though he could still be governor of California.
Then I read the article, and found that all "those Republicans" really want to do is revise the Constitution of the United States. It certainly won't be the second amendment, since that one is perfectly fine and keeps the guns right where they belong. The one they're after is the fourteenth amendment. It's not the equal protection clause, or the part about due process, though they may get around to messing with that soon enough. The part that seems to be causing all the stir is the section about citizenship. The one that reads: "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." That's a pretty good idea, considering how we're a nation of immigrants and all.
"I'm not sure exactly what the drafters of the amendment had in mind, but I doubt it was that somebody could fly in from Brazil and have a child and fly back home with that child, and that child is forever an American citizen," said Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama. That would be pretty amazing if the framers of our constitution had also invented air travel. And in-flight snacks. And long lines at security checkpoints. And fees for carry-on bags.
Maybe I have strayed from the point: A number of Republicans, including Senator John McCain from Arizona, would like us all to consider just what this tired old amendment, passed way back in 1867, means to us today. Aside from those jet-setters who are flying in to have their children here on U.S. soil just to give them citizenship, they seem to have some concerns about immigrants coming across our borders illegally and having the unfortunately named "anchor children." These hunks of iron are then used to hold those immigrants in place against the metaphorical tides of the naturalization process. Did I mention that John McCain is from Arizona, where the strictest law for detaining and deporting illegal aliens has recently been under fire? Did I mention that this is the same John McCain who, as a presidential candidate in 2008 began to quietly distance himself from the immigration reform he championed only a few years earlier. Oh, and did I mention that John McCain is a Republican?
And that several of Senator McCain's ancestors were not born in this country? They just hopped on a boat and had a baby, hoping that all their children would be somehow granted citizenship in this "New World." And even though some of his relatives fought with those treasonous Confederates way back when, the congress has been pretty forgiving about letting them have their citizenship back. I guess you never really notice how nice it is to have some things until they're gone. Like Republicans.

1 comment:

mizmercer said...

Hmm, same McCain born outside U.S. soil too...