June 14, 2010

TIME magazine has a piece up about Russell Pearce's new brainchild, trying to outlaw children born in America.

"Anchor babies" isn't a very endearing term, but in Arizona those are the words being used to tag children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants. While not new, the term is increasingly part of the local vernacular because the primary authors of the nation's toughest and most controversial immigration law are targeting these tots - the legal weights that anchor many undocumented aliens in the U.S. - for their next move.

Buoyed by recent public opinion polls suggesting they're on the right track with illegal immigration, Arizona Republicans will likely introduce legislation this fall that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona - and thus American citizens according to the U.S. Constitution - to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens. The law largely is the brainchild of state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican whose suburban district, Mesa, is considered the conservative bastion of the Phoenix political scene. He is a leading architect of the Arizona law that sparked outrage throughout the country: Senate Bill 1070, which allows law enforcement officers to ask about someone's immigration status during a traffic stop, detainment or arrest if reasonable suspicion exists - things like poor English skills, acting nervous or avoiding eye contact during a traffic stop. (See the battle for Arizona: will a border crackdown work?) But the likely new bill is for the kids. While SB 1070 essentially requires of-age migrants to have the proper citizenship paperwork, the potential "anchor baby" bill blocks the next generation from ever being able to obtain it. The idea is to make the citizenship process so difficult that illegal immigrants pull up the "anchor" and leave.

Back on May 25th, David N. posted on this when Pearce went on Bill O'Reilly and admitted this is what he had in store as his next volley as he continues his attacks on the non-whites of America.

O'Reilly, of course, is not much help: He counters Pearce by observing that this is "federal law" -- though that is hardly the half of it, since this particular principle, of birthright citizenship, is embedded in the Constitution and is indeed a proud part of America's heritage as a nation of immigrants.

Pearce wants to claim that this only refers to people with "legal domicile" in the U.S. -- even though the words appear nowhere in the Constitution.

He complains that the concept of "illegal immigration" hadn't been conceived when the 14th Amendment was written -- which is true enough, but irrelevant to whether it remains in force. Indeed, a much stronger argument can be made that the nakedly racist/eugenicist/Nativist Immigration Act of 1924 -- which first created "illegal immigration" -- was grossly unconstitutional because it clearly violated the 14th Amendment.

Moreover, it's irrelevant because the law has always been interpreted to mean that, when a newborn is accorded automatic birthright citizenship based on birth on American soil, its status is generally unaffected by the legal status or citizenship of that individual's mother or father. This was true both before and after 1924...read on

I think Pearce knows that this will be struck down in the Supreme Court even with the right wing fringe running the place because it's firmly embedded in our Constitution and Scalia and his clones are supposed to be Originalists, right? You must understand something about movement conservatives. They pick fights not because they know they can win it in the end, losing is just as acceptable when it comes to immigration and the culture wars because *"backlash politics" is all about playing the victim. They get to stir the pot, create some outrage, make tons of cash and get themselves elected over issues that they never can win at. Remember creationism vs evolution? They knew that it would never pass with the scientific community, but as Thomas Frank puts it, they don't care. They can hold their noses high and attack the "elites" over and over again making the case that those snobby, latte sipping Frenchmen think they know better than all of the red blooded-red state Americans because they believe they are smarter than us.

Backlash Politics:

The backlash narrative is more powerful than mere facts, and according to this central mythology conservatives are always hardworking patriots who love their country and are persecuted for it, while liberals, who are either high-born weaklings or eggheads hypnotized by some fancy idea, are always ready to sell their nation out at a moment’s notice.7

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