Earlier today, I wrote about the House bill H.R. 1940 supported by a near-majority of Republicans that would fundamentally alter the basis of American citizenship, drawing it away from a constitutional basis and toward the unfortunate German model in which bloodlines matter more than place of birth. It is a sign of Republican corrosion that a bill which could result in generation after generation of the American-born being excluded from citizenship would find itself within the Republican mainstream. It should concern all of us that with this Congress, the bloodline-citizenship bill has gained the greatest number of supporters yet. The Republican anti-constitutional mainstream obsessed with blood purity is advancing, not retreating, in its strength.
But there are elements within the Republican Party that are even more extreme. Consider H.R. 133, a bill sponsored by Republican Representative Elton Gallegly of California and cosponsored by six other Republicans (each of whom also supports H.R. 1940). H.R. 133, titled the Citizenship Reform Act, would change the law to grant citizenship to people in the following categories:
1. A “child was born in wedlock in the United States” to a mother or father who is a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a permanent resident of the United States;
2. A “child born out of wedlock in the United States” to a mother who is a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a permanent resident of the United States;
3. A “child born out of wedlock in the United States” to a father who is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a permanent resident of the United States, but only if the father takes the following steps:
a) providing “clear and convincing evidence” of a blood relation to the child,
b) agreeing “in writing to provide financial support for the child until the child reaches 18 years of age,”
c) acknowledging “paternity of the child in writing under oath” or having “the paternity of the child… established by adjudication of a competent court”
Children born in the United States of parents who don’t fit these categories would be denied citizenship rights, despite the guarantees of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
This bill hits the trifecta of Republican moral rot:
1. It denies citizenship privileges to those born in this country (in violation of the citizenship 14th Amendment to the Constitution)
2. It provides greater citizenship protection to children born to married parents than to children born to unmarried parents (in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution)
3. Fathers whose babies are citizens have to actively petition the government with evidence in order for their babies to gain citizenship, while mothers whose babies are citizens do not (in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution)
Republicans like to complain about the existence of a “Nanny State” for the insult of paying a taxes for insufferable services like the highways they drive on. But it takes the Republican hard core to suggest a literal Nanny State, and not just with any old Nanny, but the Nanny from Hell: one who will take away your child and his or her constitutional standing if everything isn’t spit-spot. Xenophobia, marriage discrimination and sexism all in one: this bill hits the Republican bullcrap trifecta!