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Watch What They Do: Republicans Talk Soft but Drive Hard Right on Immigration

In the news this week, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been issuing press releases as he hops around the country in a “listening tour” devoted to convincing non-white voters that the Republican Party actually cares about them.

GOP: Taking Citizenship Away from Babies born to ImmigrantsNot mentioned in the newspapers and unfit for print, Representatives Randy Neugebauer, Sam Graves, Tom Graves and Paul Broun added their support this week to the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013. Registered as H.R. 140 in the House and S. 301 in the Senate, this Act aims to strip away citizenship from babies born in the USA. The babies targeted for this action are the children of immigrants. The four Representatives who hopped on the anti-baby, anti-immigrant bandwagon are all Republicans. They join 23 of their colleagues in Congress in cosponsoring the legislation — every one of whom is a Republican.

Beware the press releases. Avoid the sound bites. Don’t listen to what the Republicans say. Watch what they actually do.

10 thoughts on “Watch What They Do: Republicans Talk Soft but Drive Hard Right on Immigration”

  1. Dave says:

    If enacted, it would probably at most bring US immigration law more in line with the way Mexico handles citizenship for babies born to Americans while travelling or otherwise in lawful residence there. Dual citizenship is already given to babies born in the US or Mexico if one parent is already a citizen or in the armed forces. Full citizenship is currently granted to all newborns in the US regardless of the legality of their parent’s citizenship or residency. Almost no other country in the world does this, and even Mexico is no exception. The proposed ammendment’s stated pupose is to clarify who is eligible for citizenship at birth, and states that eligibility is based on the parents being in the US legally at the time of the birth. Same as Mexico. Same as virtually every other place on earth.

    I suppose I understand the philosophical view of no borders, no nationalism, etc, but cheez Jim, it’s starting to feel a little humiliating to have the rest of the shrewd world looking on astutely, smartly, as our politicians wring their hands and wonder if they should allow us to leave a little something for our own posterity. It’s got to be good for laughs somewhere in the world.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Actually, if you’re born in Mexico, you’re a Mexican national. Mexican nationals are granted citizenship at age 18. Canada offers citizenship as a birthright. Brazil does too, along with most of the other nations of the Western hemisphere.

      Also, a fair amount of the developed Eastern hemisphere is dependent upon immigrants to prop up their declining populations. The difference between those nations and this nation is that in those nations your ancestors could have been born for generations in your nation of birth, and still you don’t have citizenship rights because you don’t have the “right blood.” I’m not being casual in using that phrase: the legal term for such systems is jus sanguinis.

      That’s not my vision of America.

    2. Jim Cook says:

      P.S. Look up what happened in the United States the last time we made it possible for a set of people to be born here and yet not be granted citizenship rights. I’m not eager to return to that kind of standard.

      1. Dave says:

        To be sure, the Dred Scott thing was an abomination, primarily because, given the convoluted reasoning of slaveholders, Africans sold into slavery were actually here legally. I think legal is the key word in the debate, and is a necessary consideration to the rule of law. After all, my own government often requires me to prove my citizenship for a variety of reasons, and I am pretty sure that if I stroll into Mexico and apply for any gov benefit or service, proof of Mexican citizenship will be required. It seems to me that the ruling class of which the left these days is so enamored does not want to see their sons and daughters mowing lawns or processing chicken, so they open the gates wide for a class of people who will do all that hot dirty work.

        That’s not my vision of America.

        1. Jim Cook says:


          Please don’t put words into my mouth as part of “the left” you describe. Not that you asked, but what I actually want is for everyone who works full time in America to be compensated so they can live life above the poverty level.

          If you say “legal is the key word in the debate,” then why does it bother you that American-born babies are citizens? Those babies are legally citizens, after all. They have broken no law.

  2. Papito says:

    The bright side is that citizenship is becoming less of a security loophole. For instance, it no longer gives potential terrorists a cover from being pursued by drone aircraft. So even if these babies go on to move back out of the country, the security threat they pose can be more swiftly neutralized.

  3. Dave says:

    And precisely how, Jim, does opening our borders to all comers who desire to have “anchor babies” and full welfare assistance including college paid for by our rapidly dwindling middle class and subsidised by borrowing money from China increase the liklihood of compensation above the poverty level for millions of people for any sustainable period of time?

    1. DemoCraig says:

      It helps the Democratic Party pick up votes. And we all know that what’s good for the Democrats is good for America.

    2. Jim Cook says:

      I dispute your assumptions. If you’re talking about college, Dave, that develops the skill base of a population so that our society can do more. That’s why investment in education is a good idea. Welfare reform in the 1990s limited access of immigrants to that program. Under the new program, immigrants wouldn’t be able to apply for welfare for five years — .

      “Anchor baby” is not a legal term — it’s a discriminatory insult against American-born babies who are full citizens — and if the “anchor baby” policy were not in place, the vast majority of people who claim citizenship in the United States today would not be legal citizens. After all, the vast majority of Americans have ancestors who immigrated extra-legally.

  4. Jim Cook says:

    An update: the number of Republican members of Congress who have cosponsored the bill to take away citizenship from American-born babies has risen to 29.

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