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Republican Party Plank #5:
Take Away American Babies' Citizenship

Who is a citizen of the United States? The current rule is pretty simple when you get down to it: if you were born in this country, you're a citizen. If you weren't born in this country, you must apply for citizenship. This idea about citizenship is so fundamental that it is formally enshrined in the United States Constitution.

Republican Party operatives are trying to change this rule so that you can be born in this country but not be a citizen. Republican Representatives Ron Paul and Nathan Deal are trying to pass laws (H.J. Res 42 and H.R. 1567, respectively) that would deny citizenship to some babies born in the United States. Their bills, introduced in April and May of 2003, has gained the support of a dozen fellow representatives, all of whom are also Republicans.

Why on Earth, you might ask, would anyone wish to deny citizenship to people born in the United States? To find the answer, let's consult these party members' bills and look for standards of exclusion. H.R. 1567 proposes two conditions under which babies born in the United States should have their citizenship revoked:

  1. IF THE PARENTS ARE MARRIED, then the American-born baby loses her citizenship if her parents aren't themselves citizens or permanent residents.
  2. IF THE PARENTS AREN'T MARRIED, then the American-born baby loses his citizenship if his MOTHER isn't a citizen or permanent resident, even if his FATHER is a citizen or permanent resident.
If the Republican Party succeeds and this bill is passed, it will codify two striking principles of social organization into law:
  1. One's bloodline, not one's self, determines one's rights. Who your parents are, not who you are, matters in determining if you are "suitable" enough to Republican Party operatives to qualify as a citizen. There are two old-fashioned words for this notion: racism and xenophobia. Ask any refugee from Nazi Germany whether this notion of citizenship worked so well.

  2. Children who are born to unmarried parents have no father in the eyes of the law. If you are born to a father who is an American citizen and a mother who is, say, a visiting student from Latvia, you can forget it. According to Republicans, the father's status as a United States citizen doesn't count, so you are deportable even though that would break up an incipient family. "Family values" are overruled. You didn't follow the Republican Party platform's moral codes, so you must pay -- such is the way of the Republican Party apparatus.

If the ideas contained in these bills chill you to the bone, remember that in their authorship and support, they are 100% Republican. Is this the kind of party apparatus you want to be identified with and contribute to? If not, then it seems the party has left you. Perhaps it is time for you to leave it behind as well.

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