By Allan Wall -- FrontPageMagazine.com | April 26, 2001
I am an American citizen who lives and works (legally) in Mexico. On July 8th, 1999, my son David was born here in Mexico (and is doing fine, thank you). Although he was born in Mexico, my son is a natural-born American citizen, and has an American birth certificate to prove it. That birth certificate is just as valid as if he had been born in the U.S.A.
In order to obtain that birth certificate for David, I had to take the little baby 370 miles to the U.S. consulate in Monterrey, Mexico. I had to turn in a lot of paperwork to process the application. I had to provide documentation to prove that I myself was an American citizen who had lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years. I had to pay for copies of documents and for official photographs. And the burden of proof was on me to prove that I was an American.
I share this not to complain. I understand that my situation is special , and that I have to play by the rules. (And the consulate service was excellent.) What bothers me is that while I have to play by the rules, another class of people does not have to play by the rules. These people do not have to prove they are American citizens - in fact, they are not. They do not have to prove they lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years. They do not have to pay for any paperwork to be processed. In short, this class of people is granted a number of privileges that I, an American citizen, am not entitled to.
To what privileged class of people do I refer? I refer to the illegal aliens in the U.S.A.. An illegal alien can cross the border, have a baby five minutes later, and that baby is automatically declared a citizen of the U.S.A. Automatically! The illegal aliens don't have to go through any of the things that I did. They are exempt from all that. They are, in fact, rewarded for disobeying U.S. law by having their children granted automatic citizenship. In addition, the happy family is entitled to welfare benefits. And, illegal alien parents who have children born in the U.S. are seldom deported . That's why their children are called "anchor babies" - they anchor their families securely in the U.S.A.
You might ask me, "Well, why didn't you arrange to have your baby be born in the U.S.A.?" I certainly would have preferred that , but it's not so easy. You see, in my present situation, living and working in Mexico, I couldn't afford it, and I don't have U.S. medical insurance. The illegal aliens, like myself, can't afford it either and don't have medical insurance either. But not to worry - my government pays for them, and their children are automatically declared citizens. A lowly American citizen such as myself, however, is not entitled to the taxpayer-supported privileges of the illegal aliens.
How big is the anchor baby phenomenon? It has been estimated that about 165,000 anchor babies are born (and automatically granted citizenship) each year. It might actually be higher. The exact figure is uncertain because all hospitals and physicians receiving federal funds are forbidden from inquiring as their patients' legal status. In other words, the U.S. taxpayer is financing medical care for illegal aliens, and those providing such care can't even ask if patients are legal or not! The state of California has a particularly liberal program to reward illegal aliens which includes free pre-natal care and delivery, and it's no surprise that 60% of babies born in LA community hospitals are born to illegals. In 1994, a majority of California who went to the polls voted to end such nonsense. But the will of the people was placed under a judge's restraining order until a later state government, at the behest of the president of Mexico struck it down. So the gravy train rolls on!
Of course the birth of an anchor baby is only the beginning. As the child grows he or she is entitled to a multitude of other taxpayer-funded programs. Since most anchor babies are classified as "minorities", they can expect to enjoy legal preference over "non-Hispanic white males" under today's "civil rights" regime. Upon reaching adulthood, the citizen anchor baby is eligible to import relatives from the home country through America's nepotistic chain migration system , in which the principal qualification for a prespective legal immigrant is having relatives already in the U.S. When you look at the vast cornucopia of benefits, you have to conclude that the U.S.A. offers powerful incentives for illegal immigration. For those who disobey U.S. law and their children, America is certainly the land of opportunity!
Why does the U.S. have such an insane policy? Most countries of the world do not! The United Kingdom and Australia formerly had similar policies, but changed them when they were subject to the same abuses which the U.S.A. still endures.
Present U.S. anchor baby "policy" is an abuse of the 14th Amendment. This amendment was ratified in 1868 to protect the civil rights of native-born black Americans, who had recently been freed from slavery and whose rights were being denied. The amendment states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States...." The clear, original intent of the 14th Amendment was spelled out in 1866 by Senator Jacob Howard, co-author of its citizenship clause, who wrote "Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons." Clearly the original intent of the 14th Amendment was not to encourage foreigners to defy U.S. law at taxpayer expense. Sadly the amendment is now being employed to do just that.
And, as an American living in Mexico, I can assure the reader that the U.S. policy of automatic birth citizenship is well-known here, and is taken advantage of by many Mexicans. You can also rest assured that it provides another incentive to illegal immigration. After all, if you can just get across the border, the baby - and for all practical purposes the parents - are legal. Such an incentive can even prove deadly - cadavers of pregnant women are among those who die crossing the U.S. - Mexico border.
The anchor baby fiasco must be stopped. It rewards illegal immigrants and encourages more illegal immigration. It costs law-abiding taxpayers a bundle. It makes it harder to control the border, reform immigration and rein in the runaway welfare state. And, as I found in my personal experience, it cheapens American citizenship and mocks those who play by the rules.
Allan E. Wall is an American citizen who has lived and worked in Mexico since 1991. Presently employed as an English instructor and administrator, Allan has legal permission from the Mexican government to live and work in Mexico under the rubric of an FM-2 migration document (No. 312448) for which he had to pay $1,816.00 pesos for renewal this past year.
Allan would be glad to receive questions or comments (pro or con), at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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