Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Anchor Baby Issue

Gary Fouse

Today's Orange County Register has an op-ed by Ralph Shaffer a professor emeritua at Cal Poly University at Pomona on the topic of anchor babies, more specifically, the desire of some Republican congressmen to reconsider the amendment of the Constitution that gives automatic citizenship to anyone born in the US-as it would pertain to children of illegal aliens.

Shaffer's tone implies that the evil conservatives, Republicans and Tea-Partiers simply want to get rid of all the Hispanic illegal aliens through deportation-including their US-born children.

"Hunter argues that deportation of those citizens would be a humane gesture since it would prevent the breakup of families"...

What? Nobody would forcibly break up a family. No one is saying that US-born children (citizens) would not be allowed to accompany their parents back to Mexico.

How simplistic and one-sided coming from a university history professor. Yet, when you think about it, it's not so surprising, is it?

The issue affects in me personally in two ways: first, I am married to a legal Mexican immigrant, and I am very intimate with the ins and outs of the whole illegal alien issue. It is indeed complex and ideally, should have nothing to do with ethnicity. My wife's maternal grandmother happened to be in the US legally when she was pregnant, yet, she deliberately returned to Mexico so that her child (my mother-in-law) would be born in Mexico.

In the 1970s, we were living in Thailand as that country was dealing with refugee camps set up for Vietnamese refugees fleeing the communist regime after the fall of South Viet Nam. Heretofore, anyone born in Thailand was entitled to Thai citizenship. Since many Vietnamese babies were being born in That refugee camps, the nation changed their law in the 1970s to exclude foreign children from automatic Thai citizenship. There was no international human rights outcry about it. In fact, my daughter was born in Bangkok in 1975 not long after the law was changed; thus, she was not entitled to Thai citizenship as she would have been if born a few years earlier.

More recently, a Mexican woman who was in the US illegally was brazenly sheltered in a church in Chicago. When she was picked up in Los Angeles and deported to Tijuana, she made it a point to leave her young US-born son in the care of church officials rather than take him with her to Mexico. She was trying to make a political statement.

Professor Shaffer is trying to paint a picture of parents being separated from their children, being deported to Mexico while their US-born kids are left on the streets like Oliver Twist. That is ridiculous. There is nothing preventing deported parents from taking their children with them back to the home country.

This is an issue that merits serious consideration because our immigration system is being badly abused. As a sovereign nation, we, like every other nation, have a right and a duty to control the immigration process. Obviously, this needs to be done in a humane manner, but simply giving birth to a baby while in the country illegally should not entitle parents to remain in the country. Secondly, it is hardly a human rights violation not to grant citizensgip to every person who happens to be born in your country. Many countries do not grant citizenship to babies of foreigners-even if they are in the country legally.

It's a complex issue with both sides having valid points to make. It seems to Professor Shaffer that it is just a simple case of evil conservatives who don't want Hispanics in America. Is that what he teaches in the classroom?

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