Archive for the “Birthright Citizenship” Category

New York Post

BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) — Republican White House hopeful Rudy Giuliani said Friday he wouldn’t try to change laws that make citizens of children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants, noting that it’s a matter determined by the Constitution.

“That’s a very delicate balance that’s been arrived at, and I wouldn’t change that,” Giuliani said in response to a question while campaigning at Sun City Hilton Head, a sprawling retirement community down the South Carolina coast from Charleston.

In Wednesday night’s Republican debate, Giuliani and nomination rival Mitt Romney traded accusations of being soft on illegal immigration, and Giuliani took pains to deny that New York was a “sanctuary city” for illegal immigrants during his tenure as mayor.

While New York has never used the designation, it offers protections - allowing illegal immigrants to report crimes, send kids to school or seek medical treatment without fear of being reported - similar to those in cities that label themselves sanctuary cities.

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Invader and baby

NY Times

The decision to separate a mother from her breast-feeding child drew strong denunciations from Hispanic and women?s health groups. Last week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency rushed to issue new guidelines on the detention of nursing mothers, allowing them to be released unless they pose a national security risk.

The case exposes a recurring quandary for immigration authorities as an increasing number of American-born children of illegal immigrants become caught up in deportation operations. With the Bush administration stepping up enforcement, the immigration agency has been left scrambling to devise procedures to deal with children who, by law, do not fall under its jurisdiction because they are citizens.

?We are faced with these sorts of situations frequently, where a large number of individuals come illegally or overstay and have children in the United States,? said Kelly A. Nantel, a spokeswoman for the agency. ?Unfortunately, the parents are putting their children in these difficult situations.?

Yesterday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released new written guidelines for agents, establishing how they should treat single parents, pregnant women, nursing mothers and other immigrants with special child or family care responsibilities who are arrested in raids.

The guidelines, which codify practices in use for several months and apply mainly to larger raids, instruct agents to coordinate with federal and local health service agencies to screen immigrants who are arrested to determine if they are caring for young children or other dependents who may be at risk. The agents must consider recommendations from social workers who interview detained immigrants about whether they should be released to their families while awaiting deportation.

The new guidelines were a response to intense criticism from officials in Massachusetts about one raid, at a backpack factory in New Bedford in March. They do not specifically address the American citizen children affected by raids, whose numbers have only become clear in recent months.

About two-thirds of the children of the illegal immigrants detained in immigration raids in the past year were born in the United States, according to a study by the National Council of La Raza and the Urban Institute, groups that have pushed for gentler deportation policies for immigrant families.

Based on that finding, at least 13,000 American children have seen one or both parents deported in the past two years after round-ups in factories and neighborhoods. The figures are expected to grow. Over all, about 3.1 million American children have at least one parent who is an illegal immigrant, according to a widely accepted estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington.

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Francisco Luquin, originally from Mexico, raises his right hand during the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) citizenship ceremony at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell, Calif. on Wednesday, October 24, 2007. New census numbers show that 70 percent of California’s Mexicans are U.S. citizens, either native born or naturalized.

The immigration debate: 70 percent of Mexicans in California are U.S. citizens
San Jose Mercury News
November 5, 2007

For the first time in the most current wave of immigration, U.S. Census Bureau figures show that 70 percent of California’s Mexican population are U.S. citizens, blunting widespread belief the state is overrun by illegal immigrants.

The findings are part of new data that casts a spotlight on a steady demographic transition between 2000 and 2006, with the state leading the nation in the number of Mexican immigrants gaining citizenship.

California’s Mexican population, boosted by a boom in births, is moving steadily into citizenship, with Mexican-Americans comprising about 7.6 million of the state’s 36 million residents in 2006.

“California has reached a steady state with regard to immigration,” said Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California. “The number of new foreign-born arrivals is being offset by the number of babies who are being born here and the number of parents who are naturalizing.”

Nationally, the U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics estimates about 11.6 million illegal immigrants in the country as of January 2006, with about 6.6 million of that total being from Mexico. The Census Bureau says there are 11.5 million Mexican immigrants in the United States.

The 2006 census data, released several weeks ago, is based on a statistical sample and therefore contains some statistical error.

The census estimates, however, align closely with U.S. Department of Homeland Security naturalization records and with state public health records on births to Latino mothers.

California does not break down birth records by Latino subgroups, but Mexicans are by far the largest group in the state according to census data.

The figures show Mexican-American citizenship in California increased by 3 percentage points from 67 percent in 2000 to 70 percent at the end of 2006.

They also show that roughly half of the 460,766 Mexican immigrants who became naturalized citizens nationwide between 2000 and 2006 were in California.

Births to people of Mexican ancestry are the biggest factor driving the citizenship spurt, with state public health records and census data showing there have been about 1.5 million children born to parents of Mexican ancestry since 2000, but it’s unknown how many of those are children of illegal immigrants.

In Santa Clara County, the increase in citizens of Mexican ancestry due to birth and naturalization exceeds the growth in non-citizen immigrants by a 3-1 ratio this decade, census data shows.

Juan Loerca is a prime example. He came to Santa Clara County three years ago from the Mexican province of Sinaloa. He was married at the time, but he and his young bride didn’t have any children.

Just five months ago, he and his wife, Lucilla, had their first son in this country.

“He’s American,” the 28-year-old said, smiling as he called his son’s birth in the country his first “gift” to him.

Loerca and his wife, who would someday like to become naturalized citizens, could be forced to leave through deportation if their illegal status draws government attention.

But he noted that his son would still be able to come back to this country one day because he’s a citizen.

“I want to have kids here, to give them opportunity,” he said. “To be a citizen is to have opportunity.”

He and his wife would like to have three more children, and he’s hoping to have them within the next few years……

To read entire article click here.

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KOMO TV

SEATTLE — A problem in Canada’s hospitals is sending scores of pregnant women south of the border to have their babies.

Carri Ash of Chilliwack, B.C. was sent to the U.S. to have her baby after her water broke on Sunday, ten weeks ahead of schedule.

“And they came in and said ‘you’re going to Seattle,’” she said.

Ash’s hospital couldn’t handle the high-risk pregnancy. Doctors searched for another hospital bed, but even hospitals in Vancouver, B.C. didn’t have a neo-natal bed.

“So two provinces didn’t have enough room, so I have to go to another country,” said Ash.

Ash was sent to Swedish Medical Center where, nurses told KOMO 4 News, five Canadian women have come to have their babies in the past six weeks. Some were even airlifted at up to $5,000 per flight.

And a woman from Calgary, one of the wealthiest cities in Canada, had to travel to Montana to give birth to her identical quadruplets.

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This article makes my blood boil. I am also astonished at how the author and the main subject in this article treat this utter abuse of our Constitution with such little regard. The birth mother acts as if it’s a badge of honor to cheat and lie in order to make sure her child is born an American citizen. Oh, excuse me, a “Jamerican”. Bucket please. GuardDog

“Many times you can benefit from social programs without even living there if you know how to play your cards right,” said *Ebony Myers, who has a six-year-old Philadelphia-born son.
“They offer you help - like the food stamps we used to have here - with food and formula until the child is about five,” she said, explaining the Women Infant and Children(WIC) programme available to children born in the US. “You need a US address to access it, but that’s just for the initial application. After that you get your benefits, at least as long as you’re in the States.”
I’m gonna be sick! GuardDog

My little Jamerican bundle of joy
Why women go overseas to give birth
The Jamaica Observer
October 1, 2007

IN April 2003, Simone Headley, then eight months pregnant, packed up her husband and daughter and journeyed to a hospital in Georgia, United States, to give birth to her son.

The boy, now four, has a US passport and a Jamaican naturalisation certificate, and Headley says when he reaches college age, he will benefit from the host of scholarships offered to Americans.

This, she said, was her only reason for going through the trouble and expense of having her child in America. The opportunities for him will be limitless compared to Jamaica, she said, and “as a parent I can only do what’s right for my children”.
The US 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to anyone “born or naturalised in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof “.

Unlike some countries in Europe and some in the Caribbean, once a child is born on US soil or in any of its territories, that child automatically obtains the citizenship status, and all the benefits that go along with it.

This follows countries like Brazil, Canada, India, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand and Pakistan which have similar laws.
Now for just about US$10,000, a Jamaican parent can ensure the “American Dream” for her offspring.

And, according to *Nordia Bennett, who had her daughter in Florida two years ago, the system of guaranteeing citizenship runs like a “black market drug operation” - involving doctors, family overseas and a wealth of planning to ensure its success.
For example, one of the obstacles women face is the restriction in airline travel after a certain point in their pregnancy.

According to Air Jamaica, women are allowed to travel up to and including the 36th week of pregnancy (a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks), provided there are no complications. “The passenger will be asked this information at check in,” says the airline’s website. “Pregnant women will not be allowed to travel on Air Jamaica from the 37th week onwards.”

It’s a similar situation with American Airlines, where a medical certificate is required if women will be travelling within four weeks of their delivery date in a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy.

“For international travel or any flights over the water, travel is not advised within 30 days of the due date, unless you are examined by an obstetrician within 48 hours of outbound departure and certified in writing as medically stable for flight,” American Airlines said.
But it’s here that Bennett says the “black market” activity comes in.
“What my doctor did was to set back my actual stage by two weeks,” she said.

“I wanted to spend at least two months with my baby after birth, so it wasn’t possible for me to leave Jamaica until three weeks before my due date. The doctor wrote that I was 33 weeks and I got to travel.”…..



Venezuelans Flocking To S. Florida For â??Birth. Related IWD article click here.

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Born in the U.S.A.: Does that guarantee citizenship?
DesMoines Register
September 16, 2007

There’s actually no mandate

When immigration activist and sanctuary beneficiary Elvira Arellano was arrested in Los Angeles and deported back to Mexico last month, claims of unfairness were leveled because she was being separated from her son, a U.S. “citizen.” Similarly, Yaser Esam Hamdi, captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan and held in Guantanamo Bay, was transferred to Norfolk, Va., and treated as a citizen after it was discovered that he had been born in Baton Rouge, La., some 20 years earlier.

Most people in the country today take for granted the claims that Arellano’s son and Yaser Hamdi are citizens. Mere birth on U.S. soil, no matter the parental status, is alone sufficient, according to the received understanding of the Constitution. This is true, they believe, despite the fact that Arellano’s son was born while his mother was in this country illegally, and Hamdi was born while his parents were residing in the United States on a short-term work visa.

The Constitution does not actually mandate such a result.

To be sure, the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizenship to anyone “born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” but for those who drafted and ratified the clause, “subject to the jurisdiction” meant much more than mere territorial jurisdiction. Being born in the United States while subject to the political jurisdiction - the “I-pledge-allegiance-and-can-be-prosecuted-for-treason” type of jurisdiction - was required. As Senator Reverdy Johnson of Maryland noted during floor debate at the time the clause was proposed, the citizenship clause simply provides “that all persons born in the United States and not subject to some foreign power . . . shall be considered as citizens of the United States.” The author of the provision, Senator Jacob Howard, maintained that the clause “will not, of course, include foreigners.”

Thirty years after the 14th Amendment was ratified, the Supreme Court expanded the constitutional mandate slightly, holding that the children of legal, permanent residents were automatically citizens, but the court has never held that the clause also confers automatic citizenship on the children of temporary visitors, much less on the children born to those who are in this country illegally. We have simply backed into that understanding, without consideration of the actual meaning of the citizenship clause or concern about the consequences to other constitutional text and principles.

One such principle is the idea of government by consent. Birthright citizenship permits some to demand citizenship unilaterally, without the consent of the political community in which membership is claimed. It is therefore incompatible with a system of government based upon consent of the governed and, when utilized by those who enter this country illegally, the rule of law as well.

The lessons learned by the “unilateral citizen” children of illegal immigrants are, unfortunately, not the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but rather those of a culturally separate underclass whose illegal residence among us all but assures a deep suspicion, rather than embrace, of our governing institutions and principles.

And the lessons learned by others - legal immigrants who patiently wait for their turn at a new life in America, for example- is a lack of respect for the rule of law that will ultimately threaten our entire system unless we get serious about removing the inducements to illegal immigration, including birthright citizenship.

JOHN C. EASTMAN is dean and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, Calif.

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Preserve right of citizenship at birth
Fix failed immigration system. Don’t abandon American values.
DesMoines Register
September 16, 2007

What if the United States stopped automatically granting citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants?

A 14-year-old Des Moines girl, the only member of her family who is a U.S. citizen, finds it hard to imagine what her life would be like if her mother had not walked across the Mexican border several years before she was born. She does, however, see what her undocumented older brothers and cousins face: They cannot get a driver’s license, qualify for federal financial aid for college or pursue a career. They could be deported at any time.

She calls the idea of withholding citizenship from anyone born in the United States “absurd.”

Yet such proposals are out there.

In April, Republican U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia introduced H.R. 1940, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007, which would limit who becomes an American at birth. Children would qualify only if they had a parent who is a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident or an illegal immigrant who is actively serving in the military. Ninety members have signed on as co-sponsors, including Rep. Steve King of Iowa.

Or go to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s Web site. Under issues, the Texas congressman says: “End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, their incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.”

A prize for pregnant moms?

Critics of birthright citizenship believe it’s a magnet. Mothers sneak into this country to deliver U.S. citizens. The “anchor babies” qualify for benefits, such as government health insurance. When the babies become adults, they could legally bring close relatives to live here. The critics hold up ending birthright citizenship as the solution to the nation’s illegal immigration crisis.

It is not the answer, not as a practical measure and not as a measure of the nation’s character.

If birthright citizenship ended tomorrow, desperately poor people from Latin America and elsewhere still would slip into the United States for jobs. They still would have children. Because the children would not be U.S. citizens, a permanent underclass would grow, with no allegiance to the United States. The children would have no hope of becoming well-educated contributors to the U.S. economy, which needs ambitious young workers to be globally competitive and to support Social Security for older Americans.

Doing away with birthright citizenship would compound the failures of the U.S. immigration system, which have resulted in an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living here. They are vulnerable to abuse by employers and crime in their neighborhoods. They are afraid to fully participate in the life of their communities.

A better approach to reform

The answer to the nation’s immigration crisis is enforcing strong border security while raising U.S. immigration quotas to reasonable levels and creating a broad guest-worker program with safeguards against exploitation. Reform must include amnesty for current illegal immigrants and a path to citizenship, if they have a good record otherwise and pay fines.

The Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that describes itself as “pro-immigrant, low immigration,” estimates illegal-immigrant mothers have 400,000 babies a year in the United States, about 10 percent of all births. In Iowa, more than 3 percent of births are to illegal immigrant mothers, said Steve Camarota, the center’s research director.

The state and nation cannot afford to write them off.

Principle embedded in past

Birthright citizenship is enshrined in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, Section I, ratified in 1868: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

The amendment originally was adopted to assure African-Americans citizenship in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Today, it stands for the nation’s commitment to treating everyone born on U.S. soil as equal, a defining principle of American democracy.

Legal scholars can debate the intent of the framers of the citizenship clause, but revoking birthright citizenship in the 21st century would come dangerously close to enslaving children born to illegal immigrants. It would be a betrayal of bedrock American values.

Such proposals are truly absurd.

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