In one of the more noxious “conservative” proposals to come down the line in quite some time, over 90 House Republicans have pledged their support to the “Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009,” which would, contrary to its title, end the notion that citizenship is the right of all born in this country. Put in their words, the BCA would solve the “anchor baby problem,” by providing that no child born on American soil shall take citizenship at birth, unless at least one parent is a citizen. So much for 4,000+ years of jus soli, and the idea that modern conservatism has anything to do with preserving tradition.
The more interesting implication of the bill, though, is this: because the bill assumes that the current state of the law provides citizenship to all persons born on American soil, it’s an implicit rejection of the more “rational” birther theory — that Obama, despite being born in Hawaii, fails to qualify as a “natural born citizen,” because one of his parents wasn’t a citizen.
Of course, it’s blatantly unconstitutional, too (“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,” U.S. Const., Amd. XIV, § 1).
You really have to wonder why this bill was ever even written. If it’ll never become valid law, why go to the trouble of writing it? Have we really fallen so far that we’ll draw up and push legislation just to slake our constituents’ desire to offend the groups that the bill would target, in theory? Apparently, yes.