Add the Fourteenth Amendment, and birthright citizenship, to the growing list of basic American institutions (direct election, the Civil Rights Act, and regulation for the public benefit) the right wants overturned. Per Lindsey Graham, the Fourteenth Amendment inappropriately allows anyone born here to claim the benefits of our laws:
Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake, that we should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child’s automatically not a citizen.
Moving away from jus soli, to jus sanguinis, or some hybrid thereof, would fundamentally alter the way this country relates to its people. To see how, consider how the law changes. Here’s the birthright citizenship clause as it stands:
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.
And here’s how Graham wants it changed:
All persons born to citizens 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.
By raising the bar for citizenship, we exclude an important part of the American story. Not every baby born to foreigners on American soil is an “anchor baby” (to use the racist, de-humanizing conservative term), or conceived as a way to circumvent the law. Birthright citizenship eases the path to normalcy for those here legally, hoping to integrate into our culture, to improve their lives, and ours. It also effects the final refpudiation of the old, theocratic rule that sons bear the guilt of the father. See Deuteronony 5:9; but see Deuteronomy 24:16. Consider the Supreme Court’s statetment of the rule:
[V]isiting . . . condemnation on the head of an infant is illogical and unjust. Moreover, imposing disabilities on the . . . child is contrary to the basic concept of our system that legal burdens should bear some relationship to individual responsibility or wrongdoing. Obviously, no child is responsible for his birth, and penalizing the . . . child is an ineffectual — as well as unjust — way of deterring the parent.
Weber v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 406 U.S. 164, 175 (1972) (footnote omitted); cited in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). When did our oldest, most important values come under attack? What leads a political philosophy rejected by the electorate, handily, to believe itself entitled to further radicalize, rather than moderate?