Latest GOP Fear Mongering Issue: ‘Birth Tourism’
Republicans like Reps. David Vitter and Mike Lee and Sens. Rand Paul and Jerry Moran all built platforms on their “pro-family” politics. So, what does it take for these men to paint childbirth as “reprehensible?”
You guessed it: these GOP lawmakers are again thumping their drums against “birth tourism,” an illusory epidemic in which illegal immigrants are traveling to the United States to give birth, thus guaranteeing their child, derided by these men as “anchor babies,” national citizenship.
“It is a reprehensible practice,” said Vitter, a Louisiana Congressman whose career survived revelations that he hired hookers.
Hoping to put an end to these illegal immigrants’ life-giving ways, these Republican leaders have drafted legislation that would “correct” a misinterpretation of the 14th amendment, which clearly reads, “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 restrict citizenship to children born to at least one citizen, someone in the military or a legal resident.
Opponents of the legislation not only point out that “birth tourism” hardly represents the trend Rand Paul and company claim (only 7,670 of the 4.2 million babies born in the U.S. in 2006 were by mothers who don’t live here) but also insist that the Republican leaders are playing with constitutional fire.
“The Supreme Court has upheld birthright citizenship several times, and the leading constitutional scholars agree you would have to change the Constitution, not just the Immigration and Nationality Act as they’re trying to do here,” said Michele Waslin from the Immigration Policy Center.
Constitutional issues aside, isn’t it amazing that these men, who claim to respect and honor “the family,” and used that belief to win their respective campaigns, are now using their power to demonize particular babies, their mothers, fathers and entire familial units?
Life and families are worth protecting when they’re red, white and blue. Other colors need not apply.