Birthrights in the United States Becomes Campaign Season Talking Point

Law Firm Newswire



Anchor babies is an offensive term that has many people up in arms. It’s new terminology in the comprehensive immigration reform debate.

Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 20, 2010 – It’s amazing how people coin various terms when they’re trying to make a point about something. The new term, “anchor babies,” likely would never have surfaced had it not been for the call for a reassessment of the 14th Amendment. Some feel that it wrongly protects the children of undocumented immigrants.

The whole debate started to heat up after U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham described the “drop and leave” tactics that he said seems to be growing in popularity with pregnant illegal aliens. It involves the mother coming to the U.S. for one reason – to have a child there. Doing that means the baby is granted American citizenship, which is an “anchor” that parents may use later for legal residency.

The interesting thing about Graham’s remarks is that at one time he (and John McCain) was an insistent promoter of comprehensive immigration reform. He wanted to find a way to offer undocumented and illegal aliens a legal way to become citizens.

Graham and a cadre of others have suddenly shuffled their political position to attacking the citizenship clause in the Constitution. It’s a typical political move, but disturbing nonetheless. It makes one wonder why anyone would believe what a politician says and brings new meaning to that old saying that actions speak louder than words. Likely, if voters paid more attention to political action in an election year than words, our representation in government may be totally different than what it is today.

This debate, in part, centers on the practice of a country granting birthright citizenship. The U.S. is one of 33 countries that allow this, despite what many hear on the news. The practice is called jus soli.

It is now not just a term used in discussions about comprehensive immigration reform, as it’s also raising its head when it comes to terrorist organizations and well-to-do birth tourists. Some politicians and pundits are arguing that terrorists are utilizing jus soli to plant babies who will grow up to become legal American terrorists. Does this kind of dire warning ring true? This is something many people need to decide for themselves. Frankly, when it comes to pre-election shenanigans, this type of scare tactic is pretty familiar as a diversion. Yes, illegal aliens do have their babies in the U.S., but to suggest they drop and leave to sabotage the country might be somewhat of a leap.

Look to the U.S. Supreme Court as being the final arbiter in this debate. The facts can’t be changed and this is the law. The court has dealt with the wording of the 14th Amendment on numerous occasions, and the law says that for the U.S. to change a birthright citizenship policy, the 14th Amendment must be changed or past Supreme Court decisions must be overturned. This isn’t likely going to happen any time soon. So, once again, comprehensive immigration reform becomes a tempest in a teapot over an issue that’s not really relevant to the big picture. And this is likely due to the upcoming November elections.

To learn more or to contact an Orlando immigration lawyer or Miami immigration attorney, visit

Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A.
1110 Brickell Avenue
Suite 210
Miami, Florida 33131
Toll Free: (866) 681-0202

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