A number of recent articles have documented the growing divide between our national’s capitol and much of the heartland of America. Sadly, this cuts way too deep into the center-right political class in DC on some issues. A perfect illustration involves the issue of immigration and citizenship.
For those outside the ruling class, immigration at its essence is rather straightforward: there is a process to enter the US legally every year, if one violates this process you have committed a crime and ought not be allowed to access any public services or be rewarded with citizenship. For those inside the ruling class, every issue is about politics first, substance is a secondary concern.
Large majorities of Americans worry about the impact of illegal immigration on our nation’s culture, or its effects on low skilled workers, or how it can increase drug trafficking and violent crime or the gross lack of fairness to have illegals receive public benefits that Middle America pays for annually. For the ruling class, the central focus is on how these millions of largely Mexican immigrants might be future voters and how this can help cement political majorities.
While this debate rages on year after year, some issues that cry out for attention are prevented from any adult discussions in the political arena by the ruling class. A crucial one involves the interpretation of the 14th Amendment and citizenship dating all the way back to the United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) up through Plyler v. Doe (1982). In plain English, these are two key Supreme Court decisions that are currently used to justify those children born of illegals as receiving automatic citizenship and all the benefits therein.
Time does not permit a full historical assessment of these and other federal court cases that have interpreted the 14th Amendment in a way that now allows hundreds of thousands of children to be born of illegal’s, creating ever more upward pressure on public services, especially education. Additionally, having a child become an automatic citizen is a clear and obvious way to ensure hundreds of thousands of family members stay in this sort of legal limbo where they are illegal but a child with them is legal.
Any student of history would look at Wong and Plyler and conclude that perhaps these decisions were incorrect or that they have had a negative impact on immigration policy in the US beyond what the framer’s had intended. Perhaps, just perhaps, the issue needs to be revisited to see if clarifying the 14th Amendment with new language regarding citizenship is in order. Maybe a thorough examination would determine that a Constitutional Amendment is not necessary or that there are other ways to address our current immigration policy. Well, if you are in the ruling class that is racist, hateful and akin to fascism, so this cannot be discussed without hateful expletives thrown at the offending speaker.
This silencing has a cost.
Part of the reason the 14th Amendment and citizenship has been percolating of late was a rather surprising recent comment made by the ruling class’ favorite GOP Senator, Lindsey Graham.
Speaking to Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, himself another GOPer who plays footsie with the ruling class, Senator Graham answered a question about illegals and their children’s automatic citizenship by saying “No.” This prompted Gerson to state that Graham had “either taken a leave of his senses or of his principles.” Graham has been noted for his intense desire to work with the beltway elites on an immigration bill that would grant amnesty to millions of current illegals with the stroke of a pen.
Graham’s comments, while common sense to regular Joe Americans, are apostasy to Gerson and the rest of the Beltway ruling class groupthinkers.
Ana Avendano, assistant to the president for immigration and community relations at the AFL-CIO (what a perfect ruling class title), was outraged by Graham’s modest remarks, too. “Senator Graham’s statements regarding birthright citizenship last week make it clear that he has no intention of negotiating in good faith.” I would wager a million dollars that if a poll were conducted of AFL-CIO members in Louisiana, overwhelming majorities would oppose amnesty of any kind and would certainly oppose children of illegals obtaining automatic citizenship. Does Avendano work for the rank-and-file dues-paying members of the AFL-CIO or the ruling class labor bosses? Does that question really need to be answered?
I could list a series of other flacks who purport to represent working people who in reality are working to increase voters whose livelihoods are dependent on the ruling class, but why bother?
The issue of birthright citizenship is a gravely serious matter that cries out for thoughtful consideration. It is no surprise when Democrats carry water for the ruling class; that is what they do. However, when many Beltway Republicans cower and conspire to prevent this issue from being addressed, it can and will be hijacked by the two percent of the country – nutjobs, we call them – who do have extreme views on immigration. Hopefully, the GOP in DC will see the Shock and Awe on Election Day in November and finally realize these are not just winning issues politically, but also vital for the future survival of the American Republic.
Is not that what the oath of office means?