Saturday, September 4, 2010

Immigration: A heavy price to ending birthright citizenship - latimes.com

Immigration: A heavy price to ending birthright citizenship - latimes.com

We can already see the future of our nation if it renounces birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, and it isn't pretty. Dragging economies, new forms of fraud, a disenfranchised underclass, children deported to places they have never even visited — countries that do not have birthright citizenship have experienced these problems and more, and have been forced to reconsider their practices. Germany, Israel and Japan are just three of those countries, and their experiences have much to teach us.

The current debate about the future of the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship for all born on U.S. soil, centers on the question of individual fairness: Should these children have the right to U.S. citizenship although their birth on U.S. soil was the result of their parents' unauthorized presence here? The debate is really about what citizenship and belonging mean in the United States — profound and important issues but not ones that draw easy consensus. But if we ask what will happen to our society as a whole if we eliminate birthright citizenship, the facts become easy to see.

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