Deport the children of illegal immigrants

In the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s the United States deported trainloads, busloads, and shiploads of illegal aliens. “Operation Wetback,” ordered by President Eisenhower in 1954, charged the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with deporting a million illegal aliens: men and women and their American-born minor children. Government agents did it then, and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not prevent them from doing it today.

Was the operation effective? In ninety days 750 INS agents, with state and local police, deported 80,000 illegals from Texas alone. Thousands more were deported from California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Idaho. And while the operation was underway, 488,000 illegals in Arizona and California returned to Mexico on their own; another 700,000 fled Texas.

Liberal Democrats cling to the 14th Amendment and say deportation of American-born children to the homeland of their parents will never happen again. They point to the first sentence of Section 1: “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.” (Emphasis added.)

They also believe an 1898 Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, governs the issue of birthright citizenship. In order to get the desired result, the court ignored the intentions of the framers of the 14th Amendment, and legislative history. Their decision stated, “the debates in Congress are not admissible as evidence to control the meaning of those words.”

That was expedient, but wrong. How wrong? Senator Howard said, in May of 1868, that the “Constitution as now amended, forever withholds the right of citizenship in the case of accidental birth of a child belonging to foreign parents with the limits of the country.”

An excellent study by Vincent Gioia, Are Children Born of Illegal Immigrants US Citizens, is in the “Family Security Matters” website for 15 July. The bottom line: Mexican illegal aliens are subject to the jurisdiction of Mexico, and so are all their children who are born here.

When a study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) showed that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers $113 billion per year, legislators began to think about their unemployed constituents. For example, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that automatic “birthright citizenship” needs to be changed, and that he might introduce a constitutional amendment to that effect. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) agree in principle. They know, however, that Democrats would violently resist such an amendment in a Senate debate, and the required approval of 38 states would take forever.

Former Representative Nathan Deal of Georgia had a better idea, and he introduced a bill proposing that being born in the U.S. only confers citizenship if one of the child’s parents is a U.S. citizen. That bill has been kept in limbo by Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a year, even though at last count it has 92 sponsors. If passed, the law would undoubtedly be challenged by the great Americans of the ACLU, lambasted by other great Americans in the mainstream media, and finally wind up before the Supreme Court. Today’s justices would then be able to review the flawed decision in the Wong Kim Ark case and honor the intentions of the framers of the 14th Amendment. Better to do it now than later, when President Obama might have an opportunity to appoint another Justice like Elena Kagan, and tip the court into left wing territory for decades.

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  • Callie369

    Send all the kids of illegal aliens back where they came from, along with their parasitic illegal alien parents.

  • cflaesch


    If you are going to continue to advocate commonsense, proper incentive-setting, America-first kinds of solutions to this problem, you will eventually be tarred as a lunatic conservative…….;-)

  • marcyr

    Ann Coulter’s column this week tells us how the misinterpretation of the 14th came about: a non-elected person wrote his opinion; (now deceased) Justice Brennan quoted it and others repeated it. The intent of the writers of the 14th was clear in the following:

    Sen.Lyman Trumbull 1866 “The provision is, that all persons born in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens. That means subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof. What do we mean by complete jurisdiction thereof? NOT OWING ALLEGIANCE TO ANYBODY ELSE. That is what it means.”

    Rep. John Bingham of Ohio 1866 “[I]find no fault with the introductory clase [S61 Bill] which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of PARENTS NOT OWING ALLEGIANCE TO ANY FOREIGN SOVEREIGNTY is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” (NOTE plural parents)

    The fact is, the child of illegal immigrants is born a citizen of their country and remains subject to that other country, not the US.


  • MerryJ1

    Attempts to amend the Constitution are likely futile, and completely unnecessary to resolve the “anchor baby” problem: Remove the reward of citizenship for this behavior and replace it with termination of parental rights — the American-born infant retains citizenship in his/her adoptive American family, but the birth parent(s) is/are sent packing back to (their) own homeland. Presto-chango! No more pregnant illegals crossing the border.

    Individual states are flirting with bankruptcy to pick up the tab(s)for these “natural born” citizens and their extended family-members; each state has a mechanism in place (“Children and Family Services” or some similar departmental designation) to terminate parental rights for child endangerment and to place the infant into temporary (foster care) or permanent (adoption availability) circumstances to remove a child from an unsafe or unsavory environment. Living “on the lam” (from law-enforcement authorities) qualifies as unsafe and unsavory.

  • 2old4this

    How Torrence, Mr. Nagle’s first responder was able to reach the conclusion that the author bore a hatred for Mexicans, I shall never know. I read the piece twice while striving to catch even the slightest hint that Nagle was a racist of anykind and I failed in my hunt.

    In my judgement, his article was about the 14th Amendment, and he gave solid explanation why the 14th needed review for possible change. He also brought to light what I feel is a resonable approach to controlling foreign births in the United States when he wrote: “Former Representative Nathan Deal of Georgia had a better idea, and he introduced a bill proposing that being born in the U.S. only confers citizenship if one of the child’s parents is a U.S. citizen.”

    The new amendment at Amedment XIV, Section 1. would read: All persons born of at least one U.S. citizen parent or naturalized in the United States . . .” I would imagine this addition to the section would have the support of at least 60% of Americans . . . minus one person named Torrence.

  • torrence

    I have a question for the writer: Even though this essay is focused on your hatred of Mexicans, let’s expand the scope of this proposed removal of the 14th amendment – What if the illegal parents are from two different countries? What country is the child deported to? Do you choose the mother’s country or the father’s country?

    And if you are willing to punish the child for the parents crime, then can it also be legal to jail the children or relatives of drug abusers – or parents who run a ponzi schemes? Can we punish the children of people who commit hate crimes? What about the children of those who commit destroy our environment? I’m curious how you think on these issues.

    • sandra3dee

      I suppose if you were to use our own laws regarding parental crime, the parents would be deported and the children would be placed in foster care or given to legal relatives in the United States or abroad. Unfortunately children become the unintended victims of adult crime every day.