Opinion

Opponents Of Birthright Citizenship Have Some Unsavory Bedfellows

Liz Mair President, Mair Strategies LLC

Today, the Heritage Foundation will host a debate between two self-professed conservative legal scholars about birthright citizenship.

One of the participants, John Eastman, may be a conservative on various other matters, but on the subject of birthright citizenship, his views are more in line with those of certain Left Coast, traditional liberals interested in economic restrictionism, hardcore environmentalism and population control — liberals who unfortunately remain politically active and dedicated to left-wing causes, including “saving nature” from the apparent threat of non-Americans.

As such, Eastman is part of a bigger trend: Conservatives palling around with some of the worst the left has to offer, and associating themselves with organizations founded and funded by overt lefties pursuing goals that are deeply anti-free market and incompatible with a fundamental respect for individual freedom.

In Eastman’s case, it is (CPS), for whom he cut this anti-birthright citizenship video, and which frequently cites his work.

For those unfamiliar, CPS advocates “policies and programs designed to stabilize the population of California, the U.S. and the world at levels which will preserve the environment.” The group used to be a part of Zero Population Growth, but found that anti-childbearing and anti-reproduction organization too “politically saf[e]” (yes, really).

CPS is funded by money from the late heiress, Cordelia Scaife May, who was a primary bankroller of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood, kept a portrait of Sanger in her living room, and used to drive around with a “Stop the stork” (i.e., quit breeding, you horrible baby-loving, pro-family couples) bumper sticker on her Mercedes.

CPS’ Board is a veritable “Who’s Who” of environmental activists, including a former Director of the Sierra Club and a former member of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

These are the people who promote Eastman’s work, with his willing collaboration, including the video in which he seems to argue the Founding Fathers would have supported, and that the Constitution enshrines, denying birthright citizenship to American-born children of everyone from Jews fleeing Nazi Germany to your average migrant from North Korea, China (with its anti-human rights, anti-freedom regime), Cuba or indeed the Soviet Union, back in the day.

If that sounds like a not very Reaganite position, you’re right; CPS and its Board are big lefties, just like a number of the people associated with the founding, funding, and current operation of other restrictionist groups ranging from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), to NumbersUSA to the Center for Immigration Studies.

All of these groups were founded and funded by John Tanton, a liberal doctor deeply invested in environmental and population control concerns (which led him to his deep obsession with immigration, just like CPS’ founders).

NumbersUSA remains run by Roy Beck, an ardent environmentalist who frets about immigrants out of a love for trees and nature and claims that the Earth is losing out to humans (hence the alleged need to restrict immigration, and presumably, the human population on this planet, overall).

FAIR, another of Tanton’s groups from which CIS blossomed, maintains in its current leadership a variety of people who reportedly see things like China’s one child policy as neutral-to-positive (as opposed to the evil that conservatives and libertarians do).

Dan Stein, FAIR’s executive director, has been quoted as blithely describing that policy as just an “international family planning program.” FAIR’s board secretary, meanwhile, reportedly has deep roots with Planned Parenthood, has defended China’s one-child policy as “one of the most humane and rational population policies in the world,” and opposed allowing pregnant Chinese couples to gain asylum in the U.S. where they feared forced abortions in their home country. Various FAIR advisory board members show similar enthusiasm for population control, Planned Parenthood, unrestricted abortion on demand, and sterilization.

Given that so many Republicans have voted in recent years for big government, highly interventionist, unconservative policies in areas ranging from health care to education to financial or other rescues, it is perhaps unreasonable to expect self-professed conservatives to shun anti-free market, regulation-happy, restrictionist policies as they pertain narrowly to people not born here, or people not born to people themselves born here.

However, it is reasonable to expect that conservatives would do far more to steer clear of associating with, taking money from, or participating in advocacy efforts for or advancing the goals of eco-radical, population control, anti-family liberals, and thereby lending credence to these people’s warped worldviews.