Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Again with the “illegal hero” thing

(via Gila Jones. Cross-posted at The Liberal OC.)

In his weekly newsletter, FBI investigation subject and OC Congressman Gary Miller (R-Sleaze) writes,

“Currently, babies born on U.S. soil to illegal aliens automatically become U.S. citizens. Congressman Miller has joined more than 40 of his colleagues in again cosponsoring the Birthright Citizenship Act, which would deny citizenship at birth to children born in the United States to parents who are not citizens or legal permanent resident aliens. Specifically, this bill requires a child to have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident alien, or an alien performing active service in our armed forces in order to gain birthright citizenship.”

So once again we have a Republican who doesn’t think we should “reward” illegal entrants with amnesty, but takes the opposite approach for those willing to enlist in the service. Legally, however, only citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) can join our military. To enlist without meeting this criterion requires the commission of a fraud. Is Miller saying fraud should be sanctioned and rewarded?

And if Miller agrees with those who assert illegal immigrants are horrible people who we should harass, shout at, and deport immediately, why does he advocate accepting them in our military and allowing their children citizenship?

There are other problems with Miller’s proposal. It’s likely to cause pregnant women who are illegal immigrants to lie about who their babies’ fathers are, and possibly create a cottage industry of men who will willingly claim fatherhood for a small fee. And what happens to abandoned infants whose parentage is unknown?

Furthermore, Miller’s proposal doesn’t address the issue of refugees and others who are in the U.S. legally but are not permanent residents. There are a large variety of legal immigration statuses, and “permanent resident” is only one.

But most tragically, the “Birthright Citizenship Act” will worsen a problem the UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights has been working on for decades: Statelessness.

The practice of conferring citizenship on native-born individuals, regardless of their parentage, is not universal. However, many of the countries who don’t follow this practice are those with a generally poor attitude toward civil and human rights. Among these are North Korea, Jordan, China, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Bahrain, Cambodia, Egypt, Serbia, Iran, Armenia, Liberia, Croatia, Syria, South Africa, Vietnam, and Bulgaria.

Who among us wants this country to be associated with the practices of those on the above list?

I guess Gary Miller does.

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