A big part of the political conversation in the last week has been on the topic of anchor babies. Some contend all it takes to end the practice of women crossing the border just to ensure their babies will become American citizens is to pass a law; others say it will take a constitutional amendment to change the first section of the14th Amendment – which reads:
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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
In 1898, in the case of the United States v. Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment applied to children of non-citizens born in the U.S.
Whether you agree with Donald Trump (or not) or whether or not you believe in the various programs which will allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country one thing is true, the majority of American voters believe that children of illegal immigrants born in this country should not automatically become U.S. citizens. And this majority opinion predates Trump’s entry into the race by at least nine years.
The chart below show Rasmussen poll results about “anchor babies” since 2006:
Since 2006 (as far back as the information is available) the smallest range of voter opinion against anchor babies was (51%-41%). Generally voters have opposed birthright citizenship for anchor babies by a 20%-30% margin.
IMHO the Supreme Court will strike down any bill designed to end birthright citizenship for anchor babies, and that it will take a constitutional amendment to change the practice. But that doesn’t change the fact that most American voters want it ended and that Trump has touched a nerve.
While fixing the anchor baby practice should be a part of every GOP plan, it should not be the centerpiece. Based on its constitutionality, it will take a long time to implement a program to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.
If you don’t believe me –believe Harry Reid:
Cross-posted at The Lid.