America: The Land of the Free? | Teen Ink

America: The Land of the Free?

February 27, 2014
By hood3243 PLATINUM, Camas, Washington
hood3243 PLATINUM, Camas, Washington
25 articles 2 photos 11 comments

The debate over birthright citizenship, where anyone born in America is a citizen including children of illegal immigrants, is one of the main topics discussed when analyzing illegal immigration prevention. Removing birthright citizenship in the United States is outrageous and would cause more problems than it would fix.

Removing birthright citizenship would go against the 14th Amendment which decreed that all persons born in the United States is a citizen. Opponents to Birthright citizenship argue that the children of illegal immigrants born in the states, ‘anchor babies’, use their citizenship to get green cards for a large number of their relatives. Repealing the 14th amendment would be the wrong way to slow this immigration because, as Senator John Kerry (D, Massachusetts) states, "The 14th Amendment was born of a determination to end forever any question, any effort to enshrine in our laws a kind of second-class citizenship." Changing or alternating our constitution would leave basic rights suddenly up for debate and the foundation of our country swept out from under us. The United States was formed through immigration and with each new wave of immigrants, whether Irish, Italian, or Chinese; opponents have used legislature and racists motives to slow the flow of settlement.

The time spent repealing the 14th Amendment, even if successful, would be a huge waste of time in a Congress already acting more like molasses than one of the leading powers in our country. Currently, conservatives are spending too much time arguing against the constitution. If supporters for illegal immigration prevention actually wanted to succeed in their goal, time would be better spent securing the southern border, toughening the enforcement policy, and shortening the deportation process. Additionally, removing birthright citizenship would do little to deter immigrants from entering illegally because their primary incentive to come to America is to get work and to improve their quality of life, none of which is provided by birthright citizenship. This would just create even more illegal immigrants and further clog the police stations, prisons, and court system.

Removing birthright citizenship would make the citizenship laws even more complicated. To prove citizenship with the current standing laws, one only has to provide proof of birth in the United States. With our current system there is no need of a national birth registry, but without it the government would have to create one and every single citizen would have to have his or her citizenship adjudicated. This means a large amount of money and time spent on a self-created problem. This in turn would most likely raise taxes, a position most conservatives are against, yet many still demand this pointless change. Furthermore, Congress has been adapting the "Jus Sanguinis" laws, citizenship laws, for more than 200 years and author Margaret Stock states, that “Congress has made them so complicated that figuring out whether someone is a US citizen by blood is sometimes the equivalent of figuring out whether a patent application is valid." Replacing the simple and fair birthright citizenship law would only increase the complexity of citizenship in the United States.

Ending birthright citizenship would cause more problems than it would fix. The process to determine citizenship would become extremely complicated and a whole new department would need to be created, draining government resources and funds. Not only that, but this change would do little to actually prevent illegal immigration; in fact, it would increase the burden on many government departments, including the courts, prisons, and police force. Although some may not be directly affected by the fate of the illegal immigrants American children, they will be affected by a change in the constitution. This attack is not only on immigrants, but on America's core values. This change would open the door for complete manipulation of what we thought where guaranteed rights, and leave all citizens of the United States vulnerable to the whims of Congress. It is very important to spread the word and support the upholding of every American's rights, even if their parents aren't from around here.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 6 2014 at 12:37 am
BurrThistle GOLD, Jaipur, Other
10 articles 0 photos 161 comments

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I think this a very well researched article.  you could become one of those political correspondants in newspapers, really ! I love how streamlined this articles was, how one idea blended seamlessly with another. Excellent work! Keep writing