Nationally syndicated columnist Mona Charens latest column on immigration focusses attention on our argument challenging the popular myth that the Constitution mandates "birthright citizenship." People down on the border know that "birthright citizenship" provides a powerful incentive for illegal sojourns into the United States for purposes of giving birth on U.S. soil. Heres how Austin Bay, editorial writer for the Houston Chronicle, reported what he calls the "baby predicament" in a May 20, 2006 column:
"At the first indications of impending birth, a pregnant Mexican woman crosses the border in a car. As her labor begins in earnest, her driver drops her off at the hospital. The doctors confront an immediate challenge: A baby is definitely being born. In the typical case, the soon-to-be mother has had no prenatal care. However, she has had a plan — her child will be born in the United States, come political hell in Washington or high water in the Rio Grande."
Talk to any doctor in El Paso, or any border town, for that matter, and youll get the same story. There is even a "birth tourism" industry in southern California, as recently reported by the Los Angeles NBC affiliate in a major expose, following an old 2002 Los Angeles Times story about South Koren "birth tourism" trips to the U.S.
All from a misunderstanding of our Constitutions Citizenship Clause. Well keep pressing the point, because our very sovereignty, and the principle of government by consent, is at stake. My testimony on birthright citizenship before the House Immigration Committee in September 2005 is available here.