The immigration debate continues as Sen. Lindsey Graham recently announced that he may introduce a constitutional amendment that would put an end to birthright citizenship. The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to the children born of immigrant parents in the United States. Supporters of this change argue that illegal immigrants take advantage of Birthright citizenship by using it as a means to gain free benefits and entitlements. According to Sen. Graham, birthright citizenship “attracts people here for all the wrong reason.” He thinks that by ending this law, he can solve the “problem” of growing amounts of immigrants coming to the U.S. But by denying birthright citizenship is denying the basic human rights
outlined by the constitution for those born on American land without
Immigration is definitely one of the biggest issues we need to deal with today but there is no short cut to reaching a solution for immigration. The issues that come with immigration are complex and far reaching in the American society. What policies like this one and the Arizona immigration laws are trying to do is run illegal immigrants out of this country. While these policies do seem like quick and relatively simple solutions they fail to realize the consequences of dehumanizing an entire population of this country.
Whether people admit it or not Mexican immigrants, legal and illegal, are vital to the survival of America. It is true that the crime that comes with illegal immigrants is something to be greatly concerned about (as is the crimes of any other immigrant group and race) but we cannot judge the entire race by a few criminals. These people are filling many of the jobs that Americans born here would never take- even though unemployment rates continue to remain high.
What we need to do is call for an end to racial profiling and other racist and demeaning tactics. We should demand a comprehensive immigration reform policy that focuses on keeping a steady and sustainable flow of immigrants from Mexico by securing our borders and begin to acknowledge the rights of immigrants already living here by providing ways to bring them out of the shadows.
Punishing children for the actions of their parents before they were even born goes against all morals including those of American values. To say that a child born here in America should have no rights as a citizen erases the foundation that America was built on.