Should Illegals Be Able to VOTE? Time to Settle the ‘Anchor Baby’ Question

Written by Larry Usoff on April 4, 2016

Governor Brown of California has made it possible for illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses. In many places a driver’s license is all that’s necessary to prove you are who you are…and that means you could probably vote. Extrapolating that, it means that thousands, maybe millions, of illegal aliens will be voting in the next election for President of the United States. They will consider who made it possible and vote for that person’s party…in other words many, if not all, of those illegal aliens will be voting Democrat. That would automatically negate every single vote cast in the state of California, unless and until they come up with a foolproof method of discerning who is and who is not legal.

As with any estimate of how many illegal aliens there are in this country now, the guess for California is about 3 million…which is a pretty good block of voters by itself, and then when you add in the Democrats already registered there, it presents a very sizable chunk of pre-determined votes. It could be that these illegals are not permitted to vote in a national election, but I’m not sure that any serious effort would be made to eliminate them. To the best of my knowledge, no other country allows non-citizens to vote in their elections…so why do we? The answer is simple, it’s a strategy to build the Democrat base. A simple-but-effective strategy.

Immigration is always a hot-button political issue, and no more so than in the months leading up to a presidential election. From sanctuary cities to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to birthright citizenship, what can and should be done to fix our current system is on the forefront of the minds of many politicians and voters. It has long been accepted by many people that the Constitution automatically bestows citizenship on anyone born on United States territory, even if the parents of that child are illegal immigrants. Scholars, however, have questioned whether this is so, and critics of birthright citizenship believe that it encourages foreigners to come to America, legally or illegally, so that their future children can become U.S. citizens, along with all the benefits that citizenship confers, simply by being born here.

The dispute has consequences, because if those who believe that the Constitution provides for birthright citizenship are correct, it would require a constitutional amendment to change it. If they are wrong, then Congress could simply pass a statute declaring that the children of illegal immigrants who are born in this country are not citizens. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment states: “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.” There is no question that this section was meant to overturn the Supreme Court’s opprobrious and infamous decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), in which a majority of the Court held that slaves were property and that black people (even those who were not slaves) and their children could never be citizens even if they were born in this country. After ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, citizenship would no longer be denied to someone because of his or her race or ethnicity.

The section makes no reference to the alien status of the parents of the child, and many believe that the Fourteenth Amendment enshrines the rule of citizenship defined by birthplace, rather than the rule of citizenship defined by blood; in other words, citizenship defined by the parents’ citizenship, which is still the rule in many countries. There is also the curious phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Some scholars argue that this language excludes the children of aliens from citizenship because they owe allegiance to another nation and are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, at least as that phrase was understood in 1868, a time when, unlike today, there were no restrictions on immigration.

Supporters of birthright citizenship contend, on the other hand, that this phrase means only that such aliens be governed by American law when they are in this country, excluding only a small number of discrete categories of people such as the children of foreign diplomats and invading enemy soldiers who are in, but at war with, the United States.

In 1868, this list also included the children of Native Americans living on tribal lands who were considered semi-sovereign people, but in 1924, Congress passed a law granting them citizenship. In United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), the Supreme Court held that a child of Chinese parents born in San Francisco was a citizen who could not be barred from re-entry into the United States under the xenophobic Chinese Exclusion Act. In that case, however, it was clear that the Chinese parents were lawful, permanent residents of the United States at the time their child was born. Opponents of birthright citizenship claim that the parents in that case owed their complete allegiance to the United States, not China, but that the same would not be true for the children of parents who are not lawfully present in this country or who are only temporary visitors at the time of the birth.

Which side is right? My friends, it’s past the time that this business about “anchor babies” is looked at again.


Share if you agree this question needs to be settled.

Larry Usoff
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired. Articulate. Opinionated. Patriotic. Conservative. Cultured enough so that I can be taken almost anywhere. Makes no excuses for what I say or do, but takes responsibility for them. Duty. Honor. Country. E-mail me at: