Cultural Revolutions

Immigrant Birthright

Any doubts you may have had about the absurdity and falseness of American electoral politics would have been removed if you had lived through the barrage of advertising that preceded our South Carolina presidential primary.  Every single one of the Republican candidates pretended to have become Horatio at the Bridge, single-handedly holding back the onslaught of illegal aliens.  Mr. Huckabee even claimed that he feels kin to us fellows driving pickup trucks with Confederate flags.  And despite the Eighth Commandment, the Rev. Mr. H. appropriated Dr. Paul’s issue of “birthright citizenship,” proposing a constitutional amendment against the fraud of new citizens being created by virtue of being relatives of innocent “anchor babies” born on our soil to illegal aliens.  Mr. Thompson—a layman, admittedly—then violated the Ninth Commandment by saying he would himself “reconsider” the issue, asking us to suspend our disbelief that he had ever considered it a first time.

An early U.S. Congress defined a citizen as a free white person born or naturalized in the United States.  That indicated who Americans thought they were and intended to remain, though it was mainly concerned with defining status as to protection in international matters.  Although the Constitution called for uniform rules of naturalization, citizenship long remained a matter determined by...

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