Born in the USA - Part 2

Photo: http://carondelet.net (2010)
We continue our discussion of a proposed amendment to the US Constitution (Congress, S.J. Res. 6, 2009)  that would end the claim to US citizenship of any person born on US soil. In my post of July 14, 2010, I traced out the implications of the amendment. I stated that this amendment would deny to certain infants and pregnant women rights that they would otherwise enjoy. I explained how this amendment would be contrary to the spirit of universal human rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence.

Proponents of the amendment presume that foreigners without proper visas are dangerous to the United States or injurious to Americans by their existence, which is a misapprehension. The most often claimed injury is that foreigners take the jobs of Americans. Yet if 1 out of 10 persons in San Diego was deported, then
1 out of 10 grocery stores in San Diego would have to close due to loss of customers, and similarly for other businesses, and 1 out of 10 jobs in San Diego would disappear. The number of jobs isn’t limited to some fixed number. It is proportional to the population. Conversely, if the population of San Diego increases, then the number of jobs in San Diego will increase in about the same proportion.

The second most often claimed injury is an alleged breaking and entering, the description of which is usually posed as an analogy to an uninvited guest taking up occupancy in your home and doing nothing in return for sleeping in your guest room, eating your food, watching your television and drinking your liquor. And the analogy breaks down for immigration. Immigrants bring their labor, which is valuable, and they exchange it fairly for lodging, food, television and all other goods and services they consume. One or two adults provide sufficient labor to compensate for the expenses of a family. The jurisdiction of the govt in Washington isn’t the property of anyone. You can’t buy more of it or sell it or derive income from renting it, and you can’t throw it away, and it won’t burn up, and no immigrant can steal it, because it isn’t property. And typically, immigrants don’t forcefully move into anyone’s house, and they rent or buy their own home, quite as Americans do.

There are a hundred further spurious objections to foreigners and no sound ones of which I have yet become aware. We will examine some of them in future posts.

To be continued…

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