Citizenship by birth

7 08 2010

Citizenship by birth is the new hot topic for the anti-immigration crowd, also the term birth tourism.

Birth tourism is the concept that foreigners come here just for the purpose of having a baby and later on that child could claim the parents to begin the process of residency. This sounds a bit farfetched to me, just because of the expense of coming to the US, paying a steep hospital bill and going back to your country and waiting until the child turns 21 to come back. It is possible, everything is possible, but sound very impractical. What if the kid doesn’t want to come here? or dies before turning 21? or the laws change? And if you can afford all the process why not try to move to the US in the first place… yes the immigration laws, even if you have money, it is not that easy.

I think that this issue of citizenship at birth has come up because of the illegal immigration issue and what people call “anchor babies”. The thing is, no matter how many babies you have, if you are caught you are deported, they say the child can stay or go with you, the citizenship doesn’t really play a role.

At any rate, this got me thinking about how this process of citizenship works. There are some countries where you are not an automatic citizen just by the fact that you are born there; one of your parents have to be a citizen.

Most of those countries that allow citizenship at birth are the American countries, and this make a lot of sense. The people that formed these countries were all descendents of immigrants. Otherwise the would have been illegible for citizenship and only the Native Americans (who they didn’t consider people) were entitled to citizenship. Native Americans were granted US citizenship in the 50s.

Countries like Japan and Switzerland, old countries don’t consider a citizen a person just born there. In recent years France, England and some former british colonies have passed laws so people cannot get citizenship by birth. Some of these countries were experiencing migration from their colonies and big changes to their way of life and felt frighten and threaten by that. For example, France has ties with muslim countries and now has experience a big influx of muslim french, and is affecting their way of life, they don’t like that. I hear some british friends complaining of the migration of black people from the british colonies and having full rights and changing the culture. Yes, they wanted to stop all of that.

It is okay to colonize those “exotic” places and impose our way of life and culture, but we don’t want the “exotics” coming here and changing our way of life and culture. We can tell you that ours is better but don’t try to have what we have.

Then I circle back to us, should we change the constitution and make it so that the children of foreigners can’t be US citizens? can we do that retroactively? Who here cannot claim a foreign ancestor?

Maybe we could change (fix) the immigration laws, enforce them and maybe we should penalize those employers that give jobs to illegals. I said this many time, if the jobs are not here they won’t come. If they can come here legally they would. Except of course for the minority that are here for other reasons, drugs, gangs and crime, they don’t care.

I have been reading and watching the news about the Arizona law, from many different perspectives and it struck me to hear a man say that the rest of the country didn’t care because they didn’t see what he sees, he said “there are everywhere, in the stores, in the street, where ever you go you see immigrants”, of course he has no way of knowing if they are legal, illegal, US born, or tourists.

I wonder if the Mexicans felt the same way when the Americans move into Texas and Arizona and then took them over, or when they invaded California and the rest of the west; maybe they were upset that those American came with a different language, different customs, different looking, changing their way of life.

Don’t get me started about the Native Americans!!!

We are a nation of immigrants, our culture is a mix of different cultures, our language is English with a tapestry of other languages. It is really funny to have people correct my English when the word they are correcting isn’t. (I’ll do a post on that later)

The world keeps getting smaller, lets not be afraid, lets embrace it!!




2 responses

7 08 2010
Miss Footloose

I love your closing sentence:
–The world keeps getting smaller, lets not be afraid, lets embrace it!!–

Instead of fearing change and “other” people and “other” cultures, it is so much more interesting to learn about them, to recognize our common humanity, to be openminded and have a sense of humor about your own place in the world.

15 12 2010
Paloma Pentarian

Those who practice “birth tourism” to the U.S. are usually doing so because they are upper-class and not actual immigrants. They want to secure a second passport for their child, from a first-world country, in order to make their child’s life easier when that child grows up and wants to travel. There are a lot fewer travel restrictions in terms of visas and the like for people with first-world passports, than for people with third-world passports. Having both passports ensures an easier life. That’s why. Middle and lower-class people, who would be real immigrants, have less chance to do this. Nor are they interested. Usually for economic reasons, they wish to be real immigrants. Upper classes are usually very well set-up in their own countries, and have no need or desire to immigrate to a new country. They just want to be able to go there whenever they want, with as few problems as possible, while continuing to maintain their real residence back home.

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