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Arizona law fallout: Equal rights belong to all, not just minorities
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
As the illegal immigration battle heats up even more, I am wondering why for the last 15 years no one has challenged the concept that a child born on American soil to an illegal alien is or is not a citizen.  

Instead, the battle has been around laws restricting illegal aliens’ access to this country and the benefits that are afforded to those that are here legally.  I do not know why the anti-illegal immigration side has not challenged this concept, but I believe I know why the pro-illegal immigration side has not.  If a challenge is brought to the High Court, the conditions for a child of an illegal alien to be declared a citizen will be severely narrowed. Two conditions will have to be defined: the first condition will be the concept of jurisdiction will have to be defined.  The second will be what constitutes state residency.  Why these two conditions?  The XIV 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”.  The first condition; “All persons born or naturalized in the United States,” is very clear.  I do not think there is any ambiguity to this condition.  

The next condition; “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” is a bit ambiguous.  The argument goes between, from, if any person is in the United States for any amount of time, through the idea that they must be here legally and a resident for a specified amount of time.  The last condition and one that very few people think about is: “are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” is very ambiguous.

I think this condition dictates that a person must be a resident of a state and the country.  There are very clear laws that allow a person who is born outside the US to be a naturally born citizen.  i.e., military kids born on a base or foreign hospital being considered natural citizens.  There are also very clear laws for a person who is here legally for their children to be declared citizens.  The ACLU, which is a very liberal supporter of illegal alien rights, has not challenged this concept.  If it is so clear and a slam dunk, then why have they not challenged it in the past 15 years?  When the Supreme Court first decided this issue; the borders were open, travel was slow, and people could find a piece of land and build a house.  Now we are trying to close the borders, travel is fast, and we have restrictions on residency.  The pro-illegal immigration supporters are screaming that the Arizona laws are clearly unconstitutional while stating that they need to look at it for flaws.

The people who are crafting these laws are very carefully checking to be sure it will stand up to a constitutional challenge.  Those that want to defeat these laws are very carefully checking it to be assured their challenge will be successful.  Because it is not clear cut, this is why there has yet to be a challenge.  The pro-illegal immigration supporters are screaming that these laws will lead to racial profiling.  For the past couple of decades, police and other law enforcement services have gone to great lengths to avoid racial profiling.  When there is an event between law enforcement and people of color, there is a loud cry of racism or racial profiling.  Most of these claims fall apart very quickly.  The politicians are weak.  They are now being forced to choose sides.  Any law that favors any particular race will not be introduced, while those laws that are color blind, are being introduced, and are succeeding in stopping illegal immigration.  The battle has moved to the courts.  The equal protection clause applies to all and for too long it has been manipulated to the benefit of minorities at the expense of the majority.  

Those that screamed for equal rights, now scream racism because they are being held accountable to the same standard as all.  The Arizona-type laws will succeed because they are fair, American, and equal.
Scott McComas
May 14, 2010