Thursday, January 11, 2007

Religious Right Attacks Migrant Kids & Birthright Citizenship

Happening Here has an excellent post on the racist right's new "Families First" attack on the constitutional principle of Birthright Citizenship established by the abolitionist movement, the 14th Amendment, and cases like the 1898 landmark US vs. Wong Kim Ark. Mr. Wong was a young American-born San Franciscan of Chinese ancestry who successfully challenged the US governement's efforts to bar him from reentry into the United States because his parents were immigrants to the US.
Janinsanfran writes:

Leaders of the religious right -- likes of Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association and Gary Bauer, former rightwing political candidate -- have gotten together to push one of the ugliest forms immigration restriction. By way of something called Families First on Immigration, according to the Washington Times, these guys have taken a stance in the immigration debate. No, they are not advocating welcoming the stranger or defending the rights of the alien worker in a strange land. They want a "grand compromise" that does away with "birthright citizenship."
...Immigration restriction as espoused by white citizens is too often an expression of the fear of "browning," of the demographic tide that has this country well on its way toward ceasing to have a white majority. It thrives on the fear that "those people" have lots of babies just to enable them to engulf the United States. It is sad, but perhaps not entirely surprising, to find the leaders of the religious right playing to racial fears by joining an effort led by outright xenophobes to repeal birthright citizenship. After all, pseudo-populist initiatives that both incite -- and pretend to allay -- hyped-up fears are their stock in trade. Look at their incitement of panic in response to the "threat" of full civil rights for gays.
Janinsanfran was one of our leaders of Californians United Against Prop 187 in 1993/94 and a founder of Californians for Justice in 1995/96.
For more on Wong Kim Ark and birthright citizenship see Frank Wu's Born in the USA
See also Migra Matters for more on immigrant rights struggles today.

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