There is big news in the arena of illegal immigrants. Elvira Arellano, an illegal alien and vocal advocate for illegal immigration, was arrested and deported from the U.S. The article I read bore the title, “Immigration activist deported to Mexico,” but it could have read “Law-breaking illegal alien deported to Mexico” and would have been just as correct and valid. Here is the first part of the article about Arellano:
An illegal immigrant who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born son has been deported to Mexico, the church’s pastor said.
Elvira Arellano became an activist and a national symbol for illegal immigrant parents as she defied her deportation order and spoke out from her religious sanctuary. She held a news conference last week to announce that she would finally leave the church to try to lobby U.S. lawmakers for change.
She had just spoken at a Los Angeles rally when she was arrested Sunday outside Our Lady Queen of Angels church and deported, said the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, where Arellano had been living.
“She has been deported. She is free and in Tijuana,” said Coleman, who said he spoke to her on the phone. “She is in good spirits. She is ready to continue the struggle against the separation of families from the other side of the border.”
Her 8-year-old son, Saul, is now living with Coleman’s family. During a news conference in Los Angeles after Arellano’s arrest, the boy hid behind the pastor’s wife and wiped away tears.
Arellano first entered the U.S. illegally in 1997, and was deported when caught. She returned shortly after that, again illegally. In 2002, she was arrested and convicted of working under a falsified Social Security number. Instead of being deported on the spot, she was part of the “catch and release” idiocy that our immigration officers work under. She was to surrender to the authorities in August 2006, but instead she fled to a church in Chicago and requested sanctuary. She then spent a year living in the church, but was arrested and deported when she left her sanctuary to attend a rally for illegal aliens in Los Angeles. This act has enraged the supporters of illegal aliens:
“We are sad, but at the same time we are angry,” said Javier Rodriguez, a Chicago immigration activist who worked with Arellano. “How dare they arrest this woman?”
How dare they? Well, how dare she break the law at least thrice — twice crossing the border into the U.S. illegally, and using a Social Security number that was not her own illegally? I have no idea how many other laws Arellano may have broken during her illegal stay here in the U.S.
“But Captain, how can you separate a child from his mother?” But I didn’t separate her from her son, Saul — she did. When people choose to commit crimes, they accept the consequences of their lawless actions. If Arellano didn’t want to be separated from her son, she shouldn’t have broken the law. The same separation occurs when people are imprisoned for breaking the law. It was their choice to break the law that separated them from their families. But Arellano doesn’t have to be separated from Saul — he can join her in Mexico whenever she wants.
“But her son was born here! He is a U.S. citizen!” Well, he will remain an American citizen even if he lives in Mexico with his mother. If he chooses to return to the U.S. as an adult, that is certainly his right.
Lest we forget, consider the well-publicized case of Elian Gonzalez, whose mother died trying to bring him to the United States, whose extended family were working to make him a legal resident, and who was forcibly deported to Cuba. Under then-President Clinton, the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government deemed it more important for Elian to live with his father in the hell-hole that is Castro’s Cuba than to stay with relatives in the U.S. In all fairness, Elian was not born in the U.S. and thus did not enjoy the same rights as a native-born American–but then again, Mexico isn’t half the hell-hole that Cuba is.
“Anchor babies” is the term used to describe children like Saul who are born in the U.S. to illegal alien parent(s). These anchor babies are used as an excuse to allow their illegal alien parent(s) to stay in the U.S. But are children of illegal aliens automatically U.S. citizens as soon as Mom gives birth a few feet over the border? What exactly is the law that makes any child born in the U.S. a de facto American?
The 14th Amendment of the Constitution explains what makes a citizen: “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.”
There is a key part of that sentence, and it is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” This means that the children born of people who legally enter the U.S. and are subject to the jurisdiction of these United States are citizens. As I read it, the children of illegal aliens are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. (the whole sneaking in bit) and thus are not born U.S. citizens. Here is what Rep. John A. Bingham, the author of the 14th Amendment, said regarding the first sentence:
“I find no fault with the introductory clause, which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”
Illegal aliens who sneak across the U.S. border and have babies on U.S. soil still owe allegiance to their native land. (Indeed, if the evidence is to be believed, many illegal aliens consider themselves loyal citizens of the nations they left. This becomes painfully visible during illegal alien rallies, where one is far more likely to see flags of other nations on display than one is to see the American flag in evidence.) They have not petitioned the U.S. for entry, nor have they begun the process of becoming Americans by renouncing their former citizenship. They are therefore not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S., since they have flouted America’s laws upon entry.
It might be worthwhile for the U.S. immigration officials to give illegal alien parents a choice when they are deported: take your American-born children with you, or leave them in the care of a guardian who is a fully legal American citizen (born or naturalized). Let these parents decide where their true loyalties lie.
(One of the best analyses I’ve read of the 14th Amendment, as it relates to citizenship, can be found at The Federalist Blog. The article clocks in at over two thousand words, but it is well worth the time to read it.)