Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tancredo - "Constitution, what constitution?"

The Washington Post reports that Tom Tancredo has a new twist on an old schtick. According to Tom, "There is general agreement about the fact that citizenship in this country should not be bestowed on people who are children of folks who come into this country illegally." Unfortunately for Tom and his friends, the framers of the 14th Amendment didn't agree. The 14th Amendment begins:
"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."
Tom wants to get around this language by claiming that illegal immigrants are not truly subject to American jurisdiction (like diplomats, I guess), and therefore their children don't qualify for birthright citizenship. Unfortunately for Tom, the Supreme Court rejected this thesis more than a century ago.

The Post points out that diplomats, as a consequence of the lack of jurisdiction Tom would extend to aliens, cannot be arrested or charged with crimes. Illegal immigrants = diplomats? Hmmm. Of course, Tom almost always starts talking long before his brain engages, so nobody should be surprised this time.

Unfortunately, there is no consensus about what Jesus would do about illegal immigration. In fact, Bill O'Reilly and Cardinal McCarrick of Washington clashed earlier this year. Bill wants us to think that Jesus was a fan of sealed borders, while McCarrick points out that Jesus was a champion of the disadvantaged. Not much common ground here.

The real culprits, of course, are the American corporations who depend upon cheap illegal immigrant labor to sustain our low-wage economic infrastructure. What would Jesus say about that? I wonder.


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