The old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The idea behind this is that if the status quo is working, then do not change anything.
There has been a lot of momentum recently to change a perfectly workable system – birthright citizenship.
Republican candidates, namely Ben Carson and Donald Trump, have advocated for the removal of birthright citizenship.
They propose that simply being born in the United States does not make you an American.
This policy would require a change to the Constitution.
You may be asking yourself, “Why would we attempt to amend the Constitution to change a perfectly adequate system.” The answer is xenophobia.
The idea of changing birthright citizenship is a response by some in the Republican Party to the current immigration situation.
They believe it will solve the problem of “anchor babies.”
For those not familiar with the term, an “anchor baby” is a term used to describe a child born to an undocumented immigrant in the United States that, because of its U.S. citizen status, “anchors” the parents in the U.S. and prevents deportation.
However, the “anchor baby” problem is essentially non-existent. It is nothing but xenophobic, fear-mongering propaganda to paint undocumented immigrants as unethical.
In fact, Pew Research reports that 91 percent of undocumented immigrant parents who give birth to U.S. citizens have already been living in the United States for several years. Anchor babies are essentially a myth, and not a reason to adapt our constitution.
Even if “anchor babies” were an issue, United States policy should not revolve around how to further exclude these individuals, but how to change our current system to include them. For example, a pathway to citizenship.
Xenophobia has no place in the United States, let alone United States policy making. Removing birthright citizenship is a move only intended to exclude those who are different.
We should not implement policy that has the sole intent of discrimination. Birthright citizenship is a perfectly fine system that does not need to be changed.