Thursday, September 09, 2010

Post 2000* From the last issue of the Thursday Davis County Clipper: Party Lines - Should changes be made to the 14th Amendment? If so, how?

Ben Horsley, Davis County Republican
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as part of the Civil War reconstruction amendments. The intent of the amendment was to allow slaves born in the United States full citizenship and constitutional rights. What is so controversial about this amendment? Read it for yourself.

Section 1. 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.

Does automatic citizenship of the children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants create an “incentive” for illegal immigration? Is the problem so significant that amending the Constitution is the answer?

I am of the strong opinion that our Constitution is a divinely inspired document and the less we change it the better. While I abhor the ongoing problem with illegal immigration, changing our Constitution to impact less than 1 percent of our nation’s births is not the answer.

I spent six years handling immigration issues and policy for Congressman Rob Bishop. In that experience, I reviewed in detail the amnesty type legislative proposals that were proposed under the Bush administration. None of these proposals ever addressed the core issue of the problem and neither does eliminating this provision in the Constitution. The bulk of illegal immigrants are coming here to work, not for citizenship. The rest are typical criminals participating in drug and human trafficking activities.

They are not interested in citizenship either. The almighty dollar is the motivation for these individuals while the rights and privileges of our great nation are a secondhand thought.

It is easy to assess blame in blanket terms and easier to assess solutions in the same manner. However, this proposal does nothing to solve the real problem of illegal immigration. Amending the constitution in this manner is akin to killing a mosquito on your arm with a crop duster full of pesticide. The solution to the problem continues to be enforcing our borders to prevent the issue from occurring in the first place. Republicans have been pushing for strong border protection and immigration reform in a piecemeal fashion. While there is a comprehensive problem with our immigration system, there is no comprehensive solution.

Congress must allocate the appropriate amount of resources and manpower to lock down the border. Once this is accomplished, changing our current system to ease the process of legal immigration is something both parties can agree on and accomplish with ease.

While I appreciate the motivation and intent for making this change, I fear any proposal to amend the Constitution in this culturally and politically unstable environment.

A constitutional convention at this point in history could incite additional short sighted solutions that will have long-term implications for our nation. Creating an opening for such changes is dangerous and irresponsible in this period of time when partisanship and extremist political agendas are rampant.

Changing the Constitution will not stop illegal immigration from occurring. Only strong border protection and hiring enforcement can do that.

Read more: Davis County Clipper - PARTY LINES Should changes be made to the 14th Amendment If so how

*Best estimate

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