Friday, April 30, 2010

Duncan Hunter: deport American children

A Republican from California wants to deport American citizens. Not just that -- in most cases, these specific citizens are children who were born in the country.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) says that the children of undocumented immigrants who are born in the U.S. should be deported along with their parents and stripped of their citizenry rights.

"It takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen," Hunter told a recent TEA Party crowd. "It's within our souls."

The U.S. Constitution, through the 14th Amendment, grants citizen rights to "[all] persons born or naturalized in the United States." It couldn't be any clearer than that: if you're born here, you are given citizen rights.

While the deportation of parents would ultimately mean the children would most likely leave with them as well (unless they stayed with another relative or family friend who was legally in the country), the rights of these children shouldn't be infringed upon simply because people like Hunter have a beef with their parents. Hunter wants to strip these young Americans their rights, essentially saying that fist-generation Americans aren't welcome to be a part of our nation, even if they were born here, and that they aren't as "American" as others here are (read: white people).

But Hunter isn't the only Republican supporting such a measure: to date, ninety Republican House members are cosponsoring a measure that would require deportation of children of immigrants, even if they were born here.

This isn't right; and it's definitely not American. Those who were born here should continue to receive "the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." Whether that means that they go home with their deported parents, perhaps one day returning to the U.S., or stay in the country with other legal family members, is up to the family itself to decide. But the child's right to be a citizen of the United States should not be infringed upon simply because his or her parents were immigrants, and because people like Hunter are flat-out racists (would we be having this conversation about a European family in the same scenario? Unlikely).

Our ancestors were once in that boat -- many of them, literally so -- and would not want their children, who were born in this country, to be treated this way. We shouldn't treat the children of any immigrants, born in the United States, as second-class citizens or as illegal immigrants.

If you're born here, you're a citizen. If you can't deal with that, take your bigotry elsewhere.

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