The Corner

Anchor Babies and Gynecological Tourists

Ramesh: The house of immigration debate has many mansions, and you have

just opened the door of another one: the fraught issue of “anchor babies”

and “gynecological tourists.”

The key point here is the interpretation of the words “subject to the

jurisdiction thereof” in the Fourteenth Amendment. What, exactly, do they

mean? As with so many points of Constitutional jurisprudence, the answer is

that they mean whatever we decide they mean. Currently we decide that their

meaning encompasses babies born to foreign women who happen to be on US soil

at the time.

It is not obvious to me that they could not just as easily exclude such

infants… but I’d like to hold the line here & just keep the focus on the

Bush proposal.

That’s why I’m resisting Jonah’s question on assimilation and bilingual

education. Important issues, and not un-related… but let’s keep our

focus. The Bush proposal is out there. Let’s toss it around & see if we

can agree on some conclusions, or at least clarify our disagreements in a

useful way.