The Corner

Re: Deport Them?

Derb: Well, yes, except that we’re not even deporting the 400,000-plus

people who’ve run away after being ordered deported, or alien murderers who

finish their sentences and are released into the community, or Arabs caught

by the Border Patrol on the Mexican border, or … well, you get the idea.

Changing the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment is to my fellow

restrictionists what arms control is (was?) to many on the Left — when the

issues are hot (a massive illegal population or a Cold War) the policies

are inadvisable, and when the policies would make sense, they’d no longer

matter. I’d be happy to go along with ending automatic citizenship at birth

(though that would necessarily mean federalizing the birth-registry process

now run by the states), so long as we control illegal immigration

first. Otherwise, to use another analogy, it will become like the

debate over immigrant welfare in 1996: the libertarians agreed with

immigration critics that welfare use by legal immigrants was bad, but they

jiu jitsued us by offering a different solution — instead of just not

importing a new underclass, the libertarians persuaded Congress to keep the

underclass coming, just to cut them off welfare (which, of course, didn’t

really happen, because of carve-outs in the law and because the states

picked up most of the slack). If the citizenship debate were to heat up,

the same thing would happen — the open-borders crowd (at least those on

the Right) would agree to the change in order to divert political energy

away from the real problem, which is uncontrolled immigration. Fix that,

and citizenship will fix itself.

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