Wannabe U.S. prez Trump’s war on birthright citizenship

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Anchor baby? It has nothing to do with drunken sailors, or the illegitimate love child of a blonde Fox newsreader and Noli de Castro. No, but you are hearing correctly. The political discourse when it comes to immigration in the U.S. has become all about “anchor babies.”


And frankly, all that conservative anchor baby talk is making me feel, a little, how shall we say, randy. Doesn’t it make you just want to cross a border, any will do, and have a baby? It will take nine months and some planning.

But next time you want to visit the U.S. on a visa, make sure you’re close to the 9th month. Then next time you’re in Daly City with your relatives, not only will you have a baby - but you’ll have an American!

And that is the crux of all that anchor baby talk. 

In the U.S., we still believe in the centuries old belief of birthright citizenship. If you are born on this soil, you are an American.

It doesn’t matter what nationality of your mom and dad have. Doesn’t matter whether they speak Tagalog or Ilocano. The parents have nothing to do with anything. The relative question is where was the child born?

And forget about Daly City. Stop at the airport in Honolulu. In the 50th state of the Union? Hawaii. Last I checked, there was a star on the flag for that.

And that’s all it takes. Break your water and have a baby on American soil and you’ve got democracy’s love child, as American as Donald Trump.

You should do it. Encourage your child-bearing relatives. It may be the only way to beat the long visa lines to get into America. Birth your way in. And then have your baby petition for you.

And that’s the controversy. It doesn’t really happen enough to solve the problem of the U.S. immigration system. And even if might happen on occasion birthright citizenship is the law.

But Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump doesn’t get the idea of “settled law” that goes back to British common law. That’s the basis of the citizenship birthright. It’s English.

Trump wishes you have your babies at home, far from him, and not where he’s a taxpayer at least. Because heaven forbid, you should require any public health services. Or anything else from the government.

If you haven’t notice, this is the ideological lunacy of all the conservative, small-government types wherever they may be. They enter politics so they can make government less effective, and less responsive.

In their minds, that’s the best kind of government. Small government that cost less. The people? You’re on your own.

Now does that make sense - an anti-government person who wants to be - in government? And spoil it for the rest of us?

But people really do need services. And these small government folks have an answer for that - privatization!

Everything that’s public and run by government can at least run as poorly in the for-profit world, especially if the profit is being made by some politician’s buddy! And, of course, that’s what happens.

In the Philippines, it’s not even subtle. It’s an art form. Doesn’t anyone wonder how the elites can go from running the corporate mega-companies, than find themselves in retirement heading up government bureaucracies?

In America, it’s not really any better. Millionaire donors often get ambassadorship as a reward for fundraising. But sometimes, that’s just too ceremonial. High-donor pals would rather have private contracts to perform services to the public. You name it. Prisons. Maintenance. Even in retirement benefits.

If you have a 401K instead of a pension plan, then you should know how we were all sold on the idea of freedom and greed.

Employers used to have to provide pensions for retirement as part of employment. A defined benefit. But because that’s a cost to employers, the private ones began to shift the onus to the worker. 401Ks are now your own deal. Employers used to sweeten it a bit with matching funds. But few companies still do that anymore.

Everyone’s shifted over to the 401K, which is great if you saved and picked some safe investments. But as the market has yo-yoed in recent days, if you felt the sting in your 401K, as The Donald would say, “Tough.”

That’s privatization for you. You can cry individually. Along with all the others who no longer have pensions.

And all that is connected to the GOP’s ideological anchor baby talk, because if you believe Trump, Jeb Bush, and all the republican candidates competing for the conservative vote, anchor babies are the destroyers of a free democracy and from the cradle are the master moochers of the American taxpayer.

GOP hopefuls hope it will help “distinguish” themselves from each other and from those liberal pantywaist democrats.

Next, you can bet we’ll hear about cutting Social Security, health care, welfare, you name it. We’ll hear more talk about “making government” more efficient.

And of course, Trump will brag about how he has run mega-companies. And then when someone mentions how he’s also gone bankrupt a time or two, he will just comment how he used the available laws that protect rich corporate types, and shrug it off.

That’s the problem with the corporate conservative mindset. Government can’t and shouldn’t be run as a business. You can crunch numbers. You shouldn’t crunch people.

Government is more than just a place where they fly flags. It’s the structure in society that takes care of real human beings, real people. Change that and you change the country for the bad.

And that’s how campaign among the republicans in the U.S. is shaping up. And it’s going to get uglier. If they can shift the immigration debate to hating anchor babies, there’s no limit to the ugliness we are about to see.


American Filipino Emil Guillermo is a writer and commentator in Northern California. He is the recent recipient of the 2015 Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association.Inquirer.net