A day without an American

By Kara Karlson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., seems to be one of the few members of the Arizona delegation to Congress who offers any real solutions to the illegal immigration problem that does not involve the ill-advised call for amnesty that was repeatedly followed in the mid-1980s and only resulted in millions of illegal immigrants currently residing in this country.

And illegal immigration is a problem. A big, ever more expensive problem in the way of illegal immigrants collecting on benefits, clogging our justice system and bringing more violent crime (as if Tucson's crime rate wasn't high enough because of our own home-grown criminal scum).

"Enforcement First," the bill Hayworth unveiled at the end of September, tackles a lot of key immigration issues. It overrides so-called "sanctuary laws" by authorizing state and local officials to arrest illegal aliens.

It increases funding for those states affected most by the torrent of illegal immigrants pouring over our borders. It enacts harsher penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants and is like Proposition 200 on the federal level as it prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving federal benefits.

But perhaps the most radical and most desperately needed piece of this legislation is the provision that denies citizenship to babies who were born in this country to people who weren't supposed to be here in the first place.

Illegal immigration is the only crime that people are constitutionally allowed to benefit from in this country.

Citizen criminals are not allowed to profit from their crimes, so why should someone get a free pass to stay here just because they managed to pop out a kid before the U.S. Border Patrol manages to stop them?

Once an illegal couple or single mother has a kid here, that child becomes a citizen by default, and as a citizen that child has rights.

As parents of the minor who is a citizen, the illegal immigrants get to stay in this country and collect state and federal benefits on behalf of their child. When the minor comes of age, he or she then has an easier time making the parents citizens, who then have standing to make their father's uncle's brother a citizen, who then can bring his sister's brother's wife, etc.

With this type of "anchor baby" policy, why not make all of Latin America de facto citizens?

Even if the border was sealed and every single illegal immigrant were shipped back to their home country, there would still be the gaping hole of automatic citizenship.

This problem has been around for a long time - for just as long a period it has been talked about but avoided.

With the success of the Minutemen in the eyes of the American public, however, even the Democrats are talking about being hard on immigration. (Note: I said talking. Don't fear, Gov. Janet Napolitano and Co. are not actually doing anything to solve the problem.)

The constituents are fed up with it, it needs to be stopped and all potential benefits to being here illegally must be eliminated or minimized to the fullest extent possible.

This includes, but in no way should be limited to, automatic citizenship.

Hayworth has successfully brought the topic to the floor, but in order for it to stick, there must be a constitutional amendment.

I encourage people to write their congressman urging them to support this bill, and take it one step further to amend the Constitution. Citizenship should not be a privilege of criminals.

For those who loved the movie "A Day Without a Mexican," I challenge you to think about what life would be like in the world without Americans.

The Inter-American development bank indicates that in 2004 more than $30 billion was shipped back to Mexico - imagine no America-to-Mexico remittances.

Instead of having a shortage of manual laborers, imagine no business owners to provide jobs and no vaccine developers to try to stem the tide of disease in Third World countries.

There would never have been $321 billion in aid to developing countries since World War II and a full fifth of the United Nation's annual operating budget would be gone.

Before fretting about all the uncut lawns that would dot the landscape, or freeways that may not be constructed without illegal immigration (not like the RTA would build a freeway in Tucson - that would be practical), imagine "A Day Without an American."

Kara Karlson is a journalism senior who wouldn't mind an adolescent, pimply American kid mowing her lawn. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.