Cesar Munoz: Time to drop the ‘anchor babies’ myth
First, these U.S. born children do NOT confer immigration benefits on the parents and extended family; immigration law does NOT allow a U.S. citizen child to sponsor his/her parents until he/she turns 21. Moreover, if the parents are illegal immigrants, they are usually barred from immigration despite having a sponsor.
Second, and more to your point, Mr. Kunst, of “who would be so callous as to pull a dependent child from the arms of its mother who is being sent back to Mexico while the child stays here …”
Quite contrary to your assumption, Ms. Elvira Arellano, despite her U.S. born child, was deported to Mexico in Aug. 2007, and mother and son were separated. Ms. Arellano had made national news when she sought sanctuary in a Chicago church. Saul, her son, was not a very good “poster child” even with all that publicity. Not even Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights held sway. Anchors aweigh!
You see, NO benefits exist in deportation proceedings from “anchor babies” except in the very rare case of “extreme and profound hardship on the child.” Approximately 88,000 parents of U.S. citizen children have been deported since the year 2000. See Watanabe, Teresa (April 1, 2010). “Report criticizes increased deportation of legal immigrant parents.” Los Angeles Times.
Finally, to answer your question – really more a trite and over-used cliche: “What is it about the term ‘illegal alien’ that you don’t understand?” I actually understand the label better than you think. Like “anchor baby,” it is a loaded term, even harsh, and often used to subliminally vilify and dehumanize people whose only crime is their unwanted presence in our country.
Now, what I do NOT understand is the blind adherence to “The Rule of Law” argument in the immigration debate. “An unjust law is NO law.” Many people just cannot make a rational and dispassionate analysis of the body of laws and regulations we call our immigration policy – more like ANTI-immigration policy. Is there some “emotional blockage” preventing rational thought? Even more irrational is to insist on their draconian enforcement.
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