By Raoul Lowery Contreras
600,000 soldiers died fighting for or against slavery, racism and preservation of the Union between 1861 and 1865. Out of that war came the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. The 13th declared slavery dead. The 15th extended voting rights to those denied by slave status or skin color, which of course, white Southern America ignored for a hundred years.
More importantly, the 14th defined citizenship by birth, “equal protection of the laws” “and that no state could “deprive any person life, liberty or property, without due process of law.” The Supreme Court solidly backed these amendments in the 1870s Slaughterhouse Cases that ruled that laws apply equally to all and that the law could show no favoritism.
Why this history and Constitutional refresher? Because they’re baaack!
Yes, the demons we thought Federal District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer had exorcised when she declared the infamous Proposition 187 illegal have risen from under their rocks to hound us again.
The Sacramento Bee’s Shane Goldmacher reports that a ”conservative group” including twice failed congressional candidate former State Senator Bill Morrow of Oceanside (California) is dragging illegal immigration back to the explosive “front burner” of California politics.
In the election to replace jailed anti-illegal alien rabble-rouser Duke Cunningham, then Senator Morrow ran exclusively on an “illegal alien” platform. Only eight percent of the Republican primary vote that Congressman Brian Bilbray won voted for Morrow. In 2000, he attempted to brand Republican Darrel Issa, grandson of a Lebanese immigrant as being a closet Arab terrorist. Morrow lost and Issa is in Congress.
Morrow and his cohorts are sponsoring a ballot measure that would create a new birth certificate for children of the “undocumented.” It is titled the California Taxpayer Protection Act. The original proposal is being rewritten and will be filed soon for signature gathering approval looking for a place on the June 2010 ballot.
According to the Sacramento newspaper, “for undocumented parents to obtain the (proposition created) “Certificate of Live Birth with Foreign Parent,” they would have to be photographed, fingerprinted and pay an additional $75 fee.” This does not apply to citizen parents; this is a constitutional violation.
Also, the proposed initiative would “limit welfare payments for the (American citizen) children of undocumented immigrants, as well as require that any application for public benefits submitted by illegal immigrants be handed over to federal authorities.” No federal law requires such information of any other parent thus as most benefits are federally financed, this proposal is illegal. It is also illegal because it targets a “class” of children, an illegal “discrete class.”
The sponsor’s web site (www.Taxpayerrevolution.org) reveals a more devious motive than just targeting American citizen children of illegal alien parents to deny them benefits.
In direct contradiction of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment the sponsor’s web site states, “Our citizen’s movement will launch the national debate we need to bring an END to ‘birth tourism’ and AUTOMATIC CITIZENSHIP in the United States of America.”
It also falsely states in its “Frequently Asked Questions” section:
“Q - What if someone says denying the official birth certificate to the children of illegal aliens, tourists, and other foreigners is unconstitutional?”
“A - The United States Supreme Court has never decided a citizenship case for legal temporary residents, tourists, or those here illegally; only legally admitted permanently domiciled aliens.”
“B - The federal government grants citizenship and there is no federal law prohibiting the state from issuing two types of certificates, which follows the original intent of the United States Constitution.”
Sponsors Tony Dolz, Ted Hilton and Bill Morrow You and your site are dead wrong. The court has made those very decisions. And, it is not the federal government that grants natural born citizenship it is the Constitution.
In Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), the Supreme Court held, not commented on, but held, ruled: “The illegal aliens…may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that no State shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is a “person” in any ordinary sense of that term.”
Is that not clear, Mr. Dolz, Hilton and Morrow?
The Amendment itself states that “No state shall” pass any laws that deprive anyone constitutional rights and “privileges.”
Any birth certificate to an American citizen child must be, not can be, exactly the same as everyone else’s in the state because that is “equal protection” for a citizen or an illegal alien.
End of argument. Gentlemen crawl back under your rocks.
Contreras’ book, THE ILLEGAL ALIEN: A DAGGER INTO THE HEART OF AMERICA?? is available at amazon.com