GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has managed to single-handedly change the debate about immigration overnight, and now his rivals, like former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, are showing signs of desperately scrambling to catch up. In a recent appearance on CNN, Perry was confronted on the issue of “anchor babies” and birthright citizenship.
For years, the establishment has shoved their notion of “comprehensive immigration reform” down America’s throat, completely dominating the talking points, including what are acceptable topics of discussion. Anyone who strayed from the reform narrative was quickly branded a racist, even as the racism in “reform” groups like La Raza (which translates to The Race) were ignored. In that atmosphere, the anchor baby issue was rarely allowed into the realm of public discussion. Nobody in the media was talking about the implications of allowing illegal aliens to have children and then declare them to be U.S. citizens at will.
The implications of anchor babies and birthright citizenship are, obviously, huge. Given America’s porous southern border and easy visa entry requirements, the idea of birthright citizenship creates a clear incentive for people to sneak into America or overstay their visas in order to create instant citizens. Once the anchor babies are born, the pro-illegal immigration advocates leap in to say that deporting the parents would be “tearing families apart.”
Everyone knows that rewarding illegal behavior encourages more illegal behavior, which is precisely why the pro-illegal advocates love the cycle of anchor babies. The policy of birthright citizenship is so clearly against all common sense that the reformers have made sure even discussing it is off the table.
Then along came The Donald.
Through his blunt talk, pop culture fame, and rock solid Sen. Jeff Sessions-inspired policy principles on the vital issue of immigration, Donald Trump has forced the media to actually address an issue that has had America’s silent majority of citizens scratching its head for years. Trump’s powerhouse policy proposal included a clear call to end the madness of birthright citizenship.
If the proposal to end birthright citizenship had come from a candidate without Trump’s current juice and swagger, it likely would have died on the vine, but Trump has managed to make the Immigration Issue That Must Not Be Discussed into a public policy debate. Now the rest of the GOP presidential field must step up on immigration or be permanently left in Trump’s rear-view mirror.
Judging from his recent appearance on CNN, if Rick Perry wants to be the GOP candidate of choice for anchor babies, he’s off to a good start.
As reported by Breitbart News, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was simply caught flat footed, admitting that he hadn’t read Trump’s policy — despite the fact that the entire broad stroke proposal would take less than five minutes to read.
Then Perry started to stake out a position that he’s likely going to be hard pressed to explain in the coming months: defending anchor babies with the same flawed argument that pro-illegal advocates use. As Breitbart News reported, Perry told CNN:
If you’re saying, ‘Will you do away with the 14th Amendment?’ I think you need to look back at a little bit of history. When’s the last time we changed the Constitution of this country? And it was back in the early ’90s. And it took 202 years to do that. So, I’m a governor who has to deal with finding solutions to problems. I know how to deal with the solution. And it’s not changing the Constitution. But that’s political rhetoric.
The argument about the 14th Amendment is political rhetoric, just not in the way Perry means. As Breitbart legal analyst Ken Klukowski wrote in an article that lays out the relationship between the Constitution and birthright citizenship:
So why is a child born on American soil to foreign parents an American citizen by birth? Because the Fourteenth Amendment’s Citizenship Clause is a floor, not a ceiling. Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution, Congress has absolute power to make laws for immigration and for granting citizenship to foreigners. Congress’s current INA is far more generous than the Constitution requires. Congress could expand it to grant citizenship to every human being on earth, or narrow it to its constitutional minimum.
The mere fact that Perry was even asked about birthright citizenship shows the power of Trump’s outsized influence.
The issue for the country is wider than any specific candidate, however. It’s about the policies that will either change America’s disastrous current course, which is tied to fatally flawed immigrationpolicy, or watch us plunge off the cliff.
Trump has laid down the gauntlet as a truth-teller on immigration. Other candidates would be advised to try to raise the debate even higher, not repeat microwaved Democrat talking points in an effort to dethrone Donald Trump.