Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Yellow Star Bill

A new group of state legislators opposed birthright citizenship has made a first-step proposal to help differentiate citizens born to illegal immigrants from the rest of us: separate birth certificates.

I'm not the world's biggest John Marshall Harlan cheerleader. But if ever there was a time to refer back to his Plessy dissent, now was it. Our constitution "neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens." It's that simple. And marking certain disfavored citizen's birth certificate with an indicator that says "you are lesser, you are not truly one of us" -- it is difficult to find an idea more offensive to the spirit of our constitutional tradition.

1 comment:

N. Friedman said...

I could not agree more with your view that there can only be one kind of citizen. Hence, this new movement needs to be fought vigorously.

I do, however, repeat my view that the Federal government has to do more than provide window dressing support for enforcing the rule of law in the form of enforcing immigration law. [NOTE: I know you will say that Obama is better than Bush was on this and, quite likely, you are correct but, Obama's approach is still just window dressing.] It is the failure to enforce the existing laws vigorously which is the cause of the reactionary movement that raises nasty ideas such as distinct classes of citizenship. More nasty things are coming from those states impacted by the Federal government's failure so do not say you did not hear the cause and likely future.