Friday, April 24, 2009

If you are an illegal immigrant, your child is taken away from you.


  1. Yup. Didn't realize that this was news, since I've known about this forever. The scariest thing of all is the US really does have some of the most permissive immigration policies. -That- fact scares me. But immigration really is not concerned about breaking up families. They protect the children, who are usually citizens, but could care less about "illegal aliens." And yes, the official word for term for non LPRs is alien. Gotta love US immigration.

  2. I recall a similar case in which a Chinese graduate student couple temporarily gave child care responbility to an American couple while the father faced sexual harassment charges from a former student. A judge's decision to permit the American couple to adopt the girl was later overturned by another judge and the girl was rightfully returned to her parents, who repatriated back to China. Let's hope this sham adoption is also cancelled.

    As far as Immigration breaking up families, these families do have the option of returning to their home countries, and some are voluntarily owing to rising unemployment. Mexico recognizes dual citizenship, and as long as the parents bring back necessary docments like birth certificates and school and immunization records, enrollment in local schools isn't a problem. It is true that many older kids in particular do not have grade-level literacy in their native language, but literacy skills transfer, and a child literate in English will quickly learn to read in Spanish.

    Not wishing to force immigrant families to choose between leaving their Irish citizen children behind or taking them back to a country with a lower standard of living and a possibly unfamiliar language and culture, Ireland generously liberalized its citizenship laws to permit parents of Irish-born children a path to residency and citizenship. Guess what happened? Large numbers of undocumented immigrants from elsewhere in Europe flocked to Ireland seeking a path to EU citizenship. Irish public services simply couldn't handle the large influx of non-English-speaking, unskilled labor, so Ireland's government revised its citizenship laws again, restricting birthright citizenship to the children of citizens and legal immigrants.

    Be careful what you wish for. Granting residency rights to parents of US-born children will make birthright citizenship very unpopular. It is a right not explicit in the Constitution but established only by Supreme Court intepretation and practice.

  3. Playing devil's advocate, she lost custody because she, an illegal alien trying to evade authorities, could not raise her child in a safe, stable, sound environment.

    At any rate, the importance of a story like this is that it demonstrates something that runs counter to popular wisdom: Having a child with US citizenship by virtue of he/she being born in the US does not grant an illegal immigrant any special rights. Nor does it grant any special rights for those foreign nationals in America legally but without permanent residency who give birth to US citizens while staying in the United States. Not until they're child is 21, anyway.

  4. clearly you do not have children kushibo. honestly that was a ridiculous comment, something the bush admin. would say to hide the fact that they have no moral center or human heart.

    the issue isn't 'special' rights but any rights at all. our constitution is founded on the idea of inalienable rights btw not just for americans for ALL people. for christ's sake if we can return Elian back to cuba we can send a two year old to his family in guatemala.

  5. Jenn, I think you may have misinterpreted what I'm saying. First, it was playing devil's advocate; I'm not advocating or endorsing that position.

    Frankly, I agree that it's reasonable to have the child returned to her when she's no longer in jail, although the big difference between her child and Elian Gonzalez is that (a) Elian was not a US citizen being moved outside the US and (b) Elian had a non-incarcerated parent to return to in Cuba.

    I have no children but were something to happen to any one of my siblings, especially in a different country, I would be horrified and angry if the state tried to give my nephews or nieces to someone else.

    Anyway, the second part of my original comment was, again, not what I thought it should be but what it is: a foreigner having a baby in the US grants that foreigner no rights of abode just because their child is a US citizen. I thought it was worth pointing that out because in all the shrillness about illegal aliens taking over the US, that is one chestnut that gets repeated and taken as fact even though it's not true.

  6. "a foreigner having a baby in the US grants that foreigner no rights of abode just because their child is a US citizen"

    That's the case in many countries. My boyfriend was born in France to a French mother and American father. Due to the fact that you have to be married for a certain number of years before you can gain French citizenship, he ended up being a French citizen 2 years before his father was (i.e. from birth).

  7. Oh, I'm well aware that that is the case in many countries. But in the United States, all the anti-immigrant sentiment masks the true facts about immigration, both legal and undocumented.

    It is a widely circulated meme that an illegal alien or some sort of other non-immigrant foreigner can plop out a kid on US soil and then the newborn's automatic citizenship can be used for the family to get green cards and rights of residency in the US.

    When K-blog commentariat talks about the legendary "pregnancy tourist" who heads for the US in the third trimester, this meme provides a lot of the subtext. In fact, the US citizenship of the newborn provides benefits primarily in Korea, not the US.


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