Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lindsay Graham, Constitutional Amendments And Xenophobia

There is nothing new about Republicans stoking xenophobic fears among their party's faithful, but it seems the G.O.P. is constantly looking for more preposterous solutions to a complex problem that they clearly do not wish to grasp. Utilizing right-wing zealot and ex-Congressman J.D. Hayworth is one thing, but for Lindsay Graham to step into the stupid shows how far they are willing to go to rile up fearful Caucasians that see immigration as a threat (you know, just as every other group in American history has).

From Politico:

“I may introduce a constitutional amendment that changes the rules if you have a child here,” Graham said during an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake ... We should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child's automatically not a citizen.”

Asked how intent Graham is on introducing the amendment, the South Carolina Republican responded: “I got to.”

“People come here to have babies,” he said. “They come here to drop a child. It's called "drop and leave." To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child's automatically an American citizen. That shouldn't be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons.”

First off, the "drop and leave" scenario is more of a scarecrow argument than anything. The vast majority of undocumented workers that come to the U.S. and have children want to stay in the country and make a better life for themselves, just as immigrants have for more than 200 years.

If something like this passed, it would only end up hurting the children in these cases and hardly stem the fears of those that ascribe to the bigotry that Lindsay Graham and his G.O.P. brethren hawk.

Thankfully though, passing a Constitutional Amendment and nullifying a portion of the 14th Amendment is highly unlikely. Graham's a smart guy, he knows this, but for his conscious decision to play this card speaks more to the content of his personal character than to his intellect.