Looking at our immigration policies compared to the rest of the world, you’d think America lost a bet.
The United States is one of only two developed countries in the world (the other is Canada, and even it has some restrictions we don’t have) with full “birthright citizenship,” meaning that any child born when his mother was physically present within the geographical borders of the U.S. automatically gets a U.S. birth certificate and a Social Security card.
That means legal immigrants, pregnant women sneaking in on tourist visas, travelers on a three-week vacation, cheap foreign workers on “temporary” visas and, in some cases, foreign diplomats.
There are laws on the books that say the kids born to diplomats don’t automatically become citizens simply by being born here but — like so many of our immigration laws — these are treated as mere suggestions.
And that’s not all.
We’re the only country but two that confers automatic citizenship on children born to illegal aliens, or “anchor babies.” This is not “birthright citizenship,” which refers to children born to legal immigrants. (There’s nothing vulgar, bigoted, racial or sexual about the term “anchor baby.” It’s a boating metaphor: A geographical U.S. birth “anchors” the child’s entire family in this country by virtue of the baby’s citizenship.)
The other two countries that grant citizenship to anchor babies are Canada and Tanzania. Canada doesn’t have Latin America on its border, of course — and Tanzania is reconsidering the policy.
Here’s a fun fact: Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — the notorious Mexican drug lord, sentenced on July 17 to life plus 30 years for drug trafficking and multiple murder conspiracies — has two children who are American, born in sunny California to his wife, who’s an anchor baby herself.
Why would any country make the calculated decision to reward illegal immigration by granting the full privileges of citizenship to the children of illegals or foreign visitors who arrange to have the births take place on its soil?
As a matter of fact, “we” didn’t make such a decision.
The late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan invented the anchor-baby policy out of whole cloth and snuck it into a footnote of an opinion written in 1982. Yes, this ancient bedrock principle, this essence of “Who We Are,” dates all the way back to the Reagan administration.
The Brennan footnote was not part of the decision. It does not have the force of law. Yet, today, we act as if Brennan’s absurd dicta is the law of the land for no reason other than: a) sheer ignorance and b) a fear of being called “racist.”
No U.S. Congress or Supreme Court ever debated and then approved the idea that children born to mothers illegally present in the country should automatically become citizens. Consequently, any president or Congress could simply state that children born to illegal aliens are not citizens. If only we had a president or Congress that would do so.
Which reminds me: No other country fawns over illegal immigrants brought in as minors, day in and day out, calling them “Dreamers.”
The U.S. is one of the rare countries that makes citizens of people who can’t speak the language — along with the masochistic Swedes. (How did they terrorize the world 800 years ago?) The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Norway and the Netherlands all have the crazy idea that citizens should be able to communicate with one another. We have a language requirement on the books but, it turns out, that too is merely a suggestion.
No other country holds a “lottery” in which the prize is U.S. citizenship. Ireland has a lottery but, for whatever sick and twisted reason, the Irish give the winners money, not citizenship in their country.
We bring in 50,000 lucky lottery winners each year, literally for no reason at all. (Thanks, First President Bush!) To enter, you must be from a specified country, like the Congo, Nepal, Ethiopia or Uzbekistan. You submit your name to the State Department and, if your name is pulled out of a hat, WELCOME TO AMERICA!
This rigorous system for choosing our fellow citizens gave us, for example, Egyptian national Hesham Mohamed Ali Hedayet, who opened fire at the El Al Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport in 2002, murdering two people. His wife had won the lottery five years after he came here on a tourist visa.
It got us Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbeki who plowed a rented truck into a crowd of bicyclists and pedestrians on Halloween 2017 in New York City, killing eight and injuring many more.
It bestowed upon us Akayed Ullah, the Bangladeshi national who got in as the nephew of a lottery winner. Ullah enriched us by detonating a bomb in New York City’s Port Authority in December 2017.
Speaking of nephews of Bangladeshi lottery winners trying to blow up the Port Authority, no other major country in the world issues a majority of its visas to people based on the fact that they have a relative already living here.
We’re not talking about the spouses and minor children of immigrants we really want. These are adult siblings, nephews and nieces — who have their own adult children, elderly parents and mothers-in-law. Two-thirds of all legal immigrants to the U.S. come in on these “family reunification” visas. (We wouldn’t want our immigrants to be illiterate, poor and lonesome.)
Even the New York Times — despite its decidedly anti-MAGA bent — has described our “family reunification” system as wildly out of step with the rest of the world.
We’re in a buyer’s market but, instead of taking the top draft picks, we aggressively recruit the desperately poor, the culturally deprived, the sick and the needy. All because American elites seem to believe that it’s unfair — even snooty — to try to bring in the best immigrants we can.
(Author Ann Coulter is a lawyer, a syndicated columnist and conservative commentator, and the author of 13 New York Times bestsellers. The most recent, “Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind,” was published in 2018. Follow her on Twitter @AnnCoulter)