Latino Voters in Nevada Cringe as Sharron Angle Attacks Children of Undocumented Workers

Since narrowly capturing the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in November’s election, Sharron Angle has been thrust from the local talk-radio circuit into the national spotlight, and there have been some growing pains with regard to her messaging. One gaffe has followed another as she has struggled to build a relationship with the media and has been forced to defend or dismiss extreme positions she has taken in the past.  But she is not walking away from all of her fringe beliefs, and yesterday at a Las Vegas press conference she indicated support for Congressional action to alter the application of the Fourteenth Amendment to modify “birthright citizenship.” Angle and other right-wing Republicans have offered up this extremist remedy as their contribution to the conversation on comprehensive immigration reform.

The Fourteenth Amendment’s first clause states that any person born in the United States is a citizen of the country and of the state into which s/he was born. Right-wing critics have seized on this as a loophole allowing illegal immigrants to enter the country, give birth, and inherit the benefits of their child’s U.S. citizenship.

Unsurprisingly, they have not yet explained how this extends benefits to the parents. Except in rare cases, parents would not be able to gain immigration papers for themselves until their U.S. citizen child turns 21 years old; two decades is a long time to wait for a Green Card.

Another argument is that by extending citizenship and its rights and protections to the children of undocumented immigrants, the United States “rewards” the parents who choose to enter the country without authorization. The fairness of punishing a child for the misdeeds of its parents seems to be a non-issue for advocates of these extreme changes.

Reid, a moderate Democrat who has quietly risen to the most senior position in the Senate, has overtaken Angle in public opinion polls despite his relative unpopularity in the state. Angle has spent most of her career in the Reno area and has never been bashful about her beliefs and voting as her ideology dictates. Reid’s campaign has seized on Angle’s extremism and now has been handed a neat message for the state’s Latino voters: Sharron Angle will do anything (except give earnest consideration to comprehensive immigration reform) to punish unauthorized immigrants who have come to this country in search of better lives.

For continuing coverage of the politics of immigration reform, visit us again soon. If you would like to learn more about gaining permanent residence for yourself or a loved one, call for a free consultation with our Las Vegas immigration lawyer.

2 Responses to “Latino Voters in Nevada Cringe as Sharron Angle Attacks Children of Undocumented Workers”

  1. Denying citizenship to children of illegal residents is NOT an attack It’s common sense.
    We must support LEGAL immigration and abolish illegal immigration.

  2. Magyart,

    Thank you for commenting. There is wide agreement that unauthorized immigration is not ideal. Our immigration laws are intended to promote the orderly integration of foreigners into America and should be utilized. But punishing someone for acts he did not commit/understand is not “common sense” at all — it is injustice.

    It is often hard to appreciate the circumstances of unauthorized workers from the perspective of a native-born American. We maintain that unauthorized immigration is chiefly an economic phenomenon; until we accept that immigration and economics are linked, we are going to be at each other’s throats on this issue.

    As far as children go, it seems unfair to “punish the son for the sins of the father,” to paraphrase Biblical language. We need to have an honest conversation about how we can fairly address the issue of immigrant children. If you are compelled to break a law before you know what a law is, are you culpable? If your parents break a law in bringing you into the world, are you culpable?

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