Earlier this week a coalition of Religious Right leaders emerged with the goal of influencing immigration policymaking. The organizer of this coalition, Manuel Miranda, is a former member of Sen. Bill Frist’s staff who lost his position after accessing and reading internal Democratic staff documents and went on to become a one-man army fighting for confirmation of President Bush’s judicial nominees. Now that President Bush appears reluctant to keep sending controversial nominees to Congress, Miranda undoubtedly has a lot of time on his hands and has decided to branch out into immigration. He claims that his new Families First on Immigration coalition is offering “real compromise” on the issue that should appeal to all sides by proposing a combination of increased border security, legalization for undocumented immigrants who are already in the country and, most importantly, an end to birthright citizenship guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
Judging by this WorldNetDaily column by Jane Chastain, the Families First on Immigration’s “compromise” proposal looks as if it is appealing to some on the Right who have traditionally been among the most militantly anti-immigration. Why the change of heart? Even the most extreme anti-immigrant advocates understand the message voters sent to Congress – by not electing or in some cases not re-electing many GOPers who had strong anti-immigrant positions. They see the writing on the wall and from their weakened position are now cynically attempting to leverage their “support” for something that already has strong bi-artisan support and is likely to happen anyway, in order to get something else extreme that they have always wanted – doing away with birthright citizenship.
In one fell swoop Chastain impugns the motives of all who support comprehensive immigration reform while simultaneously insulting hard-working immigrants:
The motives of Democrats and President Bush are clear: The former expects to lead these new, largely impoverished, uneducated voters around by the nose; the latter wants to satisfy his business supporters who feel they are “entitled” to cheap labor to manufacture their products, mow their lawns and clean their toilets.
Chastain’s primary reason for “hope” is that this proposal pushes to eliminate so-called “anchor babies.” Chastain’s animosity to “anchor babies” is long-standing and so it should come as no surprise that she would support the Families First plan to change the Constitution to eliminate this provision. In 2004, Chastain suggested that any temporary guest-worker program should also require sterilization of applicants:
Therefore, the only way to assure the American people that this “temporary” status truly is temporary is to seal up the wombs – sterilize – those who apply for guest-worker status. Or else change the law that grants citizenship to anyone who is born here regardless of the status of his or her parents.