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Martha MacCallum’s “Big Issue” – “Anchor Babies” Are “Abuse” Of 14 Amendment

Reported by Priscilla - October 20, 2010 -

When media mogul and Fox News great white father Rupert Murdoch testified at a congressional immigration hearing, Representative Maxine Waters said his pro-immigrant rhetoric was contradictory to Fox’s “talking about anchor babies” – a term which the right wing uses to describe children born to non citizen parents who are residing in the US. (Michelle Malkin?) Oh wait, the "anchor babies" are just born to illegals and not those who just happen to have student or other visas. Sorry. As the mouthpiece for the right wing, one is not surprised that Fox would employ anchors like Clayton Morris who referred to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which confers citizenship on children born in the US, as “the anchor baby amendment.” One isn’t surprised that Bill Hemmer would ask if other countries have “anchor baby laws.” One isn’t surprised that Glenn Back, leader of those who want to “take their country back” to the good old Founders’ days when America consisted of non ethnic whites and their slaves, criticized “empathy” for that “anchor baby thing.” One isn’t surprised that Martha MacCallum would interview NY Post (Murdoch owned) reporter Michael Goodwin about how these “anchor babies” are prevalent in the American Southwest. (Read Hispanics). So not surprisingly, today, “news” anchors Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer talked about – ready for it – how lawmakers are “targeting ‘anchor baby’ citizenship” because illegal immigrants are “abusing the 14 Amendment.” Accuse the immigrants of abusing the Constitution – way to go, Martha! That fear of illegal immigrant card is definitely a trump card in Fox’s xenophobic deck!

MacCallum started her “news” segment by commenting that there is a debate about “so called anchor babies, children born to illegal immigrants are granted automatic citizenship; but now, listen to this, at least 14 states are drafting legislation that is designed to stop abuse of the 14th Amendment, trying to stop people from traveling from all over the world for the sole purpose of having a baby on American soil bound to become an American citizen.” MacCallum, showing that she’s got legs and knows how to use them, added that this is “highly controversial.” Bill Hemmer reported that Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce is “consulting with constitutional scholars” about changing the citizenship law. Pearce, if you recall, is the xenophobe who crafted the controversial Arizona immigration law which would allow racial profiling. MacCallum laughed as she said that “there is a long and very steep climb” before this could be accomplished and introduced her guest, Doug Burns, a former federal prosecutor. Mr. Burns explained that the law is clear regarding US citizenship. He said that if Arizona tries to strip the right of citizenship, there will be lawsuits because of the language in the Constitution. MacCallum responded that the argument of those who want to change the law is that illegals have allegiances to other countries and as such their American born child wouldn’t be, as noted in the Amendment, “solely subject to the jurisdiction of this country.” Burns said the clause doesn’t say “solely.” Burns did note that the Amendment came about as a result of newly freed slaves and that the proponents are arguing, “with some merit,” that the original meaning of the law is no longer relevant as applied to “the anchor baby issue.” But he added that he thinks that they would lose the argument in a court of law. Martha then editorialized: “A little bit of perspective and for folks at home about just how enormous the situation has become. We’re looking at a cross section of a five year period. Now back in 2003 about 2.7 million babies were born to illegal immigrants in the United States.” Video of brown skinned people, presumably undocumented Mexicans, was shown on the side while the graphic echoed Martha’s scary stats. She continued “now, move forward to 2008, 4 million babies were illegally born in this country.” (Uh, how can you be illegally born?). Emphasizing each word, Martha said “that is 1.3 million more babies each year that are born here to illegal immigrants. It’s a big issue.” (Are ya sceered, yet?)

Comment: While this segment met the technical requirements of “fair and balanced,” the “abuse of the 14th Amendment” jargon and the concluding “perspective” would seem to indicate a certain bias. The America of “America’s Newsroom” doesn’t seem to want “American” children born of foreign parents. Got xenophobia?

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