Pearce previous authored another jewel of racial lunacy. That was SB 1108 back in 2008. Today's version is on its way to becoming law as State Education Superintendent Tom Horne and Governor Jan Brewer are both on board with the newly signed Arizona House Bill 2281, the Ethnic Studies law. Horne wants to become Arizona's next Attorney General.
Among the subjective criteria the anti-ethnic studies statute, and Horne's new policy announces, are classes which: 1) promote the overthrow of the government of the United States, 2) promotes resentment towards a race or class of people, 3) are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, or 4) advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
The new law and Horne's new regulation are intended to rid the state of such evils as Tucson's Mexican-American Studies as well as Black Studies classes. These courses are to be banned even where they are optional classes. Well, so much for teaching about Saint Patrick's Day or Columbus Day!
So you see, Arizona has gone about as far as it can go. S.B. 1070 sort of copied federal immigration law, but forgot to include certain important due process considerations which the federal law and practice employs. Oh, it also kind of wants Arizona law enforcement to engage in guesswork to enforce the statute. What was that you ask, "arbitrary and capricious?" get away you're going to bother the powers that be in Arizona. And no Arizona isn't finished, these clowns in government costume can go further.
Today, before the grandchildren began to rise, I saw Senator Pearce on MSNBC. He apparently wants to rid the state of "Anchor Babies." Anchor babies are the American citizens, born in the U.S.A., whose parents are not legally in the nation. He wants Arizona to refuse to issue birth certificates to these children. Who knows maybe someday one of these uppity kids will want to become President of the United States! This ought to stop them
Senator Pearce wants to punish these American citizens because their parents failed his racist "you got be an American to procreate an American citizen" test.
Pearce relies on In Re Thenault, 47 F. Supp. 952, 953 (D.D.C. 1942), this is a case around which the Senator's apparently diminutive mind cannot be wrapped. Pearce engages in an obvious case of a person hearing only what they want to hear and rushing headlong into taking something out of context. Here is what In Re Thenault says:
"[T]he mere physical fact of birth in the country does not make these children citizens of the United States, inasmuch as they were at that time children of a duly accredited diplomatic representative of a foreign state. This is fundamental law and within the recognized exception not only to the Constitutional provision relative to citizenship, Amendment Article 14, Section I, but to the law of England and France and to our own law, from the very first settlement of the Colonies."
"Those children" which were the subject of the dispute of In Re Thenault were the offspring of diplomats, on diplomatic missions, and that is why they are considered to always be the citizen of the country which sent parents on their duty. The far right's wing nut law division fails to realize that it is this exact legal premise which makes Arizona's senior United States Senator, John McCain an American citizen.
McCain's daddy was an officer in the United States Navy stationed in the Panama Canal Zone with the Senator's feisty mom when John McCain was born. He was not born in the United States and he is not Panamanian.
When you want everyone you don't like not to be allowed to be here, then you take the words out of context. Unfortunately the new face of the Republican Party is littered with these racists. Those who support this anchor baby rationale include Paul Rand and Brian Bilbray. Where, you ask, did all the Dixiecrats go? Gone to the Tea Party Movement of the Grand Old Party, that's where they went.
Not since yesterday's rant am I reminded of the "Conspiracy Theory" of the Fourteenth Amendment. You remember how dopey I said it was for corporations, without a soul to save or a butt to kick, could be considered to be persons. Well the fellow responsible for this was a former Senator from New York by the name of Roscoe Conklin. Conklin was one of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment. When he left the Senate he became a lawyer and got a deep pocket client in the form of the Southern Pacific Railway Co.
This is important because Senator Pearce tries to use a very similar ruse, popular with the wing nut crowd, to justify the Fourteenth Amendment not applying to foreigners. He offers up a litany of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment whose words today appear to support his position.
The big difference is that Roscoe Conklin got the Supreme Court to rule in his favor. Legislative history may be useful in garnering an understanding of a statute or Constitutional provision. Legislative history is not precedent, it does not carry the weight of law, it is not the law. It is often used, as here, to rouse the rabble, not to provide a basis for codifying apparent plain error. Oh, and the Supreme Court rejected the arguments being paddled by Senator Pearce and his racist think tank. That's the other problem with Pearce's theory,the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against it. That's the stare decisis problem.
The University of Minnesota has a top rate review of citizenship on line. I took the following, lock, stock, and barrel from: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/immigrationlaw/chapter12.html
You can read for yourself what Senator Pearce believes, He forwarded an e-mail from a racist organization containing his ideas. Of course he made the obligatory apology. Then he went on MSNBC and regurgitated this foul thinking. That link is http://www.kpho.com/download/2010/0520/23624269.pdf
Hey, Senator Pearce, here's what the lady with the lamp has to say:
The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, provides a better view of immigration than does Senator Pearce's weak arguments.