Being a person of color, it feels like the battle for equal rights will never end. There will always be individuals who believe they are more entitled to certain rights than you are, who believe they are more worthy, more superior. This is a toxic ideology that has ruled over America since its birth. This is the underlying principle for policies and beliefs that are disguised as “reform.”
“Birth tourism” is used to explain the increased immigration of pregnant Russian women to Southern Florida. It is assumed they come to the U.S. specifically to give birth, so their child would automatically become a citizen due to the 14th amendment.
Is it the fact that most nationalities under “birth tourism” are largely Russian and Chinese? Or that they pay $20,000-$50,000 for an arranged “luxury package” that includes room, laundry, meal service and hospital fees?
While those deemed “anchor babies” are of majority Latinx origin, they don’t get luxury packages. Instead, they get to live through an everyday battle against racism and constant punishment for situations they had no control over. They don’t get to buy their way into citizenship.
It’s not only divisive to the point where we’re talking about how there are different terms designated to ethnicities that are perceived to be superior, since they don’t want to be associated with the same Latinx group that make up the “anchor baby.”
An important point to recognize is that birth tourism is actually legal, as long as they are upfront about their purpose in the country. Individuals from Russia are able to obtain a visa in less than 85 days, while it’s very difficult for even a middle class Mexican to get a visa especially with the growing amount of applicants on waiting lists.
People of Latinx origin are often criticized for “ruining the system” and “being criminals” when the system itself is designed to not be in their favor. After all, the president did say he wished more people would come from places like Norway instead of “s—hole countries.”
This leads me to ask the question, is Trump advocating for the elimination of birthright citizenship because it’s arguably “not fair,” or because he just flat out has a preference for immigrants of caucasian/European descent?
The heart of this argument centers around the resistance of “Americans” to any other culture besides their own. I quote Americans because if they had any inkling to what the nation was literally built upon, they would recognize the melting pot of the world and Statue of Liberty for welcoming immigrants of all backgrounds with open arms.
That’s what makes America stand out from the rest of the world. The American Dream wasn’t designed for Americans alone. In fact, it centers around unity despite differences and the ability to endlessly dream—together, as something we .
The founding fathers themselves were immigrants. If birthright citizenship was initiated in that time period, then according to Trump their children didn’t have the right to be an American. Our ancestors were not born on this soil, they were brought here. And thanks to them, we live a life of privilege, in pursuit of our own dreams.
Why shouldn’t we give these babies the same gift we received?
Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon