- The birth canal through which you begin life happens to be located on sovereign United States territory at the moment of your birth;
- Said birth canal belongs to a U.S. citizen, regardless of where it is located at the moment of your birth;
- The sperm that successfully fertilized the egg that eventually became you came from a United States citizen, regardless of where any of the reproductive organs involved are located at the moment of your birth; or
- You complete a metric fuck-ton of paperwork, are not a “terrorist” based on the vague definition du jour, and pass a citizenship test.
The people who seem to be the most protective (defensive?) of their status as U.S. citizens tend to belong to the first group. Really, though, the privileges and immunities of United States citizenship accrued to them entirely by chance, not through any particular accomplishment or merit.
People in the fourth group, however, have to work for it, yet they don’t seem to get all that much respect for their efforts. It’s difficult to argue that one person who fits in the first group should be a U.S. citizen by virtue of birth, and another shouldn’t, but that is exactly what some people want to do in the cause of preventing so-called “anchor babies.” All this would accomplish, in reality, would be creating a secondary class of people born here but not really of here, because of the identity of their parents. That probably only seems like a fair arrangement if you genuinely believe that the location or identity of the birth canal through which you emerged somehow affects your identity as a person.
There is a point to all of this, I assure you. Read on… Continue reading