Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Anchors away!

There has been quite a bit of rhetoric in this country regarding what to do about so-called "anchor babies."  Anchor babies, for those who don't know, are children born American citizens to illegal immigrant parents.  Due to the care these children require, the government tacitly allows the illegal parents to stay in the country and enjoy the fruits of the United States.

I have already written about what I think is the solution for the illegal immigrant problem, but this twist presents its own set of challenges.  In a cruel, harsh world, the most logical solution would be to simply deport the parents and either leave the kid to fend for itself (barbaric) or force the kid to become a ward of the state and grow up in foster situations (only slightly less barbaric).  I have also heard some indicate that these children should be deported or denied citizenship themselves, which seems antithetical to a country comprised of immigrants.

My solution lies somewhere in the middle.  I think that we should require one parent to be a legal immigrant or  citizen themselves in order for citizenship to attach.  As long as one of the child's parents is on the road to citizenship, I see no problem with allowing a child born here to enjoy the rights of his or her countrymen.  This sort of system would not only incentivize legal immigration, but also would fall in line with the similar precedent established for foreigners who marry citizens.

As with many libertarian solutions, I feel comfortable with such a system because it places the burden back on the parents, rather than the children.  Though the crueler solutions are simpler, sometimes nuance must rule the day.

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