Cosmopolitans Against Birthright Citizenship

Posted: Aug 09, 2010 7:33 AM
To add on to Meredith's birthright citizenship post yesterday, if you want to read some contrarianism, check out Will Wilkinson in The Week.

The proposal to end "birthright citizenship" for the children of unauthorized immigrants springs from less than generous motives, and almost surely runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution. But ending it altogether is a better idea than you might think. (And if you already think it's a good idea, it's good for reasons you might find surprising.) For one, it would likely achieve the opposite of its intended result by making America more, rather than less, welcoming to newcomers.


There's ample reason to believe a change in policy could make America a more immigrant-friendly place while simultaneously restricting the costly benefits of citizenship. Though undocumented immigrants are ineligible for most forms of government assistance, their America-born kids do qualify, which is no doubt an attraction to some prospective immigrant parents.

As Will says, there's probably something for everyone to disagree with.