Doing the University of Michigan Law School proud, Ann Coulter wrote a completely a-historical column on birthright citizenship for the conservative magazine, Human Events.

Ann had to weigh in on the birthright issue—how else is she going to kick out the competition? But I digress. In all seriousness, everyone was already being too politically correct about immigration. Ann’s unique flare was noticeably missing.

Ann’s column is titled “Justice Brennan’s footnote gave us anchor babies” referring to the 1982 US Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe.

That’s right: anchor babies since 1982, and only since then. As Ann put it: “The louder liberals talk about some ancient constitutional right, the surer you should be that it was invented in the last few decades.” If that seems odd to you, it’s because it’s wrong. As Ali Jost on the SEIU blog points out, plenty of “anchor babies” have gone on to be GOP leaders. Political careers take time, and all of them (including Bobby Jindal) were born before 1982. Not to mention the aforementioned anchor baby, Michelle Malkin.

To answer Ann: the more immediate a national crisis a conservative makes an issue out to be, the surer you should be that it’s something that could have been fixed decades ago with a sensible policy (and still could, if we get past the Drudge Report siren).

According to Ann, the writers of the Fourteenth Amendment never intended birthright citizenship to be automatic.

“The very author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.”

True as that may be, that’s not how it’s written. Neither did Howard even have the last word. No one legislator has dominion over the language for all eternity; legislating is a collaborative process. John Conness, the Senator from California (and an Irish immigrant himself) who picked over these words right along with Howard, said:

“The proposition before us, I will say, Mr. President, relates simply in that respect to the children begotten of Chinese parents in California, and it is proposed to declare that they shall be citizens. We have declared that by law; now it is proposed to incorporate the same provision in the fundamental instrument of the nation. I am in favor of doing so. I voted for the proposition to declare that the children of all parentage whatever, born in California, should be regarded and treated as citizens of the United States, entitled to equal civil rights with other citizens of the United States.”

Like now, Conness knew the anti-immigrant hubbub was really just political bluster:

“Now, I beg the honorable Senator from Pennsylvania [Cowan], though it may be very good capital in an electioneering campaign to declaim against the Chinese, not to give himself any trouble about the Chinese, but to confine himself entirely to the injurious effects of this provision upon the encouragement of a Gypsy invasion of Pennsylvania.”

Being from California, Conness knew the issue and hoped to legislate effectively rather than politically. Unfortunate for Conness, it cost him his seat. The Ann Coulters of his time said he sold his state to the Chinese. But he still made his point:

“The only invasion of Pennsylvania within my recollection was an invasion very much worse and more disastrous to the State…an invasion of rebels [the Confederacy]…But why all this talk about Gypsies and Chinese…It cannot be because they have been felt to be particularly oppressive in this or that locality. It must be that the Gypsy element is to be added to our political agitation, so that hereafter the Negro alone shall not claim our entire attention.”

Fear gets voters to the ballot box, no matter the century. In California, “road agents,” outlaws who were often from the Confederate states, were cited by Conness as more of a problem than the Chinese. They robbed the Chinese and did so with impunity. Non-whites were not allowed to give testimony in court, meaning they would never see their property reclaimed if stolen by white men.

But back to Ann. Despite all the history, Ann assures that:

“For a hundred years, that was how it stood [“that” being everything above was never said], with only one case adding the caveat that children born to LEGAL [emphasis hers] permanent residents of the U.S., gainfully employed, and who were not employed by a foreign government would also be deemed citizens under the 14th Amendment. (United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 1898.)”

Looks good with the court citation, except that’s not what the case decided—at all. In fact it speaks to the opposite being true—that even subjects of a foreign land can still birth an American citizen—just by having a permanent “domicile,” not legal residency. From United States v. Wong Kim Ark:

“The question presented by the record is whether a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil [sic] and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States, by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

In other words, Conness got the last laugh when the court ruled in 1898. To reach its conclusion, the Court looked back to English common law, seeing the children of ambassadors and the invaders of foreign armies as “aliens” in the realm. It has nothing to do with “legal” or “illegal” permanent residents, because there was no such distinction, despite Ann’s caps lock button.

Ann Coulter writes in an inflammatory way—and that’s fine, that’s her brand—lots of people make money that way. But she doesn’t put her law degree to work when she writes, because I can see through it and I haven’t even been to law school. But that’s not the worst thing about her writing. What’s worse is that she promotes hatred for the sake of being politically incorrect.

There’s a difference between being politically incorrect and being just plain racist. I grew up with two very politically incorrect parents—from two different races. I can take a joke because I’ve heard them my whole life. Sometimes, things just aren’t funny; they’re offensive. Anyone who watches Tosh.0 or any other late night program on Comedy Central knows that there’s a line—and it can be easily crossed.

Take the Civitas Review‘s choice to refer to the Raleigh hunger strike for the DREAM Act as a “siesta on state property.” It’s not funny or creative; it injects ethnicity in a discussion without any descriptive purpose. They didn’t even explain what was going on in the video they took without asking us.

When Ann spends an entire column construing undocumented immigrants as “malingerers, frauds and cheats” especially after three friends of mine just finished starving themselves for a chance to go to college (and one graduated from UNC with a degree in biology), I can’t help but think about how bigoted she must be.

Normally when extremists get challenged they say that whoever challenged them is against free speech. So to anticipate the predictable counter-argument: speak Ann, speak. I’m not the thought police. You have way more freedom of speech than I have on this blog, but I’m putting everything out for the record.

It’s a shame you feel good making money the way you do:at the expense of my friends and ancestors. It’s a shame an educated person like you isn’t above using shock to make your point.

But even you’re being replaced by an anchor baby, and that’s, on some level, reassuring.

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