the law of the ground

You know…someone once told me that I looked very much like an emu. I can see it in this picture, it sort of captures how I feel today.

So…you know…everyone is upset about Arizona and their immigration law.

Most people became upset after they found out about it, after it had already been drafted as a bill and was on its way – a little late. Some are upset for what the gross violation of rights that they perceive it to be and racial discrimination it institutionalizes; others are upset that it has not been adopted by all the other states and the federal government.

Well, there is something else brewing in Arizona that both sides should be concerned about because it is wildly not-well-thought-out.

The same person who created that bill is trying to find the time to craft another. This one would allow Arizona to refuse to issue a birth certificate for a child unless one of the parents could prove their citizenship. Scuttle butt has it that it has a good chance of getting enough support to make that a law.


1868 is when the 14th amendment was ratified which added the clause of “jus soli” (the law of the ground) to our constitution. It applied to everyone born on US soil (except Native Americans, until the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. It has made its appearence twice in the Supreme Court, the last of which the Court upheld the amendment and clarified it to state that the Fourteenth Amendment extends to anyone, citizen or stranger, who is subject to the laws of a State, and reaches into every corner of a State’s territory. That a person’s initial entry into a State, or into the United States, was unlawful, and that he may for that reason be expelled, cannot negate the simple fact of his presence within the State’s territorial perimeter.” (Plyer vs. Doe).

The only children born on US soil who are not granted citizenship by birthright are those that are under diplomatic immunity i.e. children of diplomats.

In adopting jus soli we joined JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD in offering this right.

Sorry for the caps but there is a lot of misinformation being given out that we are the only ones who have it. There are some countries that have modifications (such as one parent must be a resident – but not a citizen but that list has about…oh…six countries on it).

The GOP has attempted to get momentum behind rescinding the amendment for years. But now, Arizona is contemplating a go and it has the momentum of the immigration bill behind it and the Tea Partiers going for it too.

The problem with all this is that a) a state cannot nor should not define the rules of citizenship for an entire nation – no matter what side of the political fence you fall on, think about that. I am sure that no hard core tea partier would like New Hampshire setting the rules for who can and cannot be a citizen.

b) jus soli is used to gain population, in the US our population growth has been steadily declining. We are becoming an aging population and without new citizens we lie open to all kinds of future economic troubles. Not to mention that any hope of us remaining competitive in any aspect and any industry dwindles as our population ages and fails to replace itself. Jus soli is partly about the future.

And I was just thinking that if y’all wanna make facebook pages about something, maybe the time to do it is before it gets a chance to get its foot in the door.

What is Wrong with the World
by G K Chesterton, read by Cassandra Tribe

Available in the Public Domain

Part 2: Chapter 1 – The Charm of Jingoism

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About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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