The Term "Anchor Baby" Is a Radical Affront to the Principles of the U.S.A. : Virgil Goode is a Disgrace

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I've come to expect figures like William Gheen of ALIPAC to completely strip an entire subset of people from their humanity with their words.  It becomes grating to my ears when an elected official does so.  Even more so when they dehumanize the very people they were elected to represent. 

Watch the video above to see Republican incumbent Virgil Goode (VA-5th District) debate Democrat challenger Tom Perriello on the "anchor baby situation".  I've transcribed much of the video below.

There is so much wrong with what Goode says, but I'm going to try and cut to the heart of it.  
Five times he uses the term "anchor baby" with dehumanizing phrases like "say no to the anchor baby".  An "anchor baby", for those of you that don't know, is a child born of migrants in the U.S. who, through the 14 amendment of the U.S. constitution, is automatically a U.S. citizen.

Nativists try to make this seem like an abomination, but challenging this is an afront to the very concept of U.S. citizenship.  To oppose it, is the difference between the philosophical concepts of "jus soli" and "jus sanguinis", or the "the right of soil" vs. "the right of blood". 

Virgil Goode is essentially arguing for "the right of blood" an antiquated concept whereby nationality is not determined by place of birth, but by ancestry.  It's the equivalent of a feudal philosophy whereby your privileges are passed onto you by your parents.  Not only does it undercut a central tenet of U.S. citizenship, but it also undercuts the idea that everyone should be born equal.

I go into this explanation, because I don't think people realize what a radical affront to the United States people like Virgil Goode are.  These are not people on the lunatic fringe.  H.R. 1940 or the "Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007" claims 104 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives (that's out of 435 for those that are counting).  This act would strip the children of migrants from their right to citizenship.

Congressman like Virgil Goode like to claim that they are for enforcing the laws that are on the books.  In reality they are in favor of a radical reordering of judicial philosophy of the United States as we know it.  This nativist movement, led by members of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, is on par, perhaps even surpassing, the Know Nothing movement of mid 19th-century.  People don't see the extent to which this movement has polluted the U.S. government because these politicians still have D's or R's next to their names.  If decent people don't rise-up against this movement, the United States will be gone as we know it.

What is most disgraceful about congresmman like Virgil Goode is that when they rail against anchor babies, they are dehumanizing the very people that they were elected to represent.  Even if they succeed in the radical reordoring of the concept of U.S. citizenship and the U.S. constitution, they cannot very well retroactively deny citizenship to the "anchor babies" that were already born in the U.S.  Like it or not they are here to stay.  Like it or not, Congressman Goode is elected to represent those "anchor babies".

Goode uses the term "anchor baby" so he can justify statements like this:

They cost us money...They cost taxpayers. They cost our government.  The cost local government.  They cost the state...A huge cost.  I laid out the cost on food stamps.  I laid out the cost on [Supplemental Security Income].  I laid out how they get free Medicaid.

Goode doesn't want you to know that he's talking about U.S. citizens here.  In the above statement, Goode complaining about how much it costs to feed, clothe, treat, house, and educate U.S. citizens.  You see, unauthorized migrants are ineligible for much of these public programs.  Nativists need another scapegoat to make it seem like this is a bigger economic problem than it really is.  So, they pick on the children of unauthorized migrants, which are U.S. citizens.

Even worse, the audience gave him thunderous applaus upon hearing this.  When we have gotten to a point in the U.S. where people applaud eliminating the cost of giving U.S. citizens the opportunity at a decent life it should be enough to make everyone rise up and stand against this.  Nativists can pretend these people aren't U.S. citizens all they want, but they're here to stay.  And if the U.S. doesn't educate, feed, clothe, and house them, you can bet that they'll be a greater burden on the U.S. and the world than they ever were before.

This affront to the U.S. has inspired me to create my very first ActBlue page for Tom Periello in opposition to Virgil Goode.

Below is the transcript of the video above:

Virgil Goode: Only those who want to coddle and cater to the illegals say that they are beneficial to the workforce.  They cost us money, as I outlined in the previous questions.  They cost taxpayers.  They cost our government.  They cost local government.  They cost the state. 

And I gave you one very specific: the anchor baby.  Which means you come over in this country, have a kid, and the kid's an automatic citizen.  A huge cost.  I laid out the cost on food stamps.  I laid out the cost on SSI.  I laid out how they get free Medicaid.  There's legislation right now in Congress which I have co-sponsored repeatedly over my entire tenure in the house to fix this. 

There's not going to be a consensus in congress to fix the anchor baby situation until you get more persons like me who are willing to say no to the anchor baby.  And no to the Nancy Pelosi's of this Congress, who depends on the Hispanic Caucus, telling it exactly like it is.  The Hispanic Caucus is a key ingredient in her claim to power.  She's not going to buckle.  They want to give the illegals a glide path to citizenship.  That's what amnesty is. 

The American public -- and my opponent won't endorse me on this bill.  I would like to hear him come out and say, "Virgil Goode is exactly right about ending anchor babies."  That's one way, a small way, to help the existing problem.  He and the Democratic leadership in the House need to get on board with the American people and say no to anchor babies.


But you don't have blanket anchor babies occuring day in and day out and having the taxpayers continue to foot the bill.   They come in from Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador, and have them in this country.  It's a huge impact on California hospitals, Arizona hospitals, New Mexico hospitals, and Texas hospitals.


Tom Pereillo: Well first of all let's talk about the bill.  This was not a Nancy Pelosi problem.  And as much as you may think otherwise I'm actually not Nancy Pelosi up here.  The fact is under a Republican led Congress, your bill generated no more than 47 supporters.  You couldn't even get it out of committee when the Republicans controlled Congress. 

So let's not get up here and talk about things that are going to happen if McCain wins or Obama wins.  You're own Presidential man who you've stood by several times tonight doesn't support this bill.  So anyone who wants to vote on this issue should be well aware that there is exactly zero chance of motion on any sort of bill of this effect.


Virgil Goode: And I'm going to go back to that.  That was a smooth answer by him.  And in fact he was saying, "I'm not with ya."  He's against ending the anchor baby situation because he wants you to buy into the notion that it can't be stopped. 

What we need is not people who are going to cave in and surrender under a notion: it can't happen.  In my view, those who support ending the anchor baby situation are right.  George Bush is wrong.  Nancy Pelosi is wrong.  And Barack Obama is wrong.  Virgil Goode and the 40 who signed the bill are right, and we are standing up for the United States of America and proud to do so. (thunderous applaus)

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Hearing Virgil Goode rant against anchor babies months ago inspired me to write an indictment of nativist attacks on the 14th amendment of the U.S. constitution.  I'm happy to report that another nativist Republican has lost his congressional seat... Read More


RickB said:

His opposition to 'legal immigration' too gives the clue to his real racist heart.

As for those resources 'being swamped', well it's actually more like the recovery of stolen property-

In fact, the purpose of our overseas bases is to maintain US dominance in the world, and to reinforce what military analyst Charles Maier calls our "empire of consumption." The United States possesses less than 5 percent of global population but consumes about one-quarter of all global resources, including petroleum. Our empire exists so we can exploit a much greater share of the world's wealth than we are entitled to, and to prevent other nations from combining against us to take their rightful share.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

It's the twin evils of racism and nativism.

As you point out, RickB, as soon as you put this in a global perspective, all nativist arguments seem absolutely ridiculous.

julia said:

I agree that Mr. Goode shows himself as a racist who is trying to subvert the U.S. Constitution while pretending to be patriotic.

However, I for one am not donating to his opponent, Mr. Pereillo. Mr. Pereillo failed to point out the radical affront to the constitution which those that rail against "anchor babies" are committing. He did not stand up to Mr. Goode in any aubstantive way. He did not say something like, "There is a good reason all babies born on American soil are US citizens: it is that we welcome all who are here to contribute to building the future of this country. All children regardless of the nationality and immigration status of their parents cost money while they are small and need a pediatrician's care and a teacher's efforts. When they grow up, it is their hard work that contributes to the future success of this country and supports the older generation who paid for them when they were small, and whose turn it now is to be taken care of. When they grow up, they become the carpenters, nurses, engineers and biologists that this country needs in the 21st century. This is why we have welcomed all past anchor babies and why I will welcome all present and future anchor babies as American citizens."

Mr. Pereillo said nothing of the kind. Instead he talked about cracking down on employers. He didn't talk about cracking down on employers for violating labor laws, ignoring OSHA regulations, and evading the minimum wage. He talked about cracking down on them for hiring "illegals."

While the blatant racism of people like Mr. Goode is especially repulsive, I prefer to give my hard-earned money to people like Representative Gutierrez of Illinois, who is calling for a halt to ICE raids.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

Thank you for your comment Julia,

I completely agree with you. In fact, I feel like I was almost afraid to see Pereillo's stances on U.S. migration policies because I knew it wouldn't be much better than Mr. Goode's. That being said, Goode's language was just so disgusting and disgraceful to me that I felt I had to do something about this. Hence the ActBlue page for Mr. Pereillo.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

I just found this:

11. Would you favor comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to EARNED citizenship for people who pay a fine, learn English, and play by the rules? In general, what is your position on immigration into this country?

There's no doubt that we need comprehensive immigration reform. I think our starting point has to be enforcing laws that we know work while making sure that our enforcement strategies are not dehumanizing to immigrants, most of whom play by the rules and work hard in search of the American dream. The single best strategy for reducing illegal immigration is to reduce the availability of their jobs by holding employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers, starting with the most egregious cases. But I also believe we need to think beyond zero-sum games. For example, we need to work for better trade agreements and support international rights to organize so that we can help create job parity across borders to reduce the pull for illegal immigrants to this country and for our jobs overseas.

That's really not such a bad position compared with other nativist Democrats that I know.

roguey Author Profile Page said:

Clearly Periello is better than Goode, and looking out for the working class is the right thing to do.
But he still thinks in “us versus them” terms. He wants them to self deport. To go "away”. Ignoring their basic needs including food and housing.

You propose an excellent distinction between jus soli and jus sanguinis. For a republican, pro-life, bible thumping type like Goode, who believes life starts at conception and that the USA is God’s country, a life started in the USA is by that definition an American. The weakness of using this argument would be cases where the baby is conceived outside the USA but born on USA soil. (Not for me, but then again I don’t need the argument at all, I’m for open borders.)

O.k. let’s say a woman dies during childbirth but the baby survives. She leaves neither relatives nor contacts but it is discovered that she is an undocumented resident. What are they going to do with this “illegal orphan”? Fedex her to El Salvador?

Yeah, it seems all nativist arguments seem absolutely stupid.

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