Congressman Duncan D. Hunter recently addressed a group of constituents at a town-hall style meeting in San Diego County. One of the topics was his favorite, illegal immigration. As you can see by the video clip, he ended his remarks with strong support of Arizona's recent legislation SB1070 and the support of building more border walls and adding more security at the U.S.- Mexico border. His father, Duncan L. Hunter, a 14 term Congressman for the same district, was responsible for writing the legislation that built the first border walls between the U.S and Mexico over 15 years ago and supported the recent building of 700 more miles of border walls in 2007 - 2008. It is clear that Duncan D. Hunter is pleased to be carrying on his father's goal of what he calls, "completely securing the border."
In addition to supporting more militarization at the U.S. - Mexico border, Mr. Duncan D. Hunter also believes that the removal of U.S. born children of undocumented immigrant parents will help stop illegal immigration. As you can see by the video, a member of his town-hall audience asked the Congressman, "Would you support the deportation of natural American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?" and the Congressman replied. "I would have to. Yes." I couldn't believe my ears. Does Mr. Hunter actually want to deport U.S. citizens? The 14th Amendment states, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States...." Immigration status of the parents is not a consideration for their children's right to citizenship. The vast majority of U.S. citizens were granted citizenship by this constitutional right of birth.
I spoke with Congressman Hunter's communications director and policy advisor, Joe Kasper for clarification. He said that Congressman Hunter is currently supporting legislation that would prohibit the children of undocumented immigrants from gaining U.S. citizenship by right of birth. According to Mr. Kasper, the Congressman was speaking from that context. On some level I understood Mr. Kasper's defense of Congressman Hunter's remarks but the video does not lie. My ears hear the Congressman saying he wants to deport U.S. citizens. I also hear that they need to be deported because the state of California is "going under." I can only conclude that Congressman Hunter believes that the children of undocumented immigrants are somehow responsible for California's economic downturn. It also appears to me that these "children of illegal alien parents" are a different or a lower class of U.S. citizen and do not deserve to be defended by the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Hunter continues by telling his audience about the financial drain caused by illegal immigration but says nothing about the fact that undocumented immigrants pay sales tax, property tax, gas tax and even income tax that most experts believe nullifies state expenses. But, that would not be the right context of making the children of undocumented immigrants the bogeyman.
Mr. Duncan D. Hunter has found the same scapegoat as his father. The topic of illegal immigration stokes fears and animosity and fills coffers and secures votes. Standing on the backs of poor, hard working, faith-based, humble, family oriented immigrants makes Congressman Hunter seem like a mighty hero. It makes him seem tough on immigration. It doesn't matter that the border fences built by his father are an utter failure. After billions of dollars and hundreds of miles of scarred landscape, nothing has changed. People are still coming for the jobs we offer. It doesn't matter that militarization of the border has shifted migration patterns to the hostile desserts and mountains of the American southwest causing the death of thousands of migrants. It doesn't matter; it's red meat for the constituents at the expense of meaningful immigration reform.
The U.S border patrol states that 99% of all undocumented immigrants are coming to the U.S. for a job. It is a lie that more fences will deter migrants. It is a lie that they are coming to have children. It is a lie that stripping citizenship rights will stop illegal immigration. If Mr. Hunter really wanted to solve the issues of immigration he would look at the demand for illegal narcotics in the U.S. that funds and fuels smuggling and violence at the border. He would look at the demand for cheap labor on U.S. farms, factories, and service industries. He would look at the tenets of NAFTA, CAFTA and the Peruvian free trade agreements. He would look at poverty, corrupt governments, the visa systems and need for family reunification. It is shameful that the best a U.S. Congressman can do is strip U.S. citizens of their right of birth and tear up the U.S. constitution, a document he is sworn to uphold.