Thursday, September 02, 2010

14th Amendment

So, a bunch of Republicans are calling for hearings to study whether or not the 14th Amendment should be repealed. If you don't remember, the 14th Amendment does a whole bunch of stuff, like guarantee due process and equal treatment before the law, get rid of the 3/5th's clause, and prohibit state governments from paying back debts they incurred to wage insurrection.

Overall it's a pretty popular amendment. Most people enjoy that they can't be forced to ride in the back of a city bus based on their gender or skin color. That's not the problem these Republicans have with the 14th Amendment, at least that's not the problem they're currently focusing on. They want to eliminate birthright citizenship. The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States of America. The Republican's objections to this is the usual crap about anchor babies and immigrants sneaking into the country to get benefits. One especially off kilter congressman believes immigrants might even be having terror babies!

Anyway, when they started this crap up I thought about all my cousins who are in the military. At one point I had 4 cousins in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are children of immigrants. These are the people who's citizenship they want to take away. Then I wondered how many Latino troops are in the gulf? It turns out quite a few. According to this website, before we even get to the children of immigrants, there are about 65,000 foreign born people serving in the military. And Mexico seems to be providing the most of those foreign born troops.

Another article from U.S.A Today says that Latinos make up about 9.5% of the total military force, but are 17.7% of combat troops. According to wikipedia we're only 15% of the total population of the U.S. This is a projection, the last actual data the census has is from 2000 and at that point we made up about 11% of the U.S. population. And if you're wondering where Latino's are serving, apparently it's in the harder jobs. The Marine Corps has a disproportionately larger number of Latinos than other branches, and a higher casualty rate.

Now, I know not all Latinos are the children of immigrants, but most of us are. I found this statistic that says 58% of Latino children live in a family with one or more foreign born parents. So, has congress thought about the impact hope of repealing the birthright citizenship would have on the military? It's not easy to replace over 10% of your front line troops, and that's just rough extrapolation. There could very well be a correlation between the children of foreign born parents and the likelihood that they end up as combat troops.

Someone needs to ask these congressmen how they plan on fighting their wars without the children of immigrants? And, how it is exactly, that they support the troops when they're here safe and comfortable and trying to undermine the legitimacy almost 20% of the frontline troops citizenship?



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