Sexism in the Immigration, Birthright Debates

| Wed Aug. 4, 2010 7:11 AM EDT

Several Republican Congressmen, including Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (KY), and Lindsey Graham (SC) have been calling for revisions or hearings on the 14th Amendment, which grants US citizenship to any child born on its soil. Even Arizona's John McCain (who was born in Panama, by the way) has  agreed, if reluctantly, that having Congressional hearings on the 14th would be a good thing. I might believe they were genuinely concerned about the Constitution (rather than attracting a conservative base for upcoming elections) if it weren't for the virulent racism and sexism underlying the statements of many with their eyes on the 14th.
Case in point: According to an email circulated by Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce, undocumented immigrant women don't "give birth" or "have a baby" or "start a family": they "drop" a child. "If we are going to have an effect on the anchor baby racket, we need to target the mother. Call it sexist, but that’s the way nature made it. Men don’t drop anchor babies, illegal alien mothers do," read the email. One California activist called it "invasion by birth canal" and Sen. Lindsey Graham said that: "They come here to drop a child. It's called 'drop and leave.'" 
The use of the word "drop" by 14th Amendment revisionists is deliberate. Not only does one "drop" anchor, the word "drop" is also used when animals give birth. Mares will "drop" a foal, for example, or you can buy a "drop calf": one that's been taken from its mother shortly after birth. Women only "drop" a baby when the fetus descends into the pelvis, or they physically lose their grasp of on an infant. Equating women, regardless of their legal status, with farm animals is just plain offensive.

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