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Tags: U.S. | Funding | Mosques | Abroad

U.S. Funding Mosques Abroad

By    |   Monday, 06 September 2010 03:21 PM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Report Questions Citizenship for ‘Anchor Babies’
2. No-Warrant Ruling Brings U.S. ‘Closer to Police State’
3. U.S. Funding Mosques Abroad
4. Light Bulb Ban Triggers ‘Panic Buying’
5. Pakistan Keeping Flood Aid From Christians
6. ‘Where’s My Congressman?’ Video an Internet Hit


1. Report Questions Citizenship for ‘Anchor Babies’

The issue of “anchor babies” — children who automatically become citizens upon their birth to illegal aliens in the United States — has become a hot topic as their numbers continue to soar.

But nearly 60 percent of Americans now oppose “birthright citizenship,” according to a Rasmussen poll, and some lawmakers are calling for legislation to end it.

House Minority Leader John Boehner says that a revision of the 14th Amendment — which forms the basis for birthright citizenship — is “worth considering.” And legal scholars including Yale Law School Prof. Peter Schuck and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner question whether the amendment does in fact confer citizenship on the children of illegal aliens.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has released an in-depth report on birthright citizenship that includes these disclosures:

  • Each year, 300,000 to 400,000 anchor babies are born in the United States and automatically recognized as American citizens.
  • Only 30 of the world’s 194 nations confer automatic citizenship on children born to illegal aliens, and just two of them are advanced economies — the United States and Canada.
  • No European country has birthright citizenship.
  • Over the past few decades, a number of countries have repealed birthright citizenship provisions, including the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Ireland, and New Zealand.
  • The number of U.S.-born children with illegal alien parents soared from 2.3 million in 2003 to at least 4 million in 2008. Between 2001 and 2009, such births surpassed 542,000 in Texas alone.
  • The Supreme Court has ruled that children born in the U.S. to permanent resident aliens are citizens, but has never decided if the rule applies to the children of aliens whose presence is illegal or temporary.

Due to birthright citizenship, the undocumented immigrant families of anchor babies can qualify for welfare benefits they would otherwise not be entitled to receive.

Also, a child born into those families has the ability “when he grows up, to legalize his parents, and also to bring into the United States his foreign-born spouse and any foreign-born siblings,” according to CIS Legal Policy Analyst Jon Feere.

“The sponsored spouse can, in turn, sponsor her own foreign-born parents and siblings, and the siblings can, in turn, sponsor their own foreign-born spouses, and so on, generating a virtually never-ending and always-expanding migration chain.”

The child born in the U.S. to illegal aliens thus forms an anchor for the legal immigration of a number of relatives — hence the term “anchor baby.”

The anchor baby phenomenon has led to the growth of “birth tourism” — pregnant women traveling to the United States to give birth on American soil.

Feere points out: “Is automatic birthright citizenship for children of all legal and illegal aliens expressly required by the U.S. Constitution? On its face, the answer is ‘no.’

“The 14th Amendment confers citizenship through naturalization or by birth to persons ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of the United States, but provides no guidance on when an alien is to be regarded as subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

“One might say the practice has become policy without becoming law.”

The 14th Amendment was passed in 1868 in the aftermath of the Civil War, and its Citizenship Clause was intended to ensure that freed slaves would be recognized as U.S. citizens.

“There is simply no direct evidence that Congress wished to confer citizenship on the children of temporary or illegal visitors, but there is some evidence that they did not,” Feere observes.

Sen. Jacob Howard, a Michigan Republican who debated a resolution that would become the Citizenship Clause, limited citizenship by birth by stating in 1866: “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States.”

Feere also notes that an illegal alien is, under law, a citizen of a foreign country and therefore subject to that nation’s jurisdiction, and the authors of the Citizenship Clause intended that “jurisdiction as to the child would be imputed from the status of the parents.”

He maintains, then, that a child born in America to illegal aliens is not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, and therefore is not entitled to citizenship.

John Eastman, a professor at the Chapman University School of Law, said in a media conference in August that illegal immigrants are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction in the sense that they cannot be drafted into the American military or tried for treason against the United States.

Their children would share that status, via citizenship in their parents’ nation or nations of birth – and so would not be eligible for a U.S. passport, even if born on American soil, according to Eastman’s statements reported by the Christian Science Monitor.

Furthermore, Eastman said, federal courts have upheld the right of Congress to regulate naturalization policies over and above the basic constitutional guarantee.

Therefore, CIS report author Feere concludes, “Some eminent scholars and jurists have concluded that it is within the power of Congress to define the scope of the Citizenship Clause through legislation and that birthright citizenship for the children of temporary visitors and illegal aliens could likely be abolished by statute without amending the Constitution.”

To that end, last year Nathan Deal, then a Georgia Republican in the House, introduced legislation — which has nearly 100 co-sponsors — that would limit birthright citizenship to persons born in the United States to at least one parent who is either a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident alien, or an alien performing active duty in the armed forces.

Editor's Note:

2. No-Warrant Ruling Brings U.S. ‘Closer to Police State’

A “dangerous” court ruling holds that government agents can sneak onto your property, attach a tracking device to your car, and monitor your every move — without a warrant.

The ruling was originally handed down in January by the three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers California and eight other Western states. In August, a larger group of judges decided to let it stand.

“It is a dangerous decision — one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell,” Adam Cohen, an attorney and former member of the New York Times editorial board, writes in Time magazine.

The case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration agents suspected Oregon resident Juan Pineda-Moreno of growing marijuana. Agents sneaked onto his property at night and attached a GPS tracking device to the underside of his Jeep, which was parked in his driveway next to his trailer home.

Agents used the device to track the suspect to a marijuana growing site. He was arrested and convicted on marijuana manufacturing charges.

But Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA’s actions, claiming they violated his Fourth Amendment rights protecting him from unreasonable search and seizure.

“The invasion of his driveway was wrong,” Cohen declared. “The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the ‘curtilage,’ a fancy legal term for the area around the home.”

But the Ninth Circuit panel ruled that Pineda-Moreno’s driveway was not private.

“If a neighborhood child had walked up Pineda-Moreno's driveway and crawled under his Jeep to retrieve a lost ball or runaway cat, Pineda-Moreno would have no grounds to complain,” the judges stated. “Thus, because Pineda-Moreno did not take steps to exclude passersby from his driveway, he cannot claim a reasonable expectation of privacy in it, regardless of whether a portion of it was located within the curtilage of his home.”

The court also ruled that the underside of Pineda-Moreno’s Jeep was not private property.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski dissented from this month’s decision not to reconsider the case, stating: “The panel’s rationale for concluding that Pineda-Moreno had no reasonable expectation of privacy is even more worrisome than its disregard of Supreme Court precedent.”

He also wrote: “1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it’s here at last.”

Cohen warned: “If government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state.”

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has now ruled that tracking a person for an extended period of time with a GPS device is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant.

Observers believe the issue will probably be decided by the Supreme Court.

Editor's Note:

3. U.S. Funding Mosques Abroad

Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the planned mosque near New York’s ground zero comes the disclosure that American taxpayers are funding the construction and renovation of mosques around the world.

The State Department’s U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) is spending millions of dollars on at least 29 mosque-related projects in 18 countries, including Pakistan, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, and Albania.

State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson told The Daily Caller website that the AFCP is a type of “diplomatic effort and outreach.”

She said: “It is helping to preserve our cultural heritage. It is not just to preserve religious structures. It is not to preserve a religion. It is to help us as global inhabitants preserve cultures.”

The State Department recently provided Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, Ranking Republican on the Committee on Foreign Relations, with a document explaining that the funding of mosques was given a green light in 2003. At that time the Justice Department said the Constitution did not bar using federal funds to preserve religious structures if they had cultural significance.

But Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, told The Daily Caller that funding mosque renovation and rehabilitation is “disastrously wrongheaded and unconstitutional. They are not going to win hearts and minds. It is not as if they are going to say, ‘the Americans built this mosque for us so we shouldn’t wage jihad on them.’”

He added: “A mosque is a mosque is a mosque. It is where prayers happen. That is a religious installation.”

And Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said: “We have always felt this type of outreach is completely ineffective and that ultimately we have to approach it like the Cold War where we are fighting an ideology.

“If we are going to have this long war of ideas we cannot fund these religious institutions. We can fund anti-Islamist institutions based in liberty.”

Editor's Note:

4. Light Bulb Ban Triggers ‘Panic Buying’

Legislation outlawing ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the European Union has produced an unexpected wave of panicked buying as the ban takes effect.

And that could be a harbinger of things to come in the United States, which has also passed a law that will ban Thomas Edison’s trusty old invention.

Last year 100-watt incandescent bulbs were banned in the E.U., and on Sept. 1 it also became illegal to import or manufacture 75-watt bulbs. The move is intended to force Europeans to switch mostly to compact fluorescent lights (CPLs), which use less electricity.

In the United States, President George W. Bush in 2007 signed into law a bill ordering the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs beginning with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and ending with the 40-watt light in 2014.

While CFLs do use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last far longer, they cost significantly more and some users claim they give off a “sickly light,” according to The Telegraph in Britain.

They also take longer to turn on, can flicker, and have even been blamed for giving people headaches and skin rashes.

And CFLs contain small amounts of highly toxic mercury, which creates problems for users when they break or need to be disposed of after they burn out.

So sales of CFLs have been disappointing — while demand for the incandescent bulbs has been soaring.

Packages of 75-watt bulbs have been flying off the shelves in Finland as “customers filled their closets, garages and attics with lighting supplies for the long term,” The Washington Times reported in an article headlined “Europe’s light-bulb socialism.”

“London’s Daily Mail gave away 25,000 100-watt bulbs as a prize in a January 2009 contest. Der Spiegel reported that German customers left hardware stores with carts jammed with enough incandescent bulbs to last 20 years.”

The Telegraph reported: “The panic buying of light bulbs is expected to get worse when 60-watt bulbs are banned next year and all incandescent bulbs are phased out by 2012.”

But there is hope yet for those who oppose the ban, The Times disclosed. Two years ago, the minority party in New Zealand made canceling a planned ban a campaign issue. The party won national office, and overturned the ban.

Editor's Note:

5. Pakistan Keeping Flood Aid From Christians

Government agencies and Muslim relief organizations in Pakistan have been denying aid to thousands of Christians left homeless by the recent monsoon floods, say Christian sources in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation.

Aid agencies have been delivering food, clothing, building supplies and hygiene kits in an effort to prevent outbreaks of water-borne disease as the flood waters begin to recede.

But the Pakistan Christian Congress says the afflicted Punjab region is a “hotbed” of Islamic extremist organizations that view Christians as infidels, and local officials who fear the extremists have been barring Christians from tent camps set up for flood victims.

Christians comprise about 2 percent of Pakistan’s 175 million people and have come under attack in the past from extremists who accuse them of blasphemy, CNSNews reported.

Open Doors USA President Carl Moeller, whose organization has been working in Pakistan, said: “The only place with aid for many is their local mosque, which places Christians in an extremely vulnerable situation. Some are flatly denied assistance while others are told to vacate the region or convert to Islam. Imagine giving up your faith in order to feed your starving children.”

Anglican Bishop Humphrey Peters of Peshawar in Pakistan said: “We are sure that some countries will come forward with aid packages, but hardly anything will reach the minority Christians.”

Christian organizations are urging Christians around the world to send aid to groups that will help Christians or at least ensure that they are not left out of aid distribution.

Pakistan Christian Congress President Nazir Bhatti said governments and organizations can distribute some of their aid to Christians through groups such as the Catholic aid agency Caritas or the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

Bishop Peters’ diocese has already set up four relief camps for hundreds of flood-stricken Christians and members of the Hindu minority, according to CNSNews.

Meanwhile criticism of aid efforts is coming from non-Christian sources as well. The Lahore-based Daily Times said in a recent editorial: “Reports about systematic discrimination in aid distribution are utterly disgraceful. If we want to progress as a nation, we need to close the doors on our prejudices. For far too long we have let religious bigots call the shots.”

Editor's Note:

6. ‘Where’s My Congressman?’ Video an Internet Hit

A video poking fun at members of Congress who have supported President Obama’s agenda has become a big hit since it was posted on YouTube two weeks ago.

“Where’s My Congressman?” was created by Heritage Action for America, which claims it has been seen by more than 100,000 people. The video humorously highlights how some congressmen have been avoiding their constituents during the summer recess because they don’t want to be held accountable for their unpopular positions.

The video shows a supposed congressman meeting with several staff members. He tells them he would not be doing any town hall meetings this summer, and asks: “What’s my excuse? Johnson.”

Johnson says: “Your wife just had foot surgery.”

Says a second staffer: “You’re in the Gulf of Mexico cleaning up the oil spill.”

Another offers: “You are in Africa with Oprah and Bono.”

The congressman responds, “That is gold,” then points to another staffer and says “you.”

The staffer responds: “What about you’re afraid of getting yelled at because you voted for the healthcare takeover, out-of-control spending and the fact that Congress hasn’t even passed a budget this year, which is required by law.”

The congressman glares for several seconds, then says: “Johnson, who’s the new guy?”

Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of The Heritage Foundation, seeks to promote conservative values, policy priorities and ideas.

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Report Questions Citizenship for Anchor Babies 2. No-Warrant Ruling Brings U.S. Closer to Police State 3. U.S. Funding Mosques Abroad 4. Light Bulb Ban Triggers Panic Buying 5. Pakistan Keeping Flood...
Monday, 06 September 2010 03:21 PM
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