Interesting development this weekend in Ireland, which overwhelmingly passed a referendum to stop granting automatic citizenship to anybody born on the island. The vote, supported by 80 percent of the electorate, brings the country in line with the rest of the EU nations, which offer citizenship based either on the nationality of parents or on a sufficient length of (legal) residence.
During my book tour across the country for Invasion, this issue came up time and again. In the Southwest, everyone has a story of heavily pregnant women crossing the Mexican border to deliver their “anchor babies.” At East Coast hospitals, tales of South Korean “obstetric tourists” abound. (An estimated 5,000 South Korean anchor babies are born in the US every year). And, of course, there’s a terrorism angle.
The time is ripe to reassess drive-by citizenship and what it means to be an American. Alas, given the huge chasm between elites and public opinion on immigration, while it’s safe to say that such a referendum would pass just as overwhelmingly here in America, it will never come to a vote in the first place.