A visit to the Mexican border

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Last night President Trump gave his first prime-time speech to the nation, focused specifically on the hot-button issue of illegal immigration. You can read the full text, with the Democratic response, here. A fair analysis can be read here, which also includes a thorough critique of the press’s mindless partisan reaction.

I usually don’t watch such speeches. I read the transcript afterward, to see if there is any substance there (usually not). It saves time.

What I did do yesterday however was visit the very location that is the subject and focus of these speeches, the border between the United States and Mexico. Diane and I and Earl, a visiting friend from back east, decided to give Earl a taste of international travel by driving down to Nogales to cross the border for lunch.

We do this periodically, not to go sightseeing but buy many of our prescription drugs, which tend to be about 75% cheaper in Mexico and do not require that prescription for purchase. For example, one of our cats has a fungal disease called valley fever which requires giving her a pill twice a day. In the states that drug costs more than $200 for a ninety day supply. In Mexico I can get that same amount for less than $50. (The cost difference illustrates well the mess our Congress has created of our drug industry, since the high cost is directly related to government regulations imposed in the last two decades and topped off by the passage of Obamacare in 2010.)

Anyway, below are some photos from this trip. They give you a sense of what it is like at one of the major populated border crossing points, which by the way and not surprisingly does not much resemble the impression given by our modern mainstream press.

Viewing the border from the U.S.

To the left is the view one gets of the border from within the U.S. in Nogales. We have just parked our car, in one of the many parking lots on the U.S. side of the border that provide cheap and convenient parking for the many Americans who drive down to do exactly what we are doing, getting cheap prescription drugs or dental work. On the hillside in the distance you can see the wall that separates the U.S. (to the left) and Mexico (to the right). Mexicans have built homes right up to that border. Because of the money that can be made selling things to visiting Americans, they have an incentive to be as close as possible. This starkly illustrates one very basic fact: Humans congregate to places that provide them wealth. The laws and political structure of the U.S. is one of most important reasons it is wealthy, and people want to get a piece of that wealth, in any way they can.

walking to the border

The image on the right shows the border crossing. On the right is the gateway for cars. To the left is the walkway for pedestrians, with both a ramp and staircase. From the parking lot we had walked two blocks to get to this point. Except for parking lots, shuttle bus operations, and money-changers, there is not much commerce on the American side of the border. This is not because Mexicans do not travel to the United States, but because their purposes are different. Many come to visit relatives. Others come to buy a wide variety of products that simply require travel deeper into the interior. The very American prosperity that attracts them explains why it is not concentrated at the border. They can find it everywhere, in all forms, not just prescription drugs. Similarly, American businesses do not need to go to the Mexican border to make money. Willing customers who can afford their products are everywhere.

walking across the border 3

You walk around the car gateway to the right, and go through a revolving gate, which puts you in a small no-man’s land between the U.S. and Mexico. You have actually crossed the border, but have not yet passed through Mexican customs. For what I imagine are historical reasons, the U.S. immigration border facilities are right on the border, while the Mexican facilities are several hundred feet back into Mexican territory.

Note the pedestrians with luggage. They might be returning from or heading for a weekend visit with relatives, but I suspect it is more likely that these are Mexicans who have just returned from a major shopping trip in the U.S. part of Nogales and are bringing their purchases back home. I say this because you see this all the time in the southwest, Mexicans returning to Mexico with pickup trucks loaded high with newly purchased goods.

Walking into Mexico

Once through the first revolving gate you walk about 100 feet and pass through Mexican customs, which involves nothing more than putting your packs, luggage, cameras, etc, through an x-ray machine for inspection No one questions you or asks for documentation, which is what this border was like in both directions once.

You then walk another 100 feet to a second revolving gate, seen in the photo to the right. Note once again the woman and child with a large bag. Once she got through the gate she put this bag next to two more stuffed bags that she had already dragged through and were being watched by several other children. Apparently, this had been a big shopping day for her.

Mexico's first street

Once on the other side of the gate you have entered Mexico proper, are immediately in a block long pedestrian strip mall, as shown in the photograph on the right. Practically every store here, numbering several dozens packed tightly together, is either a pharmacy or a dentist, with a few shops selling tourist trinkets scattered about.

Often you will also be immediately greeted by men offering to help you find stores or restaurants, for a small tip. For example, on this trip we wanted to first eat in a very good Mexican restaurant that Diane had eaten in on her first trip here with an Hispanic friend who spoke Spanish and knew her way around. Diane had instructions to find the restaurant, which was about two blocks away, but was not 100% sure she could find it. One guy, whose ragged and dirty jacket indicated that he really needed the money, immediately attached himself to us to show us the way, and when we got there Diane tipped him a dollar.

The view of the border from inside Mexico

After lunch we wandered about for about an hour, buying or pricing some drugs in the innumerable small pharmacies all throughout the first few blocks just past the border. Prices improve if you go beyond that first strip mall, but regardless once you know the best prices you can always bargain, and should. You will get a better price.

The photograph on the left looks down from a pedestrian bridge at the border crossing, from the Mexican side. Notice the long lines of cars. While it is relatively quick to drive from the U.S. into Mexico (similar to the experience of pedestrians as described above), the passage back into the U.S. is slow, as U.S. customs checks everyone carefully.

waiting in line to return to the U.S.

Once we finished our shopping and sightseeing, we went back through the revolving gate into that short no-man’s land between the two countries, getting in what is now a long and tedious line to get back into the U.S. The image on the right shows this line, which generally averages about an hour wait.

If you pay the federal government some money and submit to a face-to-face interview and background check, you can obtain what they call a “Century card” that will allow you to bypass the line. You instead could walk down open the left aisle and pass right through the second revolving gate, as shown in the image below and to the left, taking you straight to U.S. customs.

Entering the U.S.

This last image provides us the political punchline to this visit to Mexico. Note the open area to the left of the line. When Diane and I made our last visit to Mexico in October, that clear area was instead packed with women and children sitting or lying on mattress pads with bags and ragged clothing.

Why were these poor people there in October and not now? My guess is that they were paid pawns of those who were creating that illegal immigration caravan just before the mid-term elections. The political motives of that caravan were clear at the time, to create a crisis that would challenge Trump’s most central campaign promise, to secure the border. Once the election was over that caravan was suddenly not news. In fact it has been very apparent that whoever was funding or supporting it had withdrawn that support, because the caravan suddenly seemed to mostly evaporate after election day. Its superficial purpose, to influence the election, was gone, and thus, it was abandoned, and those poor illegal women and children had been cleared out as well.

Further, their existence in October and their disappearance in January tell us a lot about position the Mexican government is taking in this debate over illegal immigration. Since this is actually Mexican territory it means that the Mexican government at that time was willing to let these street people stay there. Mexico had also clearly allowed that caravan to travel through its country to invade the U.S., even though most of the members of that caravan were illegal immigrants to Mexico, having come across its southern borders without permission. Though the bulk of the caravans headed to the California/Mexico border, it is also apparent that Mexico allowed some of those illegals, specifically women and children, to gather here in Nogales, living as ragged street people within the border crossing section controlled by Mexico.

In other words, the Mexican government had decided to be a willing supporter of an illegal invasion of American territory.

The callousness of all this appalls me. In this Trump yesterday was totally correct.

This is a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.

Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States — a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system.

The illegals that were living in this small space in October were also pawns. Their existence then, and the fact that they have vanished now, tells us everything we need to know about the people and Mexican government that supports illegal immigration. They made it possible for these women and children to live on the street in October because their presence provided good PR, and once their presence no longer provided that PR, their value became nil, and they were abandoned and cleared out.

Immigration is always a good thing. Breaking the law however is not. The heart of this debate really resides with the failure (one of a legion of many) of the American federal government to do its job and enforce the immigration laws. Instead, that failed federal government has for decades allowed illegals to pour into the United States, creating innumerable problems for ordinary Americans and those illegals. If the government had simply been doing its job these problems would now not exist.

This is also why we got Trump. The American public is tired of the failures of that federal government, and the failed Washington DC culture that perpetuates those failures. They want something done to fix it, something that no one, from either political party, has been willing to do. To their mind, Trump presented the best opportunity in a long time to attack those problems, decisively.

Whether he will be successful in doing so, however, remains a very open question.



  • Phill O

    Bob, your comment “The cost difference illustrates well the mess our Congress has created of our drug industry, since the high cost is directly related to government regulations imposed in the last two decades and topped off by the passage of Obamacare in 2010.”

    Let us not forget the high cost of frivolous law suits that require a higher return in the USA than in Canada and Mexico. However, the cost of Canadian drugs is rising, part due to the necessity for legal defenses.

    I was astonished by the malpractice insurance premiums my cousin’s husband (a Tucson surgeon) had to pay. I would life high on the hogs on those premiums.

  • Phill O: The high cost of malpractice insurance also falls under my general statement, since it has gotten out of control partly because of the way the laws that control it are written.

  • Cotour



    Schumer, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, called Trump’s behavior “unbecoming of a presidency.”

    “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO,”

    “I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” Trump added.

    Trump, like no other president, and in his difference and leadership there actually lies hope and salvation for the country. This is Trumps game and he IMO will prevail in the long term because he is determined and focused and the Democrat leadership has taken an unsupportable, unreasonable and irrational position.

  • Cotour

    PS: This wall issue will be like a mosquito on the but of a water buffalo if the next very big thing that will give the Democrat leadership and at least a third of the country sleepless nights and possible aneurysms. And what would that now brewing event potential be?


    If RBG is forced to retire or worse reaches room temperature I can not imagine, especially after the Kavanaugh hysterics that we were all put through, what strategy the Democrats will be forced to adopt. Their existential realization will drive them to extreme measures.

    And it is more likely to be so than not.

  • Phill O

    Bob, you are correct in that the laws passed by the government have lead to the high malpractice insurance costs as well as the other factors!

    Cotour I, like you, shudder to think of the democrats tactics with Trump’s next supreme court nominee. The last tore the country; the next may be the final “STRAW” for some states.

    I was amazed that it was Regan who introduced California to gun regulations in view of the Black Panthers carrying guns to intimidate others.

  • Robert Pratt

    Spot on. I’ve crossed the Texas, Mexico border hundreds of times over a decade working both sides in the ’80s and 90’s. One thing that I will add is that in Mexico the border and all related to it has long been used heavily for political purposes and to rile people up.

  • pzatchok

    Matamoros and Reynosa are the two cities I used to go to all the time.

    Actually some of my family is from the Matamoros area.

    Things have changed since the 70’s and 80’s.

  • pzatchok

    I have a few stories about my trips across.

    During one trip into Mexico I actually watched one of those “bum rush” illegal crossings. About 100 or more young men just rushed across the boarder into America running through the cars waiting to get over.

    The reason Mexico doesn’t care much if you get in is because you have very very few rights in Mexico as a non citizen. They can kick you out for any reason they want. Any appeals are done from over the boarder.
    They also do not have “anchor” babies like America.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.,
    What types of (human) pharmaceuticals can one buy over the counter with no RX?
    — I’m variously led to believe one can get most all the (USA) Schedule 4 type drugs —benzodiazepine’s (Xanax, Valium, et al), lite hypnotics (Ambien et al), low-dose codeine + tylenol admixtures, and the straight RX only (not USA controlled) type pharmaceuticals.
    How true is that?

    (I realize, getting them back into the USA is a different matter.)

  • Cotour

    Phill O:

    This is an example of the kind of mind we are dealing with.

    Talking about absurd logic, in a conversation the other day with a friend who lives behind the safety of a nice big fence with his wife. The fence, possibly the greatest and most effective inventions imagined by humans on the earth, far older than the wheel. As effective today as it was 30 thousand years ago, keeps things and people in and safe and keeps what threatens your peace and safety out.

    Talking about what might be necessary on the border and the fact that just last week an officer was shot and killed by an illegal the conversation all of a sudden and confusingly switches to the crazy kid who shot up the school in Connecticut and killed all of those kids.

    What ?????????

    My friends argument equated the fact that both of the killers killed and there was no difference between them.

    I asked if an illegal killed your brother would that make a difference? No, they would still be dead.

    This is an example of the kind of logic that pulses through the minds of a segment of the American public, incomplete and disconnected logic being applied to real life by people who have the right to vote. Now that is chilling.

  • pzatchok

    We should start making the argument about the lives saved by reducing the illegal criminal element.
    “If just one life is saved is it worth it?”
    “All we want to do is identify everyone coming over and the best way is to only let them through at small known places. Boarder crossings. Its safer for them and safer for us.”
    “Nothing can stop determined thieves from getting into your house but does that stop you from putting locks on the doors and windows?”
    “You do realize we already have half of the wall up and working. This is just finishing it off.”

    After the wall is built things can be changed. The US can buy or lease Mexican land at the boarder crossings and establish court houses for immigration hearings on Mexican land. the liberals can then set up housing areas for all those who want to emigrate.(And fund them privately)
    This will separate the real criminals from those honestly wishing to emigrate legally.
    We can them change our anchor child law to one like the rest of the world. The child has conditional citizenship on their 18th birthday but goes back to the home nation with the parents until then. (Parents can then be kicked out for breaking the law.)
    Illegals caught breaking our misdemeanor laws here can then be deported until their court date. Those breaking felonies can be held until their court date and then deported after being found innocent or deported after their jail time.
    At the same time make it mandatory for every business to check an employees SS number. 10 thousand dollar fine for every violation.
    Make it mandatory for every bank to only give accounts with positive ID. The same with renters and home sales.

    The wall makes all of this easier and far more possible.

    The Dems do not want the wall because then they would have to be the ones to either leave it up or rip it down when they again take full power. If they leave it up they look like idiots and hypocrites for to days arguments. If they remove it they look like they don’t want boarders and don’t care who or what comes in.
    (we all know they want more illegal drugs in to enslave more people, their lessers)

  • wayne

    People Will Die!
    June 2017

  • Edward

    pzatchok wrote: “We can them change our anchor child law to one like the rest of the world.

    There is no “anchor child law.” What seems like a law is the intentional ignoring of the second part of the first sentence in the Fourteenth Amendment. No law was ever passed to violate this part of the Constitution, and it would be unconstitutional if it were passed.

    1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    Non-citizens are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. For example, the U.S. cannot and does not grant them passports. Their children are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction, born on U.S. soil or not, but for some reason the U.S. began to unconstitutionally treat them as though they were. All we have to do to change the “anchor child law” is to stop ignoring the part after the “and” that defines who is a citizen, which would bring us back to following the Constitution.

    The Constitution was created so that there would be a known set of rules that government follows, limiting governmental power (see the Ninth and Tenth Amendments), so that the government would not be as tyrannical as virtually every other country that existed at that time.

    The Constitution may not be perfect, but it is better than what we are operating under now.

    Forget about “conditional citizenship” because they have no right to citizenship at all, unless they go through the regular naturalization process.

    Other onerous solutions that pzatchok proposes should be unnecessary, and only seem necessary because we have such a terribly porous border and such a huge and expensive (in treasure, property, and lives) problem with illegal aliens.

  • pzatchok

    You are somewhat correct Edward.

    But its not that they ignore the second part of the sentence but that they have interpreted it to encompass anyone in the US, legally here or not, because they have to follow our laws while here. Thus we have “jurisdiction” over them.

    Merriam Webster

    jurisdiction noun
    ju·​ris·​dic·​tion | \ˌju̇r-əs-ˈdik-shən
    Definition of jurisdiction

    1 : the power, right, or authority to interpret and apply the law a matter that falls within the court’s jurisdiction

    2a : the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate

    b : the power or right to exercise authority : control

    3 : the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised

    All arguments against children of illegals ignores the territory argument which is the ONLY one the law recognizes.

    Children born of Diplomats fall under the Authority part of the definition. By treaty they are not considered fully under US control. they have “diplomatic immunity” Which defines them as not under Us authority.

    American Indians born in the US are considered US citizens because they are considered under US authority and inside Us territory. All by treaty. US laws do extend onto reservations.

    They knew about illegal aliens when the 14th was passed. But they made a mistake by not specifically stating children of illegals were not granted citizen status. All the arguments made by the writers of this law, the 14th, stating that it was not to be used to grant children of illegals citizenship are not worth the paper they are printed on because they are not part of the law. They failed and we MUST fix it.

    Now you can find a way to argue a change of the 14th and then get it passed by both houses and all the states.

    Or you can grant the child citizenship but because he is a minor he MUST go back to his home nation with his parents until his age of majority. Then he gets one chance to make the choice. As soon as he votes in his nation, participates in the political process, or joins the military of his parents nation he can choose to be an American. Just like the rest of the world.

    By court ruling we are not allowed to kick out babies born here. So we must keep the parents until the child’s 18th birthday.
    Make a law allowing us to temporarily deport these children with their parents.

    I was born in Germany. Father in the US military. I have a German birth certificate. Until I joined the military myself I could have claimed German citizenship. The same with my mother and England.

  • pzatchok


    Read that one and tell me why it conflicts with intent of the 14th.

    Who grants citizenship? The states or the US? Who enforces it?

  • pzatchok

    The Civil Rights Act of 1866 had granted citizenship to “all persons born in the United States if they were not subject to a foreign power.”

    This wording should have been kept int the 14th amendment but was left out.

    The 14th was passed because of the argument that laws passed by congress did not have authority over the states. Only the constitution had that authority.

    By the way California didn’t ratify the 14th amendment until 1956.


  • wayne

    pzatchok —
    Edward is more correct than you credit him.
    No time to go in depth on this, but you have both brought up the issues involved.

    1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    All the “anchor-baby” “birthright citizenship” stuff is judicial fiat at best and largely because some apparatchik in the permanent administrative state said so. Never in our history has it been so.
    If your Dad was a US citizen, and you were born on a US Military base, you’re an American citizen– doesn’t matter what the Germans think or said. You were an American citizen the minute you were born.

    Ref American Indians: Firstly, they are citizens of the Tribal group to which they are a member. Second, they are citizen’s of the (separate & sovereign) State in which they reside, and 3rd, they are Citizens of the United States by virtue of the American Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. (AKA Snyder Act.)

    Citizenship is different than “resident of…”

    Mark Levin
    The Truth of the 14th Amendment
    October 31, 2018

  • pzatchok

    It was ruled by the US SC that military bases are NOT American soil like diplomatic embassies.
    Unless an agreement is made between the host nation and the US specifically for the base in question the US solders even on that base must follow the host nations laws.

    Children born to US solders on foreign soil are afforded duel citizenship to both nations. Until that choice is made by the child.

    Its true that the SC has never ruled on the subject of children of illegal aliens residing in the US citizenship.

    Do you trust them to rule that those children are not US citizens? And if they rule they are, do you then find a way to get rid of the parents and family or do you accept the whole family as temporary residents? Like we do now.
    Or would it just be easier to pass a new law specifically stating the children are citizens and have temporary duel citizenship, but they return back to the parents home nation until their age of majority? Just like the EU.
    Personally I was born in a German hospital not on base.

  • wayne

    good stuff.
    I know you’ve mentioned the born-in-Germany thing before. (I was under the impression Military Bases were “American soil,” but the more I think about the phrase, the less I know what it actually means in practice or historically.) I always find myself going back to “…and subject to the jurisdiction thereof…”
    (tangent– I don’t want anything modelled after the EU. Whatever they do, I’m against as a broad statement.)
    –Q: did your German originated birth certificate say anything about the nationality of your parent’s? (I’m just totally unfamiliar with German law on this matter. I would still maintain you were an American citizen from day one, but I’ll take your word for it either way.)

    Ref–who should decide?
    Oh man….we can’t trust the Judicial Branch, and we can’t trust our so called leader’s to pass a law, that won’t be subjected to the judicial branch. (Frankly, stupid people would litigate this before a partisan bench– it’s a no win situation.)
    –The only thing I want— everybody who isn’t here legally, has to go.
    One way, or another way. They can choose to go voluntarily or they can choose not to, but they have to go, away.

    No time to go deeper.

    This has a more in depth take that you might find enlightening. (Not complete by a long shot, but illustrative.)

    Mark Levin interviews professor Edward Erler on birthright citizenship under the 14th amendment

  • wayne

    UFW’s Cesar Chavez Was Virulently Anti-Illegal Immigration
    Mark Levin excerpt-July 2014

  • Edward

    You wrote: “because they have to follow our laws while here.

    You have misinterpreted the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

    You focused on the word jurisdiction when the operative word is subject. Thus many of your arguments fell apart as you wrote them.
    7. a person who is under the dominion or rule of a sovereign.
    8. a person who owes allegiance to a government and lives under its protection.

    But they made a mistake by not specifically stating children of illegals were not granted citizen status.

    The word subject avoided this mistake. No change to the Constitution is needed, just a return to following the Constitution. Just because the courts have misinterpreted the Constitution does not make the misinterpretation constitutional. The courts are just as tyrannical as the rest of government. Indeed, judges are allowed to run their courtrooms as dictators, a very poor training for those who are supposed to protect us from governmental dictatorial tyranny.

    How other countries decide their citizenship and run their own nations should not interpret our constitution, whose main purpose is to document that we are to run ourselves differently than the the other countries.

    It is too bad that U. S. citizens born in Germany are not taught U.S. civics.

  • pzatchok


    subject noun
    sub·​ject | \ˈsəb-jikt,
    Definition of subject

    (Entry 1 of 3)

    1 : one that is placed under authority or control: such as

    a : vassal

    b(1) : one subject to a monarch and governed by the monarch’s law

    (2) : one who lives in the territory of, enjoys the protection of, and owes allegiance to a sovereign power or state

    2a : that of which a quality, attribute, or relation may be affirmed or in which it may inhere

    b : substratum especially : material or essential substance

    c : the mind, ego, or agent of whatever sort that sustains or assumes the form of thought or consciousness

    3a : a department of knowledge or learning

    b : motive, cause

    c(1) : one that is acted on the helpless subject of their cruelty

    (2) : an individual whose reactions or responses are studied

    (3) : a dead body for anatomical study and dissection

    d(1) : something concerning which something is said or done the subject of the essay

    (2) : something represented or indicated in a work of art

    e(1) : the term of a logical proposition that denotes the entity of which something is affirmed or denied also : the entity denoted

    (2) : a word or word group denoting that of which something is predicated

    f : the principal melodic phrase on which a musical composition or movement is based

    subject adjective

    Definition of subject (Entry 2 of 3)

    1 : owing obedience or allegiance to the power or dominion of another

    2a : suffering a particular liability or exposure subject to temptation

    b : having a tendency or inclination : prone subject to colds

    3 : contingent on or under the influence of some later action the plan is subject to discussion

    subject verb
    sub·​ject | \səb-ˈjekt,
    subjected; subjecting; subjects

    Definition of subject (Entry 3 of 3)

    transitive verb

    1a : to bring under control or dominion : subjugate

    b : to make (someone, such as oneself) amenable to the discipline and control of a superior

    2 : to make liable : predispose

    3 : to cause or force to undergo or endure (something unpleasant, inconvenient, or trying) was subjected to constant verbal abuse

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

    Subject is a verb in this sentence. Subject to.

    If it had stated “and subjects of the jurisdiction thereof,”

    Subject is a noun in this sentence. Subjects of.

    Also the sentence makes no mention of the parents of the child ONLY the child. And while the child resides in the US he is subject to our jurisdiction. At birth he is on US soil so he is ‘subject to’.

  • wayne

    pzatchok —
    You’re over thinking this— it’s really quite as simple as Edward is trying to expand upon.
    Your last sentence (above) totally buys into the leftist narrative.Just “residing” in the US does not imply you are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
    And all this stuff about “being born on American soil” somehow making one a citizen by default is just not correct.
    If an illegal alien gives birth to a child while in the USA illegally, they are both here illegally, and neither one is subject to the jurisdiction thereof. Automatically making the illegal baby a citizen has never been the historic norm in our Country– that’s a recent development, and only because some apparatchik’s in the permanent administrative State have “said so.”
    –One of the parents must be a legal citizen.
    If you break into my house and have a baby on my living room floor, neither one of you is entitled to be placed on my Deed, and you’re both trespassing. You have no rights whatsoever.

    I’ll circle back to my main point— all these illegal aliens need to GO.
    They can go voluntarily or not, but they will need to go. None of them have any right to be in this Country.

    I don’t care how this sounds— they must GO, by any means necessary & sufficient to accomplish the goal. And if that includes rail-cars and the imposition of violence, I don’t care, I do not care. They go, period.

    Operation Wetback
    June 1954

  • wayne

    The difference between THEM and US?

    Red Dawn–
    Because we live here

  • Edward

    Once again, it is too bad that U. S. citizens born in Germany are not taught U.S. civics.

  • Edward

    Your problem is that you are parsing the phrase with the result of misinterpreting it. The phrase means what it means: foreigners are not automatically U.S. citizens due to their place of birth, but the children of King George-generated slaves are U.S. citizens.

  • wayne

    Highly recommend the interview with Professor Edward Erler, to which I link above.
    ->history and practice of the 14th Amendment.

  • pzatchok

    No matter what, some court someplace made the ruling that they are citizens and ALL other courts have so far accepted their ruling.

    I was always under the impression that the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was placed there to exclude diplomats who have diplomatic immunity and are specifically not under US jurisdiction. They can not be prosecuted for crimes in the US without their home nations permission.

    But ALL other people inside our boarders are under our laws and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

    Civics or not someone must have skipped teaching every judge in America also.

  • Edward

    You wrote: “I was always under the impression …

    Your impression was wrong, because they didn’t teach you U.S. civics.

    wayne is right, listen to the interview that he recommends. It will enlighten you. However, I do not know how to correct all the rest of your civics misunderstandings.

  • wayne

    I think you especially would enjoy (and appreciate) the back-n-forth with Prof Edward Erler.

    Pivoting slightly–
    (and I hate to reference Wikipedia)

    Michigan Senator who worked closely with Lincoln on the 13th Amendment, and the primary author of the 14th Amendment. (In 1854 he was one of the founders of the Republican Party.)

    “…[E]very person born within the limits of the United State, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. 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, but will include every other class of person.”

    From Senator Reverdy Johnson:
    “Now, all this amendment provides is, that all persons born in the United States and not subject to some foreign Power—for that, no doubt, is the meaning of the committee who have brought the matter before us—shall be considered as citizens of the United States … If there are to be citizens of the United States entitled everywhere to the character of citizens of the United States, there should be some certain definition of what citizenship is, what has created the character of citizen as between himself and the United States, and the amendment says citizenship may depend upon birth, and I know of no better way to give rise to citizenship than the fact of birth within the territory of the United States, born of parents who at the time were subject to the authority of the United States.”

  • pzatchok


    You intentionally left out one small entry from your Wiki reference.

    “Later interpretation

    During the Trump Administration’s debates over immigration policy, Trump supporters including Michael Anton, who advocate for restrictions on immigration, used this quote to claim that Howard didn’t intend for it to apply to children born in the U.S. of foreign parents.[11][12] In response, several legal scholars and commentators argued that a close reading of Howard’s statement reveals that he meant one class of persons — the children of ambassadors at posts in the United States at the time their children were born — because ambassadors to the U.S. would be foreigners, and since they weren’t permanent residents, they were aliens.[11][12] In their view, Howard was not describing three classes — the children born of ambassadors and foreigners and aliens.[11][12] ”

    It seems that at least several legal scholars agree with me.
    And this interpretation has not yet been subject to a court fight.

    Everyone forgets that legal intention doesn’t mean squat in court if the wording does not reflect it exactly.

    And please remember that those who make the laws know exactly how to word the law. If the law maker says one thing and does another maybe he always intended to do the other.
    Or just did it get something done, to get the other side to agree.
    You act like these people made a simple typo. Wrong they worded it exactly like they wanted it.

    Just like they make contracts.

    For the intention of a law to win in court it must be proven that the law was written incorrectly from the agreed upon meaning. A glaring and obvious mistake that both sides agree to.

    Since citizenship was not defined by the original constitution is was accepted that since the United States followed British common law, it accepted the rule of jus soli, or place of birth. As early as 1790, Congress recognized the rule of jus sanguinis, or blood relationship. It passed laws giving citizenship to a child born in a foreign country if the father was a citizen of the United States.

    “In 1898, the Supreme Court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark declared that the Fourteenth Amendment adopted the common-law definition of birthright citizenship. Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller’s dissenting opinion, however, argued that birthright citizenship had been repealed by the principles of the American Revolution and rejected by the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment. Nonetheless, the decision conferred birthright citizenship on a child of legal residents of the United States. Although the language of the majority opinion in Wong Kim Ark is certainly broad enough to include the children born in the United States of illegal as well as legal immigrants, there is no case in which the Supreme Court has explicitly held that this is the unambiguous command of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Based on the intent of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment, some believe that Congress could exercise its Section 5 powers to prevent the children of illegal aliens from automatically becoming citizens of the United States. An effort in 1997 failed in the face of intense political opposition from immigrant rights groups. Apparently, the question remains open to the determination of the political and legal processes.

    Edward Erler is Professor of Political Science at California State University, San Bernadino.”

    And for those curious about my German birth certificate.
    It makes not a single mention about my parents nationality. Just the fact that they are mom and dad.
    I was also issued a US birth certificate from the military base. I am and always was a US citizen.

    And I have since met several other people with the exact same issue. Born in Germany to US parents but with German birth certificates.

  • pzatchok

    Sorry yes it was in a court fight and lost in 1997.

  • wayne

    Mark Levin on birthright citizenship “Paul Ryan has no idea” + Daniel Horowitz interview

  • Cotour


    (I received this letter from a friend on the subject of the political impasse related to the wall, and I include my response to the letter. Rubin Diaz sr. is a fairly Conservative Democrat, especially for the Bronx.)

    To Build Or Not To Build the Wall and Still Save Face

    You should know that the matter of “Building the Wall” on the Southern Mexican Border has reached a political impasse between the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald J. Trump.

    These three have reached a point of no return. If one of them stumbles and concedes to the other, he or she will (figuratively speaking) be stoned. They will be politically finished and can then kiss their careers good bye.

    So, ladies and gentlemen, none of the nation’s three top leaders can afford to give in and be seen by, not only their base, but by the entire nation as a sell out or loser. They each want to be perceived as the winner, the “Macho or Heroine” in their cause to build or not to build the Southern Border Wall.

    This is why instead of working towards a resolution that will bring an end to this impasse, they sent their members home for vacation, and this is why the President stayed in Washington and this is why these three leaders have done nothing but blame each other for the government shut down.

    As a result, they have reached a point of no return. Now they must find a way to “Save Face” hoping to be seen as if they won the battle of the wall.

    Here is, my political two cents on how they mostly will attempt to save face. President Trump will declare this matter a National Emergency, thereby acquiring the needed funds from The Department of Defense. He will then proceed to order the military to build the wall. POTUS will make it clear that he was left with no other alternative. He will walk away looking like a victor.

    Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi will then sue President Trump in an attempt to stop him. They will then file court papers at the 9th Ninth Circuit Court in California. They will charge President Trump with abusing his power, and they will say that they had no choice because they were left with no other alternative. Upon doing so they too will look like winners.

    The judges of the Ninth (9) Circuit Court will rule in favor of Schumer and Pelosi . The court will rule that President Trump did indeed abuse his authority when he decided to use his power to declare a National Emergency. The court will put a stop to the Presidents decision. The judges of the 9th Circuit Court will also come out smelling like a rose.

    President Trump will appeal the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision and will take the matter to the Nation’s Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will hear the case and their decision will side with POTUS declaring that the President of The United States is operating within his authority and constitutional powers to declare this matter a National Emergency. They, the Supreme Court Justices will also be seen as winners.

    At the end all the players, one by one, will find their place in the “Winners and Losers of the Week” column which appears in the “City and State” newspaper every Friday.

    I’m afraid that even the wall will find its way to “The Winners and Losers of the Week” column, why? Because in the end they all got what they wanted, a way out of the impasse by “Saving Face”.

    So, my dear readers embrace yourselves and pray for patience. It will take some time before all this comes to fruition. But be certain that at the end of this they will all be winners, and there will be no losers, except we the people who have had to endure all this drama.

    I am NYC Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr., and this is what you should know.


    I have to tell you, this guy is sharp, and I agree with his assessment. (If we were dealing with a run of the mill president). BUT.

    Trump IMO will not and should not go the emergency declaration rout, he understands that that would be not really a win, Trump must make Pelosi bend to his more reasonable position on the subject of border security and building a wall / fence..

    Trump will IMO hold his position until the pressure becomes too much for Pelosi and Schumer.

    This is the long term strategy and leadership that he knows really wins and will guarantee his reelection. Without it his reelection is questionable.

    This one issue is for all the marbles.

  • Cotour

    I have a question:

    If the Democrats and the Republicans have in the past voted for much more than $5.7 billion dollars for border security and barriers, where is that money and why have these monies not been spent on what they were appropriate for?

    This does not make sense to me. Anyone?

  • Edward

    You wrote: “Everyone forgets that legal intention doesn’t mean squat in court if the wording does not reflect it exactly.

    So now you advocate for intentional misinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution. This leftist move is why I have lost my faith in and respect for the Republican Party.

    And please remember that those who make the laws know exactly how to word the law.

    They have absolutely no idea how some leftist will intentionally misinterpret their law a century and a half later, just as they have no idea how someone with poor civics training will argue in favor of the misinterpretation.

    Your argument has fallen so completely apart that you now allow intentional misinterpretation to represent original intent and the actual meaning of the Constitution. No wonder we are headed for another dark age.

  • pzatchok

    See Edward this is where you miss the intention of my arguments.

    I am in NO WAY arguing for their interpretation.
    But I am arguing that you can NOT go back and ignore 200 years of interpretations just to “go back to the Constitution”. That’s not how the law works. No judge will even entertain that thought.

    Its easier to write a new law exactly defining what you want.
    And the easy one to do is to follow the EU model. Allow the child a US birth certificate but deport the child with the parents until their 18 birthday and then they get to choose.

    I also think we should have a nation language and ALL people who wish to become citizens should learn and use it. But until we have a national language that dream is dead.
    We can also set requirements on those emigrating to this nation. Such as financial security or a promised job, language, and or education.

    I also think that states should be required to enforce federal law. Not prosecute but at least enforce. This will stop sanctuary cities. But it would reduce states rights. They did agree to become members of the club so upholding club rules should be required when possible. I also think congress should have the right to alter federal agency rulings and decisions.

  • Edward

    I am in NO WAY arguing for their interpretation. But I am arguing that you can NOT go back and ignore 200 years of interpretations just to ‘go back to the Constitution’. That’s not how the law works. No judge will even entertain that thought.

    That sounds exactly like an argument in favor of their (mis)interpretation. Or rather for the ignoring of the Constitution, because you seem to think that no judge will support the Constitution if it has been willy nilly violated for some length of time. Since Obama used his pen and his phone to bypass Congress, does that make the president legally able to ignore Congress? I didn’t think so. That was merely yet another tyrant ignoring the Constitution in order to get his own way.

    Indeed, since there is no law, here, that negates the Constitution, and since the Constitution is clear (except to those who failed U.S. civics), creating a law admits some amount of validity to the misinterpretation or ignoring of the Constitution. It is far, far better and easier to follow the Constitution than to pass some silly law that then could (and would) be corrupted so as to violate the Constitution and its intent in order to continue the violation of the Constitution.

    Another lesson in U.S. civics class is that federal law supersedes state law. This is not a states right issue, it is a “club rule.”
    Unfortunately, it has also been violated willy nilly so that most people seem to believe that sanctuary cities are a local right. Just because one liberal judge in a lower court ruled in favor of sanctuary over the enforcement of federal law and the protection of actual U.S. citizens does not make that judge or sanctuary cities right. Even if the Supreme Court made such a ruling would not make it right.

    The very essence of the sanctuary part of sanctuary cities is to protect law breakers, even to the point of protecting those who break local laws, as most sanctuary cities merely export their protected illegal aliens rather than prosecute them for their crimes. They believe that to prosecute those that they protect is to violate the promise of sanctuary. Thus the illegal alien lawbreakers are literally a protected class.

    And that is just wrong.

  • pzatchok

    What part of the original constitution does covers who are citizens?

    It doesn’t.
    Until the SC decided Dred Scott v. Sandford. Which specifically held that “a negro, whose ancestors were imported into [the U.S.], and sold as slaves,” whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen,…”

    Is that the point you want to go back to or how about earlier?
    When the Constitution was originally passed it was assumed and that ALL people born inside its boundaries were citizens.
    Racist later excluded all Indians and black people. (But included white slaves and indentured servants.)

    I bet a LOT people in the US can trace their ancestry back to an immigrant who never took a citizenship oath. One of mine didn’t, it was not required(according to you he was illegal). They then had a child who was considered a citizen.
    Do you want to take away all of their citizenship’s also? Because that is exactly what your advocating for right now.

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