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How Not to Spend Political Capital

Let’s hope that this report is not accurate:

As one of its first acts, the new Congress will consider denying citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States. Those children, who are now automatically granted citizenship at birth, will be one of the first targets of the Republican-led House when it convenes in January.

As I have previously written (here and here), futzing with the Constitution is a perfectly awful idea. As a substantive matter and as a political matter, it is not what conservatives should be focused on if they want to promote the image that they are sober, responsible lawmakers. And they certainly don’t want to make it one their “first” targets. This is ObamaCare for Republicans — a distraction and a partisan fight that should not be a top priority when unemployment is high, the debt is massive, and real questions exist as to the country’s financial stability and international staying power. It would be irresponsible for the House leadership to go on an immigration jaunt — a sign that they didn’t really learn all they should have from the Democrats’ errors. As a matter of constitutional sobriety and political smarts, the Republican leaders should put this on the back burner. For a good long time.


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