The Trail of Tears stands as one of the darkest episodes in American History.
I suspect that the horror of the Trail of Tears was one of the driving forces behind Section 1 of the 14th Amendment that stated: "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."
The colonial tradition of driving indigenous people from their lands was deplorable. The Amendment reduced the possibility that the former slave holders of the South would suddenly force the former slaves from the land.
The Amendment was a wonderful stand against a historic atrocity. The problem is that it created a problematic immigration policy that states anyone who is able to cross our border and drop a child becomes a de facto US citizen.
This principle puts our nation out of sync with the world at large and creates a dangerous unilateral open border policy that can lead to abuse.
A unilateral open border can have the effect of enabling the very forced displacement that the writers of the Fourteenth Amendment wanted to avoid.
It is important to remember that the Trail of Tears happened precisely because Jackson had a place were he could push the people he sought to displace.
When one creates a destination for the displaced, one inadvertently supports the process of displacement. The term for this behavior is "enabling."
The blind acceptance of people who've been displaced around the world, enables rogue groups around the world to grab land by displacing people.
Looking at world history, we see that the displacement of people around the world did not stop after the passages of the Fourteenth Amendment. It appears to have escalated.
If one actually looks at the emigration to the United States in the following century, one finds much of it was coerced. For example, one of my Irish ancestors had the option of "emigrate or be hung." He saw emigration as preferable to swinging from a rope.
Current DebateToday, the United States finds itself in crisis with some 12 million people who crossed our borders illegally.
Some of the immigration is people looking for a better life. Yet, I find cases where people appear to have been coerced to leave their homes.
As we look south of our borders, we see a nation involved in terrible drug war that's claimed an estimated 28,000 lives in the last few years. Mass murder in Mexico is not a new thing. R.J. Rummel claims that 1.4 million people were killed in Mexico between 1900 and 1920. Other nations in South America have suffered similar violence.
When we look south of the border, we see great violence and people fleeing. The people committing the violence manage to take what's left behind.
There clearly is a big problem. Our current laws clearly are not working, and might be enabling some of behavior south of the border.
The government needs flexibility to change our immigration laws to address broader concerns of the region. Amending the Constitution to synchronize our immigration laws with the rest of the world would be in ordered.
Unfortunately talk about changing the naturalization clause is dominated by people who simply want the illegal aliens driven back to their home countries.
The real issue that we are facing is that the United States needs to find a way to coordinate its laws with the world to prevent the displacement of people. The naturalization clause is hindering this effort.