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英语阅读:废除出生公民权计划

浏览量: 发布时间:2018-11-14 19:05 点击在线免费咨询

美国总统唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)通过行政命令废除出生公民权的计划,引发了美国华人社区的大量讨论。人们的假设似乎是,考虑到与北京之间令人担忧的贸易关系,此次事件的矛头既指向了中国,也指向了针对以往移民政策的又一次攻击。
 
 
当然,中国人在出生公民权的历史上扮演了重要的角色。美国宪法第14修正案于1868年通过,该修正案规定“所有在美国出生或归化并受其管辖的人都是美国公民”,以保障出生公民权。三十年后,围绕中国男子黄金方舟的命运展开的一场重大测试被搁置。
 
 
王菲出生在美国的一个中国移民家庭,是一名厨师,一直在中国和美国之间来回奔波。但是在1895年,在一次这样的旅行之后,他被拒绝入境。三年前,美国将1882年颁布的《排华法案》(Chinese Exclusion Act)延长了10年,这一臭名昭著的法案禁止几乎所有中国人进入美国长达半个多世纪。当局认为黄西是中国人而不是美国人,因此受到禁令的限制。
 
 
该案件最终在1898年由最高法院裁定,尽管他的父母是中国国籍,但王家卫出生在美国本土,使他成为美国公民。美国诉黄金方舟案成为保护出生公民权的最重要先例。
 
 
在现代,中国人与出生公民权联系在一起的原因并不光彩:孕妇旅游。
 
 
当然,出生公民权被来自世界各地的外国游客所利用。相关人士可能暂时不会住在美国,但他们愿意在未来为他们的孩子和自己提供这种选择(当他们21岁时,美国公民可以为他们的父母提供绿卡)。但随着中国中产阶级的迅速壮大,中国孕妇赴美国旅游的人数肯定超过了其他国家。很难确切地知道有多少中国游客在美国分娩。
 
 
在美国,与生育服务中心有关的事件,尤其是无证生育服务中心,在美国引起了很多关注,只是为了重申与中国人和出生公民权相关的负面形象。最近的一起事件发生在9月21日上午,当时在纽约皇后区法拉盛(Flushing)这个以中国人为主的社区里,一家这样的妇产科中心的一名员工暴跳如雷,用菜刀割伤客户和同事,还打伤了三名婴儿和两名成年人。
 
 
这名袭击者来自中国福州,据报道,他不得不轮班工作12个小时,并且患有抑郁症。但媒体没有关注过度劳累的新移民的心理健康问题,而是将很大一部分报道集中在有关中国孕妇旅游的争议上。
 
 
不过,这并不奇怪。从一开始,出生公民权就面临着反对者的排外情绪。1866年,当国会就第14项修正案展开辩论时,宾夕法尼亚州参议员埃德加·考恩(Edgar Cowan)警告称,出生公民权可能导致“蒙古人种移民潮”。他说,数以百万计的中国人可能会不费吹灰之力涌入加州,在那里他们的人数可能很快就会超过并超过当地人。偷盗、诈骗、侵入吉普赛人可能会在这个国家泛滥成灾,“来自婆罗洲的人,食人族或食人族,如果你愿意的话”将会得到自由,在美国肆虐。
 
 
但对外国人涌入的恐惧,往往只是国内真正关键冲突的烟幕弹。当时,在美国出生的非洲奴隶的后代在美国内战后成为一个主要问题,当时迫切需要第14号修正案来缓解紧张局势。现在关键是美国的非法移民问题。
 
 
根据移民政策研究所(Migration Policy Institute)的数据,在2016年,美国有超过400万18岁以下出生的儿童,他们的父母中至少有一人没有合法身份。如果出生公民权在2050年终止,美国未经授权的人口将会增加到2400万,是目前估计的两倍多。
 
 
此外,还有一个更棘手的问题:这位总统是否通过威胁要用行政命令推翻宪法,来显示对宪法的足够尊重?这就是为什么许多可能不支持生育旅游的人反对总统废除出生公民权的想法,包括许多保守派政客。

resident Donald Trump's plan to repeal birthright citizenship with an executive order has led to plenty of discussion in and about the Chinese community in the US. The assumption seems to be that it was as much directed at China given the fraught trade relations with Beijing as about another prong in the assault on previous immigration policy.
 
Certainly Chinese people have played a significant role in the history of birthright citizenship. The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees birthright citizenship by stating that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States," was adopted in 1868. Thirty years later, it withheld a major test spinning around the fate of a Chinese man, Wong Kim Ark.
 
Born to a Chinese immigrant family in the US, Wong, a cook, had been traveling back and forth between China and the US. But in 1895, after one such trip, his entry was denied at the border. Three years earlier, the US had renewed the Chinese Exclusion Act that was enacted in 1882 for another 10 years, a notorious law that banned almost all Chinese from entering the US for more than half a century. Wong was considered by the authorities to be Chinese rather than American and therefore was subject to the ban. 
 
The case was eventually decided in 1898 by the Supreme Court which made it clear that despite his parents' Chinese nationality, Wong's birth on US soil made him an American citizen. US v. Wong Kim Ark became the most important precedent protecting birthright citizenship.
 
In modern days, Chinese are linked with birthright citizenship for a not-so-glorious reason: maternity tourism.
 
To be sure, birthright citizenship is taken advantage of by foreign tourists from all over the world. The people concerned may not be going to live in the US for now, but would like to offer their children and themselves that option in the future (when they turn 21, US citizens can sponsor green cards for their parents). But with the middle class growing rapidly in China, the number of Chinese maternity tourists in the US is certainly topping those from other nations. It is hard to know exactly how many Chinese tourists have delivered babies in the US. 
 
Incidents related to maternity service centers in the US, especially unlicensed ones, have attracted a lot of attention in the US and only gone to reaffirm the negative image associated with the Chinese and birthright citizenship. The most recent case happened on the morning of September 21 when an employee at one such maternity center in the largely Chinese neighborhood of Flushing in Queens, New York went berserk, slashed and stabbed clients and co-workers with a kitchen knife and injured three babies and two adults.
 
The attacker, an immigrant from Fuzhou, China, reportedly had to work 12-hour shifts and had depression. But rather than focusing on the mental health issues among overworked new immigrants, media allocated a big chunk of their coverage to the controversy about Chinese maternity tourism.     
 
It was not a surprise, though. From the beginning, birthright citizenship has been facing xenophobia from its opponents. When the 14th Amendment was debated in Congress in 1866, Senator Edgar Cowan of Pennsylvania warned that birthright citizenship could result in "a flood of immigration of the Mongol race". He said millions of Chinese might pour unimpeded into California where they could quickly outnumber - and outcompete - the locals. Thieving, swindling, trespassing gypsies could overrun the country, and "people from Borneo, man-eaters or cannibals, if you please" would be given free rein to wreak their havoc in the US.
 
But the fear of an influx of foreigners often is only the smokescreen for really critical domestic conflicts. Back then when the status of the American-born offspring of African slaves became a major issue after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was badly needed mainly to ease the tensions. And now what's at stake is the issue of undocumented immigrants in the US.
 
According to the Migration Policy Institute, in 2016 there were more than 4 million US born children under the age of 18 who have at least one undocumented parent. And if birthright citizenship is terminated by 2050, the population of unauthorized people in the US would jump to 24 million, more than double the current estimates. 
 
Then there is still the thornier question of whether this president shows enough respect to the constitution by threatening to overpower it with executive orders. That's why many people who may not support maternity tourism are fighting the president's idea to repeal birthright citizenship, including many conservative politicians.

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