Commentary: Chasing babies won't solve immigration issues

If undertaking the justifiably difficult process of amending the U.S. Constitution would effectively deter illegal immigration and satisfactorily deal with the millions of undocumented residents already in the country, the effort might be worthwhile.

But all this talk about "anchor babies" and "birth tourism" and congressional hearings on the 14th Amendment are political sound and fury that accomplish nothing constructive regarding U.S. immigration policy.

Some Republican leaders in Congress are stirring the debate, suggesting a constitutional amendment or legislative change as serious solutions.

To his discredit, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina inexplicably seems only recently to have discovered that he knows little about the long-standing interpretation of the amendment's citizenship clause and doesn't like it.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, tossed onto the conflagration the exaggerated notion that schools and hospitals are "being overrun" by illegal immigrants, many of whom came "just so their children could become U.S. citizens."

Shouldn't members of the party that brought the 14th Amendment to reality be less anxious to mess with it?

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