Campfield Makes Some Stuff Up. Passes It Off as True. Water is Wet. Sky is Blue.

Often, when talking about Campfield, it’s hard for me to not be snarky because he just says stuff that is obviously untrue or proposes bills that are obviously crap that couldn’t withstand a court challenge or whatever and I find that insulting.

Not personally insulting, but insulting to the voters of Tennessee. Every time he proposes a bill and people have to talk about it and then someone has to point out that it won’t withstand a challenge in court, that’s time we’re paying for.

And he has internet access. He can Google stuff and find stuff out. The fact that he doesn’t just irritates me. Again, I find that insulting to me as a person who has to live under the laws he’d like to pass and to his constituents who expect him to be thoughtful about his job.

Let us turn to today’s nonsense, which could have been cleared up with a little time spent with a search engine, or, perhaps, I don’t know, talking things over with folks who know things.

Here are a list of resources for Campfield:

The U.S. Constitution

The Tennessee Constitution

The Laws of Our Fair Country

The Laws of Our Fair State

As you can see, these resources are available, for free on the internet to anyone with a connection. They are free for Campfield to use. And now I’ve collected them in an easy post he can bookmark and refer to when he needs to.

Let us now turn to the post we’ll be refuting, with these and other resources available on the internet.

Campfield says:

Mentioned in the Humphries article is an amendment I brought that would do away with the state issuing birth certificates to children who do not have one parent who is legally in the country. They are called anchor babies. Illegals cross the border and have children in the US because they (and others) think it makes them US citizens. The constitution says people born in the US who are under our jurisdiction are US citizens.

The truth is

1. That the U.S. Constitution says “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.” If you are born here, you are a citizen here. If you are born in Tennessee, you are a citizen of Tennessee.

2. Campfield is saying that only people born here who are under our jurisdiction are citizens, but, if one reads for herself what the Constitution says, one can see that it says all people born here and subject to our laws are citizens. Illegal immigrants still have to follow our laws, right? If they didn’t, there couldn’t be any such crime as illegal immigration, because the people who immigrated here outside the law wouldn’t be subject to it.

3. Being born here does make you a U.S. citizen. It just does. We think that because it is the truth.

He goes on.

Two separate issues here. Are they under our jurisdiction? Some say yes, so they give them citizenship and for some reason they also think since they are US citizes that the state must give them the birth certificates as well. Some say no they are not automatically citizens, because they are not legal citizens or legal visitors in the country in the first place.

Clearly, this paragraph makes no sense. Are who under our jurisdiction? Illegal immigrants? Well, Campfield is trying to make laws that affect them, so clearly, even he believes that they are. But in his next sentence, he appears to be talking about the children of illegal immigrants, as if, under our system of law, it’s legal to hold children accountable for the crimes of their parents (this sometimes is a consequence of how our laws work, but it is not explicit law–that if your parents break the law, you and your children and your children’s children are also punished for it). But Campfield continues to conflate the parents and the children.

And then he says that because these children are US citizens, the state must give them birth certificates.  This is patently untrue.  First, nothing in the US code requires states to issue birth certificates.  That’s not a US law; that’s a state of Tennessee law that say “A certificate of birth for each live birth that occurs in this state shall be filed with the office of vital records.” [68-3-301]  Are we just supposed to pretend, through some legal fallacy designed by Campfield, that these babies weren’t born here?

Again, I reiterate, for a man so hell-bent on arguing that illegal immigrants don’t fall under our jurisdiction, he’s sure proposing a lot of laws designed to legislate how they live.  Very weird.

He goes on:

The amendment to the constitution that is so confusing [No.  The amendment is not confusing.  You can read it and see what it says.  It’s not complicated legal mumbo-jumbo.  If you are born here, you are a citizen.] was put in place for descendants of slaves [No, the amendment was put in place in order to make newly-freed slaves U.S. citizens.]  so they could become US citizens. Not to say the slave trade was good, but the slaves were brought in the country under legal (at the time) means [Not always.]. They were under our jurisdiction so they and their descendants could become citizens. Not so for illegals, they are similar to an invading military and are not, and in my opinion should not, be given the same rights and privileges as citizens or visitors [But Campfield can’t tell the difference between a baby and its parents.]. In many cases their rights are already restricted. They do not have access to drivers licences and some other things that citizens and legal visitors get.

And on:

The other part is, it is a state issued birth certificate [Yes]. Not federally issued [Yes, because the U.S. government doesn’t issue birth certificates.  That’s a state matter.]. So lets just say for argument that the children are US citizens [Which they are, because the Constitution says so.]. The state still does not have to issue them birth certificates [That’s right.  The State doesn’t have to issue anyone birth certificates.  But they do.  Tennessee does.]. The children may be US citizens but that does not mean the state has to issue them birth certificates. If the federal government wants to give them a certificate then they can do that [Except that the Feds don’t issue birth certificates.]. But nowhere in federal law is the state required to issue them a certificate if they don’t want to [Exactly.]. Just as one state does not have to give the same tuition rates to students from other states even if they are both legal US citizens [Um, not it’s not just like that at all.]. My goal was to pass legislation that would say that and stop the issuance of state issued birth certificates [And what happened?  Hospitals frowned upon being turned into ICE agents?  Imagine that.].

And on:

The reason this is an issue, is because once the child is born and the state gives them the certificate, the illegal parents say they too should be made citizens so they can stay in the US and care for their child. Then, since they are their, their parents, brothers, sisters, cousins and what not should be allowed in the country as well to visit the other family members. Thus the name anchor babies. Have one and you can pull the entire family in.

I have a challenge for Campfield.  Have your fellow Tennesseans over at CCA take you down to Hutto where you can peruse the prison there where families are kept for detention.  And you look in those cells at those kids who were born in the United States and are on their way to countries they’ve never lived in and are not citizens of and you tell me with a straight face about “anchor babies.”

I reiterate.  A birth certificate is just a certificate that says you were born.  It only proves your citizenship because people who are born here are citizens here.  Not issuing birth certificates to U.S. citizens does not keep them from being citizens.  It just makes it harder for them to prove that they’re citizens.

Illegal immigrants who come to this country illegally and have children (it’s different for people who have entered the country legally but become illegal because of the mess our immigration system is in) and get caught and deported can never come back to this country, even if their children, who are U.S. citizens, do.


Not if you have three kids who are U.S. citizens or thirteen.

Sneaking into the country to have a baby is not a route to citizenship.  The only people who actually believe that illegal immigrants are having babies in order to somehow get citizenship for themselves are either don’t know the law or are trying to score political points among people who don’t know the law.

I cannot make this point strong enough: If you love this country, it is because of the rights the Constitution is supposed to protect.  No good in the history of our country has ever come from limiting people’s rights.  Ever.

And yes, it does make some people uncomfortable to see all these little Hispanic kids in “our” schools and to hear Spanish all over “our” town and to know that those kids have the legal rights and privileges of citizens.  It makes some people uncomfortable that people walk around town with guns.

But if you want to have this country at its best, it means putting aside your discomfort with people who are different than you, who do things (like speak Spanish or own guns or both) that you would not do and would rather they not do, because you have to trust that they know their own business and are doing what they think is for the best.

Anyone who claims to love America while working to undermine the Constitution (by ignoring it or pretending that it’s filled with hazy vaguenesses when it’s clearly not) is a scoundrel, and not the fun kind.

(H/t Tiny Pasture.)

9 thoughts on “Campfield Makes Some Stuff Up. Passes It Off as True. Water is Wet. Sky is Blue.

  1. Nice. Too bad he’ll never read it because you write ‘smut’. We all know his head will explode if he sees any words that could be construed to be referring to the female anatomy.

  2. You know what’s funny, though, W.? (Oh, and congrats on the house btw.) I probably find his blog just as obscene as he finds mine.

  3. ::sigh::

    America is great precisely because you get to be part of it just by being born here. I’ve talked about the Presidential Birth Clause before, and some of that reasoning spills over into the citizen birth clause–although it was added some time later.

    While I don’t precisely agree with you (B.) OR him (Campfield) on the proper way to adjudicate the illegal immigrants to this country, I cannot foresee a time that I would embrace any kind of action that would deny citizenship to those born under our flag.

    That’s as egregious a crime against the American Ideal as internment camps.

  4. Wouldn’t Campfield save time if he just assumed that any law he wanted to introduce was unconstitutional, and instead of introducing it introduced an amendment to the Constitution instead?

  5. I think he likes introducing unconstitutional proposals.

    –It gets him extra press.

    –It gets him a sort of martyr’s street cred with his posse back home. Now he can return to the Terry Franks of his jurisdiction and loudly proclaim that He’s Trying To Keep America American but those nattering nabobs of negativity are holding him back. Damned latte-sipping elitist New Yorkers. The whole lot of them. A true white Christian America wouldn’t make his ideas unconstitutional but embrace them for the Call To Manifest Destiny that they are.

  6. I think he’s just dumb. I mean, yes, there are those who pursue the strategy you mention, but he has never struck me as being one of them, exactly. But then, I don’t read his blog, so I may be missing the claims to martyrdom.

  7. states might not have to “have to” issue birth certificates. but considering how much stuff there is states do that depend on the blasted things and would come to a screeching trainwreck of a halt if they weren’t issued, opening that door is inviting bureaucratic disaster.

    but clearly, expecting lawmakers to have some sort of sense for what is and what isn’t compatible with keeping a bureaucracy halfway functional is far too much these days. reform, yes, perhaps, but if so let’s stick to reforms that won’t completely wreck the everyday business of the state for no good reason.

  8. I’ve always thought his jokes about Democrats were in poor taste considering the fact that he is an elected official.

  9. I’m thinking that there is house in his district that you could buy and then run against him.

    That would be fun and I’d move with you to be your campaign manager.
    I have experience. Of course it was when Mabel was running for president but my innocent enthusiasm would be a plus for you campaign.

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