It is a common practice in editorials to overstate one's case and ignore any evidence to the contrary. Heaven knows I've engaged in this "preaching to the choir" thundering from time to time. But leave it to The New York Times to push the tactic as far as it can go:
Not satisfied with a shameful new law that invites, indeed demands, racial profiling, some Arizona politicians are now pushing for a law that would deny citizenship to babies born in Arizona whose parents cannot prove they are legal immigrants.
The 14th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, states: “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.” It could not be clearer.
The Constitution apparently does not matter to these politicians.
Arizona politicians do not interpret the Constitution the same way New York Times editors do, which is not grounds to say the Constitution "does not matter to them." But that's just one snide little aside in two paragraphs jam-packed with scurriously misleading rhetoric.
If Arizona's law "invites, indeed demands" racial profiling, what can be said about the federal law, which is written less carefully than Arizona's and gives authorities even more leeway in when and why to question someone's immigration status? If we shouldn't enforce Arizona's law, we surely shouldn't enforce the federal one, which indeed we aren't and the Times undoubtedly agrees with. Why don't these people just come out and call for open borders?
Actually, the 14th Amendment's equal-protection provisions could be a lot clearer. Whether the "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" clause should apply to the children of illegal immigrants, who have no loyalty to the United States government, has been the subject of much detate, and the question is not likely to be resolved short of a Supreme Court decision. To pretend otherwise is just dishonest.