Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Laura Ingraham's Attacks On Sonia Sotomayor Miss Her All-American Heritage


Media Matters reports that Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham launched a smear against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, suggesting that she has to choose between her "immigrant family background" or the U.S. Constitution.  Ingraham claim is completely off the mark given that Sotomayor is a U.S. citizen by birth (yes, she is eligible for the Presidency) and is the daughter of U.S. citizens.

In a February 3 speech to Yale Law School  students, Justice Sotomayor commented on the fact that she was the first Supreme Court Justice (in hervery  first opinion for the Court) to use the term "undocumented immigrant," saying "[t]o call them illegal aliens seemed and does seem insulting to me."

On her radio show, Ingraham suggested that using the term "undocumented immigrant" somehow demonstrated a failure by Justice Sotomayor to fulfill her duty to defend the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States.  According to Ingraham, the word choice shows that Sotomayor's "allegiance obviously goes to her immigrant family background and not to the Constitution of the United States." (emphasis added).

Of Puerto Rican ancestry, Justice Sotomayor is a U.S. citizen by birth, having been born in New York City.  Under the Fourteenth Amendment,  she is a U.S. citizen.  In addition,  Puerto Ricans born on the island have enjoyed U.S. citizenship since President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act into law in 1917. 

Ingraham appears to have been afflicted fby the "Latino-as-foreigner" stereotype.  Justice Sotomayor is a U.S. citizen and as American as anyone from the Bronx can be.  Not all Latinos in teh United States are immigrants and, indeed, almost all Puerto Ricans are not. 


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