Ric Oberlink

The ABC of Accidental Birthright Citizenship

By Ric Oberlink
September 23, 2015

You could be forgiven for thinking that the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship to anyone and everyone born on American soil.  Even if you have followed the current political debate, you might conclude that changing that policy would require a constitutional amendment.

Border surge—it’s not about crime and violence

By Ric Oberlink
July 25, 2014

There is a simple means to determine whether the surge of Central Americans illegally crossing our border is, as the Obama administration maintains, a result of high crime rates and gang violence, or if, as the Guatemalan ambassador said, “Violence is not the reason,” but instead they are economic migrants “trying to reach the American dream.” Look at a map.

Another drought? Not enough water… or too many people?

By Ric Oberlink
February 4, 2014

California. A drought. Again. But is a drought not enough water for the number of people, or is it too many people for the supply of water?

AARP, Social Security and Immigration

By Ric Oberlink
September 20, 2013

The AARP magazine recently ran op-eds from Senators Schumer and McCain in favor of the Senate immigration bill, offering its readers the complete gamut of opinion from A to B. AARP members, presumably old enough to think for themselves and make up their own minds, deserve better.

Amnesty with secure borders -- this time I mean it, Charlie Brown

By Ric Oberlink
April 18, 2013

Poor, sappy Charlie Brown. Year after year, Lucy promises that she will not yank away the football as Charlie tries to kick it. “This time I really mean it,” Lucy assures him, but as we all know, it is a trick.


By Ric Oberlink
October 29, 2012

“A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation,” noted James Freeman Clarke in 1870. Were he around today, Clarke might apply the same sentiments to the journalists who sit across from the candidates at debates.

Barbara Jordan and Immigration Reform

By Ric Oberlink
October 14, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service recently issued a stamp to honor Barbara Jordan, offering us an appropriate moment to reflect upon the life of this remarkable woman and her contributions toward resolving a complex and contentious issue that continues to resonate.

Population growth does not lead to economic growth

February 10, 2011
By Ric Oberlink

Politicians sing the praises of growth so frequently that we, and they, lose track of the ambiguity of this siren song. Do they mean population growth or economic growth? In fact, they tend to intertwine the two and assert that the former stimulates the latter, which, inevitably, leads to poor policy decisions.