Does the 14th Amendment require citizenship for anchor babies?
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, which pertains to immigration and naturalization, reads, "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."
Anchor babies are children of illegal aliens born at public expense in American hospitals with the intent of securing welfare benefits and citizenship claims for their parents. They now constitute 20% of all children born in the US.
- BruceLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
No. Apparently your liberal interpreters are not sure what to do with the word 'and.' "All persons born or naturalized in the United States AND subject to the jurisdiction thereof." "Subject to the jurisdiction thereof" means a legal resident here and not somewhere else.
According to University of Texas legal scholar Lino Graglia, the second author of the Citizenship Clause, Illinois Sen. Lyman Trumbull, added that "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" meant "not owing allegiance to anybody else."
To discern the authentic meaning of this amendment as originally intended by its framers, we must first start with its plain language, and then further examine the context under which it was proposed and passed. Any debate about the authority of our Constitution must begin with First Principles, original intent.
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States..."
This language is plain and easily understood.
"[A]nd subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
This language, too, is plain and easily understood, unless there is a contemporary Leftist political agenda, which does not comport with that understanding, in which case benefactors and beneficiaries of that agenda will interpret (read: misconstrue) it to fit their purposes.
So, what does "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" actually mean? Beyond the apparent plain language definition, a factual interpretation is supported by the context in which this amendment was framed and ratified.
After the War Between the States, freedmen (former slaves) may have been liberated by Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, but they didn't enjoy the same rights as those who freed them. Though slaves were in the United States legally, and thus, "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," they had no assurance of equal rights.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was designed to rectify this injustice by noting in part, "All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States. ... All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other."
The first definition of "citizenship" in legal references is "nationality or legal status of citizenship."
The 1866 act defined "persons within the jurisdiction of the United States" as all persons at the time of its passage, born in the United States, including all slaves and their offspring.
However, concern that the Act might be overturned by a future Congress motivated its sponsors to make it more resistant to the arbitrary rule of men, so they proposed the 14th Amendment to our Constitution, which upon ratification, would protect the provision of the 1866 Act from legislatures and the courts.
Michigan Sen. Jacob Howard, one of two principal authors of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (the Citizenship Clause), noted that its provision, "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," excluded American Indians who had tribal nationalities, and "persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."
Thus, in the plain language of its author, those who are not born to American citizens have no birthright to citizenship.
PS: Origen is right on the 20% figure. From the source I've linked: "Today, more than 20 percent of all children born in the United States are born to those who have entered the United States unlawfully, and who are, by any authentic definition of the 14th Amendment, NOT subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. because they are not citizens."
- wayfaroutthereLv 710 years ago
Yes, it does. Unless someone wants to make the ridiculous argument that our laws do not apply to illegals, they are subject to our jurisdiction by being here. The alternatives are 1) accept anchor babies as citizens (where did you get that crazy 20% figure, by the way); 2) amend the constitution; or 3) start an insane legal theory that states that these lawbreakers are not subject to our laws, therefore our laws don't apply to them--so they wouldn't ever be citizens but we'd have no right to arrest them for anything, from being here without a permit to murder?
We need to take care of simpler immigration problems that would have more positive effects. This is a conservative smoke screen--they make regular people think they hate illegal immigration, but keep bringing up distractions like this so the people working on solutions have to stall them to answer silly questions like this. Then the immigrants can keep coming over and working in businesses that support the conservatives, while the conservative leadership pretends that the reason they stall all reform is because the reforms are not tough enough.
Bruce--the 20% figure is not cited in what you linked to, so I don't know where 'patriot' got that info either.
- Patrick BLv 710 years ago
1.The parents of "anchor babies" are not entitled to welfare.
2. The parents can only gain citizenship after the child turns 18, then heads to his homeland for 10 years. So it's not a good tactic.
3. The 20% is blatantly made up.
- jslindermlLv 710 years ago
Yes. Here's the phrase in question: "born or naturalized in the United States". That's bold law, born here=citizen. Even the law currently posited in congress will not change this, a constitutional amendment is required.
Now as to the other items, check your facts with a reputable source. 1> the baby being a citizen confers no rights on the parents they did not already have under local and federal laws. 2> Based on a 2008 pew study and validated provisionally by the 2010 census raw data, the number is closer to 7-8%, not 20. http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID...
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- Kermit The RockLv 510 years ago
There is a presumtion that US citizenship cannot be revoked, and that a person whose citizenship is questioned, is entitled to consitutional protections to make a determination. Otherwise, anyone who you didn;t want to have those protection, could be labelled non-citizens.
The US also has a tradition of extenting rights even to foreign citizens--when they catch illegal immigrants, they send them to federal court for a hearing, before sending them to jail or deporting them. They're entittled to attorney and all the usual due process.
- TeeknoLv 710 years ago
Yes, it does. And you've posted the section that says so.
Illegal immigrants are subject to the jurisdiction of the US; if they weren't, they couldn't be charged with crimes. That particular section was originally designed to exclude Indians, but by the 1920s all Native Americans were citizens.
Today, that clause applies only to children born to foreign diplomats with diplomatic immunity. Their children are not US citizens, even if they are born in the US.
- Anonymous10 years ago
Missing Link, The law is as the law is. Until it changes or you move to the fascist country of your dreams, talk about more pressing things like FOX LIES and RUMORS network. I think we should change the 1st amendment so that they can't pass out lies as the truth. Some activist judge ruled they could lie, but I think they should be shut down for inciting riots.ops. Your "facts" are all wrong. You are a very good dupeable student.
- 10 years ago
Did you actually read the 14th Amendment before asking your question? The answer is right there in plain Enlgish. All persons born in the US are US citizens.
- Anonymous10 years ago
Yes, it does. That is the reason they are citizens.
You are subject to the jurisdiction of the place you are in, not where you're from. If a Iranian comes to America, he has to go by American laws. He can't live based on Iranian laws in the US.
- DaleLv 710 years ago