What do Jacob Howard's words mean in the 14th Amendment: “subject to the jurisdiction thereof" for citizenship?

There are few topics more steeped in controversy than immigration laws and statutes that have been willfully ignored to allow 20 to 30 million non-citizens to take up residence throughout the country. In the targeted Aztlan States across the southwest, the percentage of illegal migrants has dramatically shifted... show more There are few topics more steeped in controversy than immigration laws and statutes that have been willfully ignored to allow 20 to 30 million non-citizens to take up residence throughout the country. In the targeted Aztlan States across the southwest, the percentage of illegal migrants has dramatically shifted political landscapes and devastated local economies as American workers have been displaced in the millions. Among the topics worthy of some thought, and perhaps debate, is the Citizenship Clause in the 14th Amendment over whether the practice of non-citizens appearing in the U.S. for the purpose of anchoring family bloodlines through birth of a child on sovereign territory assigns rights that the outsiders have any basis to demand for generations thereafter.

The principal authors of the 14th Amendment have been widely regarded to be Senator Jacob Howard, from Michigan, and Congressman John Bingham from Ohio, with contributions from Senator Lyman Trumbull, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and nine other members of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction. Specifically with regard to the fifth section, which has long been known as the Citizenship Clause, the presentation of the final section for debate fell to its primary penman, Senator Howard.

In 1866, Senator Howard unambiguously described the intent of the 14th Amendment during discussion and debate before the Senate by stating:

"Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."

And his presentation for discussion was reaffirmed by Senator Edward Cowan, who stated:

"[A foreigner in the United States] has a right to the protection of the laws; but he is not a citizen in the ordinary acceptance of the word..."

The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" was intended to exclude American-born persons from automatic citizenship whose allegiance to the United States was not complete. With illegal aliens who are unlawfully in the United States, their native country has a claim of allegiance on the child. Thus, the completeness of their allegiance to the United States is impaired, which therefore precludes automatic citizenship.

According to words from the authors recorded in documents kept in the National Archives, the correct interpretation of the 14th Amendment is that an illegal alien mother is subject to the jurisdiction of her native country, as is her baby. Multiple cases brought before the Supreme Court during the decades following the Amendment’s ratification supported the framers’ words and intentions, and no higher court ruling directly disagreed with Senator Howard’s explanation ahead of the 1965 Immigration Act. During the mid-1960’s, a decidedly liberal shift in thinking towards the nation’s immigration policies appeared to discount the words Senator Howard felt were critical when he steered discussion, argued for and explained the importance of the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” After the 1965 Immigration Act, babies born to illegal alien mothers within U.S. borders were regarded as anchor babies for the first time. Thereafter, in a noteworthy Supreme Court ruling in Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967), the Court appeared to completely discard the fourteenth’s Citizenship Clause scope and intent by replacing it with a new, inventive Citizenship Clause that supported a radically shifted social policy from a decade of unrest over well documented Constitutional policy.
Update: Since most scholars believe it’s impossible to misinterpret what was intended originally by Senator Howard and his colleagues during the process of writing, debating and ratifying the 14th Amendment, how the Citizenship Clause was applied for nearly a hundred years appears to have been subverted and altered in... show more Since most scholars believe it’s impossible to misinterpret what was intended originally by Senator Howard and his colleagues during the process of writing, debating and ratifying the 14th Amendment, how the Citizenship Clause was applied for nearly a hundred years appears to have been subverted and altered in recent decades for unwise, deleterious social policy.

Do you believe Senator Howard’s phrase “subject to the jurisdiction” still has applicability and importance for current immigration policy debate? Should we accept the 5‒10 million babies born to illegal aliens on our soil over the past two decades as fellow countrymen with full rights bestowed to any and all legitimate citizens of the United States? Or is there reason to believe social policy and activist judges intent on legislating from the bench deserve less credibility than the all-important Constitutional Amendment, which gave us a surprisingly unambiguous Citizenship Clause?
Update 2: How do you feel the U.S. should handle offspring born to foreigners with no basis, documentation, or right to be in our country? Is there really any supportable argument for those individuals having won one of the worlds most prized rights in something akin to a fixed lottery, simply as a result of misdeeds and... show more How do you feel the U.S. should handle offspring born to foreigners with no basis, documentation, or right to be in our country? Is there really any supportable argument for those individuals having won one of the worlds most prized rights in something akin to a fixed lottery, simply as a result of misdeeds and unlawful activities of fertile parents our system has acquiesced to support on account of babies strategically born here?

http://www.14thamendment.us/birthright_c...
http://www.14thamendment.us/articles/anc...
http://federalistblog.us/2007/09/revisit...
http://www.sacbee.com/2010/11/18/3194319/gop-majority-in-house-will-push.html
Update 3: PennyLee: I trust you’ll have little trouble acknowledging that words and phrases used in common language have a tendency to shift as far as meaning or recognizability for intent. That’s among the reasons discussion in the Congressional Record is a useful tool for clarity such as Sen. Howard’s archived words of... show more PennyLee: I trust you’ll have little trouble acknowledging that words and phrases used in common language have a tendency to shift as far as meaning or recognizability for intent. That’s among the reasons discussion in the Congressional Record is a useful tool for clarity such as Sen. Howard’s archived words of explanation to his fellow Senators where he said, “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States.”

The rambling recitation of English common law by Justice Gray in the U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark ruling, then continued reference to various European law offering support for jus soli over deeper rooted jus sanguis rule of law...
Update 4: ahead of reference to our Constitutional Amendment or earlier Supreme Court rulings is troubling to many. The dissenting opinions appeared more focused and more reliant upon U.S. law as recorded during the 14th Amendment’s development through three decades of citizenship case law leading up to 169 U.S. 649 (1898).... show more ahead of reference to our Constitutional Amendment or earlier Supreme Court rulings is troubling to many. The dissenting opinions appeared more focused and more reliant upon U.S. law as recorded during the 14th Amendment’s development through three decades of citizenship case law leading up to 169 U.S. 649 (1898). The decision also differs significantly from discussions of status of offspring to typical illegal migrants, because the Wong family was legally present in San Francisco where they resided in the same home for two decades, and Kim’s father, Wong Si Ping, was seen as a successful and respected businessman in the community who was properly registered with local authorities.

But the words of an esteemed research fellow in Constitutional studies who’s written extensively on this topic are likely to be more educational than anything I can offer. P.A. Madsen’s evaluation should be of interest here:
Update 5: It’s worth mentioning that it was the U.S. government who argued Wong Kim Ark was not born subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Obviously, the Federal Government had no difficulty in understanding the words of its own revised statutes or constitutional amendment. For the majority to have been... show more It’s worth mentioning that it was the U.S. government who argued Wong Kim Ark was not born subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Obviously, the Federal Government had no difficulty in understanding the words of its own revised statutes or constitutional amendment.

For the majority to have been correct with their conclusion they would have to demonstrate how it was possible the States and Federal Government retained England’s “natural allegiance” doctrine. This “natural allegiance” was something most everyone despised and hated. Fuller argued this “rule making locality of birth the criterion of citizenship because creating a permanent tie of personal allegiance to the King, no more survived the American Revolution than the same rule survived the French Revolution.”
Update 6: Taken into account the legislative history behind the citizenship clause - and the courts own stated objective in reaching the conclusion they did while also taking into account two prior Supreme Court holdings - leaves the Wong Kim Ark ruling as worthless as a three-dollar bill. Adhering to Wong Kim Ark as... show more Taken into account the legislative history behind the citizenship clause - and the courts own stated objective in reaching the conclusion they did while also taking into account two prior Supreme Court holdings - leaves the Wong Kim Ark ruling as worthless as a three-dollar bill. Adhering to Wong Kim Ark as precedent will never breath any factual substance into this very erroneous ruling.

http://federalistblog.us/2006/12/us_v_wo...
Update 7: PennyLee: Your comment about Madison's name being misspelled was correct. That's what happened as a result of responding to your answer after midnight. Your beloved Dr.C. claimed such a timeframe affected posts of his, as well. I was interested in his attempt at reason and logic, since his words suggest... show more PennyLee: Your comment about Madison's name being misspelled was correct. That's what happened as a result of responding to your answer after midnight. Your beloved Dr.C. claimed such a timeframe affected posts of his, as well. I was interested in his attempt at reason and logic, since his words suggest we’ve shared some training as far as fields of study, in spite of the more limited extent of post-graduate education he referred to while sharing his credentials. Since you favor his extreme liberal blog format with minimal contribution from legal experts, perhaps when researchers or JD's weigh in you feel pained and duty-bound to reject words such as those from Madison or Dr.C’s nemesis Bob Longfellow. His grasp of the law is obviously superior to that of your blogger friend, and his wisdom and insight is invaluable for anyone unfortunate enough to have found themselves at Dr.C’s site, which overlooks critical words and decades of support for the 14th Amendment’s original meaning.
Update 8: Have you actually read WKA and Justice Gray’s rambling common law reasoning, which was weighted ahead of the 14th Amendments careful wording or the author’s unmistakable explanation from Congressional records, or are you simply another liberal proponent of “We have to vote on it to find what’s in it” as an excuse... show more Have you actually read WKA and Justice Gray’s rambling common law reasoning, which was weighted ahead of the 14th Amendments careful wording or the author’s unmistakable explanation from Congressional records, or are you simply another liberal proponent of “We have to vote on it to find what’s in it” as an excuse for rational thought or analysis?
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