More on birthright citizenship and the 14th amendment

I was just reading the editorial in the Wall Street Journal (via, so that you don’t need to be a subscriber to read it) titled, The Case Against Birthright Citizenship. The author, Matthew Spaulding, is associate vice president and dean of educational programs for Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.I suggest that you read the entire article, but the upshot of this article is:

With this judicial and legislative lack of clarity, an executive order is perfectly proper, perhaps even necessary, to instruct executive-branch officials and agencies not to confer birthright citizenship except when Congress or the Supreme Court has mandated it. To say that an executive order is necessary and proper, though, does not mean it fully settles the matter. The issue of birthright citizenship should be part of a larger legislative package focused on strengthening the U.S., its security and its economy.

Few developed nations—and none of the countries of Europe, which many Americans want to emulate—practice the rule of jus soli, or “right of the soil.” More common is jus sanguinis, “right of blood,” by which a child’s citizenship determined by parental citizenship, not place of birth.

After first securing the nation’s safety, America’s immigration policy should be an extension of America’s liberating first principles. That means it should be based on the consent of the governed and the rule of law, and a deliberate and self-confident policy of patriotic assimilation. Birthright citizenship does not meet this rubric. It ignores the principle of consent annunciated in the Declaration of Independence, undermines the rule of law established in the Constitution, and belittles the idea of citizenship and naturalization—the source of America’s uniquely successful immigration story.

This is an argument (one I had not seen before) found on Facebook:

Diplomats and ambassadors are not subject to US law when they’re upon US soil. That’s what “diplomatic immunity” means. That’s why foreign diplomats can pile up parking tickets in NYC and DC and not worry about paying them, and the only thing we can do to a diplomat committing even murder upon our soil is expel him, unless of course his own nation chooses to revoke his status and grant the US aright to try him for the crime. Children of diplomats and ambassadors are not granted citizenship despite being born upon US soil.

Anyone else visiting is not subject to their own nation’s laws, but US laws while upon US soil. Get pulled over for speeding and you’re not getting out of the ticket by asserting your German citizenship.

American Indian were exempt because they never were citizens, until 1924 law made them eligible to become citizens, because they were citizens of sovereign nations within the US already.

The 14th Amendment means exactly what it says.

This was my answer:

I agree it means exactly what it says, although I disagree with you about the interpretation.

Illegal immigration didn’t exist at the time the amendment was ratified, and studying the history of the amendment you learn that its purpose was to protect the citizenship rights of former black slaves.

Diplomats derive immunity codified in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations which has been ratified by the United States.

Being subject to a country is not the same as not having immunity from law. Canadian citizens are, for example, subjects of Canada. They are not subjects of the United States while in our country if they enter illegally or are here as a visitor, although they must obey our laws.

The children of legal permanent residents are considered to have citizenship at birth in the USA – this was decided by the courts.

In the WSJ article (linked above), the author points out:

The crucial phrase is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” As originally understood when Congress proposed the amendment in 1866, that referred not merely to the obligation of following U.S. laws but also, and more important, to full political allegiance. According to Lyman Trumbull—who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a co-author of the 14th Amendment—being “subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States” meant “not owing allegiance to anybody else.”

What do you think? I believe that Congress should follow with legislation that clears this up once and for all, and Lindsey Graham has publicly stated that he intends to present a bill that does just that.

New York Post

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday cheered President Trump’s latest plan to target illegal immigrants and fire up his base before the midterms — saying he would introduce legislation to end birthright citizenship.

“Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship,” the South Carolina Republican wrote.

“I plan to introduce legislation along the same lines as the proposed executive order from President @realDonaldTrump.”

Graham, who had floated the idea before, as far back as July 2010, said eliminating birthright citizenship, enshrined in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, should be part of overall immigration reform, though he offered no details.

President Trump has said he doesn’t want to approach the immigration problem in a piecemeal fashion, but that may be the only way to accomplish primary goals, such as birthright citizenship and chain migration.

This entry was posted in Government, Illegal Immigration, News, Politics, Refugees & Aliens. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to More on birthright citizenship and the 14th amendment

  1. stella says:

    Obviously these Fox folks disagree with me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. auscitizenmom says:

    I think it was wise of Pres. Trump to bring this up now. It is time it was discussed and went to the S.C. I think he knows exactly what he is doing. This is a good discussion about it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. czarowniczy says:

    Exactly, illegal immigration did not exist when the Constitution was written. There are laws further refining who’s a citizen by birth but not any clear guidance effecting births bu illegals.
    In 1992, and I’ve posted this next door over the years, I was at a conference in San Diego and went out for…dinner… with some of the INS/BP folks. On a lark I was taken by a hospital that made lots of money on illegal births. Pregnant momma would basically schlep across the border, go to the hospital that would handle the birth and the hospital would bill the welfare services. Momma would be taken to the welfare office where she’d apply for ADC and then to a service that rented private post boxes.

    The beauty of the whole thing was that momma would go back to Mexico, welfare would send the checks to the PO Box service who’d forward them to Mexico and momma would have an anchor here and a welfare check that went farther in Mexico than here.

    It’s time to clarify that citizenship thing, but the best way to do it would be by a change to the Constitution and NO ONE wants a Constitutional Convention. As long as Congress can define the basis for citizenship it can undefine it and as long as we have the uneasy fear that a Convention would work up a whole bloody battle on changing MUCH of the Constitution we’ll stay in the same mess we’re in now. I’m not even getting into the Supreme Court side of it as the Rats will eventually get the power to change the Court and will wrench it so far Left it may never even come back to center. Bumpy road ahead.

    Liked by 3 people

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