Monday, August 24, 2015

Birthright Citizenship: Suicidal and not Guaranteed by the US Constitution

The latest leftwing dido is to throw a statement in your face about how the constitution guarantees birthright citizenship and that to end it, we must amend the constitution.

As in practically everything, those loony lefties are wrong

Here is the operative sentence in the 14th Amendment:
"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."
Go here to read a short, useful article on this topic. It also explains the federal law that fleshes out the citizenship clause from the 14th Amendment.
Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in the gaps left by the Constitution. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of theUnited States at birth:"
  • Anyone born inside the United States *
  • Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
  • Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
  • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
  • Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
  • Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
  • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
  • A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.
* There is an exception in the law — the person must be "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. This would exempt the child of a diplomat, for example, from this provision.

"Subject to the jurisdiction thereof..."

That is the key to this.  Note that according to US Code, foreign diplomats and their families are not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States.  Neither are illegal immigrants.

Here's the test:

- Some states are talking of automatically registering people to vote.  Can they register an illegal alien?

- Can government compel an illegal alien to show up for jury duty?

- Can the federal government draft an illegal immigrant into military service?

The answer to all three, of course is no.  Foreigners, although here and required to follow our laws, are not "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States."  They owe allegiance to their mother country, not the United States.  That is the legal meaning of that clause.

If Trump becomes President...

...and congress changed the law to no longer grant birthright citizenship, the case would end up being decided at the Supreme Court, so I'd say those in favor of birthright citizenship have nothing to worry about in the short term.

However, a President Trump, or any GOP President could simply change the policy by presidential decree.  If President Obama can unilaterally change immigration policy, so can any other president.

* - Always on Watch is also blogging on this topic today, so please visit her fine blog and join the conversation over there.

Related links that substantiate what I have said:

Rep Steven King - History of 14th Amendment

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