Reading the hysterical accounts in the media about the efforts of Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.), Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa), and GOP state Sen. Russell Pearce of Arizona to restrict birthright citizenship, you would think that they are out to overturn the 14th Amendment.
An editorial in the Arizona Republic called opposition to birthright citizenship, a “challenge to the 14th Amendment.” The Los Angeles Times wrote that there is “100 years of Supreme Court precedent holding that anyone born in the United States is an American citizen.” Jennifer Rubin, a token conservative at the Washington Post, had this to say about Rand Paul’s efforts against birthright citizenship: “Recall that Paul ran as a ‘constitutional conservative.’ But that apparently did not mean that he was enamored of maintaining elements of the Constitution that have operated since the Civil War.”
As usual, it is the liberals and RINOs who are perverting the original intention of the constitution. The 14th Amendment states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
The operative phrase is “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” which means people who owe sole allegiance to America. During the ratification debates over the amendment in 1866, Sen. LymanTrumbull of Illinois, who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, defined the phrase: “The provision is that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof. … What do we mean by ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.”
Do illegal aliens hold allegiance to countries other than America? The Mexican government certainly thinks they do. They created an Institute for Mexicans Abroad. The head of the agency, Juan Hernandez, said, “We are betting that the Mexican-American population in the United States … will think ‘Mexico first.’ “
The ratification debates make it very clear that the framers of the 14th Amendment did not mean for the children of illegal aliens to get automatic citizenship.
Similarly, “100 years of Supreme Court precedent” in favor of anchor baby citizenship is a complete fabrication. The Supreme Court held in 1898 that the children of legal immigrants get birthright citizenship, but they have not ruled one way or the other since then. The policy of granting citizenship to illegal aliens’ American-born children is just an arbitrary decision that has never been legislated by Congress or ruled on by the Supreme Court.
However, the issue did come up peripherally in the 2004 case Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. One anchor baby who certainly did not hold allegiance to the United States was Yaser Esam Hamdi. He was born in Louisiana in 1980 while his Saudi Arabian parents were here on a temporary work permit. He went back to Saudi Arabia as an infant and never returned to America. He became radicalized and left Saudi Arabia to join the Taliban in fighting American forces. When captured, he claimed U.S. citizenship and sued the Defense Department for violating his constitutional rights. His lawsuit took our anchor baby policy for granted, but in his opinion, Judge Anthnony Scalia was very careful to make sure that the issue was open for debate by calling Hamdi a “presumed U.S. citizen.”
The United States is the only industrialized country to give blanket birthright citizenship to all children of illegal aliens. This is not a minor issue. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 340,000 children—one out of every 12 births—are born to illegal aliens in America each year. Once these children get citizenship, their parents are eligible for a variety of welfare policies, and it is the Obama administration’s policy not to deport parents of U.S. citizens except in extraordinary circumstances.
Granting automatic citizenship to the children of illegal aliens is a complete outrage that subverts the original intent of the 14th Amendment, rewards law breaking, and costs taxpayers billions of dollars.