Mar 30 2010

Rewarding illegal behavior with citizenship

An argument to be made about immigrant babies and citizenship

A simple reform would drain some scalding steam from immigration arguments that may soon again be at a roiling boil. It would bring the interpretation of the 14th Amendment into conformity with what the authors of its text intended, and with common sense, thereby removing an incentive for illegal immigration.

To end the practice of “birthright citizenship,” all that is required is to correct the misinterpretation of that amendment’s first sentence: “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.” From these words has flowed the practice of conferring citizenship on children born here to illegal immigrants.


Congress has heard testimony estimating that more than two-thirds of all births in Los Angeles public hospitals, and more than half of all births in that city, and nearly 10 percent of all births in the nation in recent years, have been to mothers who are here illegally. Graglia seems to establish that there is no constitutional impediment to Congress ending the granting of birthright citizenship to those whose presence here is “not only without the government’s consent but in violation of its law.”

George Will’s piece, linked above, gives a nice history of the 14th Amendment, and explains clearly why it should not be interpreted to mean that all babies of illegal aliens are automatically US citizens.  But somehow, I don’t think Congress is likely to act on this anytime soon, since the Democrats want to turn as many illegals as possible into voters… for them.  That’s why they are loathe to enforce our borders, they are for same day registration/voting and “motor voter” laws, and are only too happy to accept the support of illegal alien activist organizations.

I’m sure the Democrats mourn the passing of ACORN, which was famous for finding ways for illegals to vote, not to mention evade taxes and other laws.

So we won’t see a Congressional reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment anytime soon.  But read all of Will’s piece.  It’s essential information for the next time someone tries to convince you that it makes any kind of sense Constitutionally for anchor babies to be automatic US citizens.