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Citizenship vs. Constitution

In regard to children of illegal aliens being citizens......


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danarhea

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Before voting in this poll, we are going to take a look at Arizona, and the desires of the citizens of that state to clamp down on illegal immigration, which is a huge problem. Draconian or not, the new law in Arizona, which the Obama administration is challenging in court, reflects the views of a lot of Americans, who feel that there is a loophole in the Constitution, which is rewarding illegal aliens for their illegal activity.

Now the problem:

62% of Americans say leave the Constitution alone
.

BUT.......

64% of Americans say that children born to illegal aliens should not be citizens
.

So, you can see that it is not only Arizonans who are pissed here. America is, or at least the majority of Americans are. That is leading to a crisis of sorts. Do we uphold the Constitution, or do we ignore part of it, claiming a greater good in doing so?

Now answer the poll. And for the record, I do not like the fact that kids of illegal aliens are automatically citizens, but the thought of gutting part of the Constitution is more abhorrent to me. No child of an illegal alien should be a citizen, IMHO, but the only way to implement this is through the law, that is, enact another amendment to the Constitution. If we do not change the law through legal means, then the Constitution is nothing, and we might as well give it away to someone else, and be done with it. Yes, problems with the Constitution arise from time to time, but for more than 200 years, it has upheld our freedoms, and gutting any part of it, even for what might be a greater good, could easily lead us down a slippery slope that might have us one day wondering what one of the greatest documents ever written was all about, instead of revering it as the law of the land.

Constitutional convention, anyone? That I am for. Otherwise, as repugnant as the idea of the children of illegal aliens being citizens is, I will have to be for it, rather than gut what has held America together for the last couple of centuries.

Amendment now, and only amendment!! Anything else is only a way out for the intellectually lazy, and if we do go down that other road, then the Constitution is something that we no longer deserve, and we might as well throw it in the garbage, along with another quaint idea, known as freedom.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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The Constitution must be upheld, but it can be changed. The 14th Amendment has already served its purpose.
 

DrunkenAsparagus

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I understand not giving birthright citizenship to diplomats' kids which is already the case, but denying it to anyone else troubles me. The first problem is bureaucratic. People wouldn't be able to prove their citizenship with a simple birth certificate, and this will make getting anything from a passport to a marriage license more difficult, and probably more expensive.

The second is that it would trouble me if the government could deny citizenship to people born here. It opens the door to abuse and denying people their rights

Thirdly, the child committed no crime. It was their parents that broke the law. We don't send children to prison if their parent kills a person. The kid is a bystander.

Fourthly, it won't really cut illegal immigration that much. The laws right now aren't simply, have a kid here, and you're a citizen. It still involves a long process. By far the biggest draw to America is jobs.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Thirdly, the child committed no crime. It was their parents that broke the law. We don't send children to prison if their parent kills a person. The kid is a bystander.
Sending the children back to their parents' country isn't the same as sending them to prison, and it isn't punishing them.

Fourthly, it won't really cut illegal immigration that much. The laws right now aren't simply, have a kid here, and you're a citizen. It still involves a long process. By far the biggest draw to America is jobs.
No, but as long as they have children that are citizens, they're allowed to stay here. Which is worse, sending the entire family home or taking their children away and sending the parents home?
 

DrunkenAsparagus

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Sending the children back to their parents' country isn't the same as sending them to prison, and it isn't punishing them.
You are taking citizenship from them involuntarily

No, but as long as they have children that are citizens, they're allowed to stay here. Which is worse, sending the entire family home or taking their children away and sending the parents home?
Make legal immigration for the parents easier in the first place. Leave the current anchor baby laws alone. They don't really have much of an impact on immigration
 

Dezaad

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Before voting in this poll, we are going to take a look at Arizona, and the desires of the citizens of that state to clamp down on illegal immigration, which is a huge problem. Draconian or not, the new law in Arizona, which the Obama administration is challenging in court, reflects the views of a lot of Americans, who feel that there is a loophole in the Constitution, which is rewarding illegal aliens for their illegal activity.

Now the problem:

62% of Americans say leave the Constitution alone
.

BUT.......

64% of Americans say that children born to illegal aliens should not be citizens
.

So, you can see that it is not only Arizonans who are pissed here. America is, or at least the majority of Americans are. That is leading to a crisis of sorts. Do we uphold the Constitution, or do we ignore part of it, claiming a greater good in doing so?

Now answer the poll. And for the record, I do not like the fact that kids of illegal aliens are automatically citizens, but the thought of gutting part of the Constitution is more abhorrent to me. No child of an illegal alien should be a citizen, IMHO, but the only way to implement this is through the law, that is, enact another amendment to the Constitution. If we do not change the law through legal means, then the Constitution is nothing, and we might as well give it away to someone else, and be done with it. Yes, problems with the Constitution arise from time to time, but for more than 200 years, it has upheld our freedoms, and gutting any part of it, even for what might be a greater good, could easily lead us down a slippery slope that might have us one day wondering what one of the greatest documents ever written was all about, instead of revering it as the law of the land.

Constitutional convention, anyone? That I am for. Otherwise, as repugnant as the idea of the children of illegal aliens being citizens is, I will have to be for it, rather than gut what has held America together for the last couple of centuries.

Amendment now, and only amendment!! Anything else is only a way out for the intellectually lazy, and if we do go down that other road, then the Constitution is something that we no longer deserve, and we might as well throw it in the garbage, along with another quaint idea, known as freedom.
Excellent, intelligent post.

I readily admit that I don't know what ought to be done about this and other matters concerning illegal immigration. But, your post is really about Constitutional Law vs. Majoritarianism. I believe the Constitution should be upheld, and amended as needed for any changes in its principles.

The people who enacted the 14th were unwise to apply too broad a stroke. They should have anticipated some potential problem, and instead used the amendment simply to declare all black former slaves as citizens. It would have been much more straightforward, and duly restrained.

Now, we are left to the onerous task of undoing their mistake.
 

DrunkenAsparagus

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We could get into a semantics debate, but it's late so I won't. You are taking away recognition of their right to citizenship. Instead of being allowed to pick whether to remain a US citizen or not in a relatively simple manner, the government is taking that away.
 

Crunch

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Before voting in this poll, we are going to take a look at Arizona, and the desires of the citizens of that state to clamp down on illegal immigration, which is a huge problem. Draconian or not, the new law in Arizona, which the Obama administration is challenging in court, reflects the views of a lot of Americans, who feel that there is a loophole in the Constitution, which is rewarding illegal aliens for their illegal activity.

Now the problem:

62% of Americans say leave the Constitution alone
.

BUT.......

64% of Americans say that children born to illegal aliens should not be citizens
.

So, you can see that it is not only Arizonans who are pissed here. America is, or at least the majority of Americans are. That is leading to a crisis of sorts. Do we uphold the Constitution, or do we ignore part of it, claiming a greater good in doing so?

Now answer the poll. And for the record, I do not like the fact that kids of illegal aliens are automatically citizens, but the thought of gutting part of the Constitution is more abhorrent to me. No child of an illegal alien should be a citizen, IMHO, but the only way to implement this is through the law, that is, enact another amendment to the Constitution. If we do not change the law through legal means, then the Constitution is nothing, and we might as well give it away to someone else, and be done with it. Yes, problems with the Constitution arise from time to time, but for more than 200 years, it has upheld our freedoms, and gutting any part of it, even for what might be a greater good, could easily lead us down a slippery slope that might have us one day wondering what one of the greatest documents ever written was all about, instead of revering it as the law of the land.

Constitutional convention, anyone? That I am for. Otherwise, as repugnant as the idea of the children of illegal aliens being citizens is, I will have to be for it, rather than gut what has held America together for the last couple of centuries.

Amendment now, and only amendment!! Anything else is only a way out for the intellectually lazy, and if we do go down that other road, then the Constitution is something that we no longer deserve, and we might as well throw it in the garbage, along with another quaint idea, known as freedom.
There is nothing in the Constitution that allows "Anchor Babies".
 

Crunch

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By P.A. Madison
Former Research Fellow in Constitutional Studies
February 1, 2005


We well know how the courts and laws have spoken on the subject of children born to non-citizens (illegal aliens) within the jurisdiction of the United States by declaring them to be American citizens. But what does the constitution of the United States say about the issue of giving American citizenship to anyone born within its borders? As we explore the constitutions citizenship clause, as found in the Fourteenth Amendment, we can find no constitutional authority to grant such citizenship to persons born to non-American citizens within the limits of the United States of America.
The UnConstitutionality of Citizenship by Birth to Non-Americans - THE AMERICAN RESISTANCE FOUNDATION

You can't read the citizenship clause of the 14th amendment and think of the phrase "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" as just meaning born on US soil. If you do, the structure would be "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and born in the United States, are citizens of the United States and the States wherein they reside." and that makes no sense at all. Jurisdiction means under the control and under the laws of the United States.... and if you are here Illegally, you aren't under the control and laws of this country.
 

MaggieD

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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 the United States at birth:"

•Anyone born inside the United States *Exempts children born of diplomat parents.
•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.
This verbage clarifies the 14th Amendment. We need to change the first item in this list to
Anyone born inside the United States to legally residing parents.
I'm not even sure it would take an amendment...don't think it would.

Nevertheless, it ain't ever happenin'.
 

Crunch

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The facts of this case, as agreed by the parties, are as follows: Wong Kim Ark was born in 1873 in the city of San Francisco, in the State of California and United States of America, and was and is a laborer. His father and mother were persons of Chinese descent, and subjects of the Emperor of China; they were at the time of his birth domiciled residents of the United States, having previously established and still enjoying a permanent domicil and residence therein at San Francisco; they continued to reside and remain in the United States until 1890, when they departed for China, and during all the time of their residence in the United States, they were engaged in business, and were never employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China.
United States v. Wong Kim Ark

Notice that his parents had previously established and were still enjoying a permanent domicile and residence in San Francisco, and so they were under the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of his birth..... just a tad bit different than someone that has illegally crossed our border and is hiding from the law and our government.
 

American

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The Constitution must be upheld, but it can be changed. The 14th Amendment has already served its purpose.
I think that modern courts are misinterpretting that amendment, outside the scope of its authors. Nevertheless, the authors obvious did a poor job of considering all possible interpretations of such a broad statement, and the vague supporting words. The modern courts are using a logical interpretation given the flaws in this amendment, and therefore the amendment must be corrected with another amendment. Frankly I think it could be argued that automatic citizenship for a baby that would be a legal citizenship of another country (e.g., Mexico) through its parents, is technically kidnapping.

Babies born to illegal parents should not be citizens automatically, however this does not mean they shouldn't be cared for. Many options exist, including adoption by citizens of the US. In this case the baby could become a naturalized US citizen through the legal process of adoption. It would not be a natural born citizen though.
 
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d0gbreath

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Leave it alone. Who are we that we would intentionally create a class of people with no country of origin?
 

tacomancer

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Would anyone be opposed to law enforcement telling illegal immigrant parents of a child who is a citizen here "you must go, you can take the child with you or he can stay and be put in foster care, your choice, but you are leaving"?
 

Tucker Case

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If a single person can demonstrate to me exactly what it is that children of citizens have done themselves to earn their citizenship tat a so-called "anchor-baby" has not, I'd consider their argument.

Otherwise, I have absolutely no intellectual respect for any arguments to steal the rights of citizens.
 

Crunch

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I think that modern courts are misinterpretting that amendment, outside the scope of its authors. Nevertheless, the authors obvious did a poor job of considering all possible interpretations of such a broad statement, and the vague supporting words. The modern courts are using a logical interpretation given the flaws in this amendment, and therefore the amendment must be corrected with another amendment. Frankly I think it could be argued that automatic citizenship for a baby that would be a legal citizenship of another country (e.g., Mexico) through its parents, is technically kidnapping.

Babies born to illegal parents should not be citizens automatically, however this does not mean they shouldn't be cared for. Many options exist, including adoption by citizens of the US. In this case the baby could become a naturalized US citizen through the legal process of adoption. It would not be a natural born citizen though.
The authors of the 14th amendment never even concidered that "anchor babies" would be declared citizens..... it is a distortion of that amendment by the courts that brought us this fiction.

We are, or should be, familiar with the phrase, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the States wherein they reside." This can be referred to as the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but what does "subject to the jurisdiction" mean? Jurisdiction can take on different meanings that can have nothing to do with physical boundaries alone--and if the framers meant geographical boundaries they would have simply used the term "limits" rather than "jurisdiction" since that was the custom at the time when distinguishing between physical boundaries and reach of law.

Fortunately, we have the highest possible authority on record to answer this question of how the term "jurisdiction" was to be interpreted and applied, the author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob M. Howard (MI) to tell us exactly what it means and its intended scope as he introduced it to the United States Senate in 1866:

Mr. HOWARD: I now move to take up House joint resolution No. 127.

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the joint resolution (H.R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The first amendment is to section one, declaring that all "persons born in the United States and Subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside. I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that 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.[1]
Rep. John Bingham of Ohio, considered the father of the Fourteenth Amendment, confirms the understanding and construction the framers used in regards to birthright and jurisdiction while speaking on civil rights of citizens in the House on March 9, 1866:

find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen...[6]


The UnConstitutionality of Citizenship by Birth to Non-Americans - The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution - Fourteenth Amendment - anchor babies and birthright citizenship - interpretations and misinterpretations - US Constitution
 

Psychoclown

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While I think the 14th amendment was never meant to apply to the children of illegal aliens, the courts have ruled it does and that's the law of the land. At this point, we would either need to courts to radically narrow the scope of the 14th amendment (as it was originally intended to guarantee citizenship to newly freed slaves and was written before the concept of illegal immigration was an issue in this country) or an amendment that clearly outlines who is and who isn't born a citizen.

Just simply ignoring the courts and their interpretation of the 14th amendment would mean we're no longer a country governed by laws.
 

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While I think the 14th amendment was never meant to apply to the children of illegal aliens, the courts have ruled it does and that's the law of the land. At this point, we would either need to courts to radically narrow the scope of the 14th amendment (as it was originally intended to guarantee citizenship to newly freed slaves and was written before the concept of illegal immigration was an issue in this country) or an amendment that clearly outlines who is and who isn't born a citizen.

Just simply ignoring the courts and their interpretation of the 14th amendment would mean we're no longer a country governed by laws.
I agree totally, but for the sake of argument I always go by what the Constitution says viewed through the known intentions of the authors.
 

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I agree totally, but for the sake of argument I always go by what the Constitution says viewed through the known intentions of the authors.
Yes, but the Supreme Court is the final arbitrator on what the Constitution says. They're certainly not infaliable and I believe they've gotten a number of rulings wrong, but going around and ignoring the court's rulings is pretty much the same thing as ignoring the Constitution - both would mean we're no longer a nation governed by the rule of the law.
 

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I posted this comment in the thread (post #30) that also addresses this issue:

So, upon further review, I have to agree. The only way this 1-parent requirement for children born INCONUS to alien parents flies is if the 14th Amendment is changed to read:


"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, to parents, one of whom is a U.S. citizen, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside and are, therefore deemed natural-born, except for persons born to non-resident immigrants."
I think the above would resolve the matter once and for all including the question of who are and are not natural-born citizens.
 
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Crunch

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I posted this comment in the thread (post #30) that also addresses this issue:



I think the above would resolve the matter once and for all including the question of who are and are not natural-born citizens.
Your Amendment to the 14th would only solve the "anchor baby" problem..... it would not change the definition of "Natural Born Citizen".
 

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United States v. Wong Kim Ark

Notice that his parents had previously established and were still enjoying a permanent domicile and residence in San Francisco, and so they were under the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of his birth..... just a tad bit different than someone that has illegally crossed our border and is hiding from the law and our government.
Yet the plaintiff was born within US jurisdiction.
 

Crunch

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Yet the plaintiff was born within US jurisdiction.
To parents had previously established and were still enjoying a permanent domicile and residence in San Francisco, and so they were under the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of his birth.

Notice the parents were here legally, not illegally.
 
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