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Anchor Babies and the 14th Amendment

Fourteenth Amendment of the US CONSTITUTION:

Ratified July 9, 1868.

               Section 1. 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Ever since the Arizona illegal immigration law was passed and the Federal government’s subsequent lawsuit hit the news there has been a heated debate on the issue of “Anchor Babies”.  Anchor babies are children of illegal aliens who are born on US soil and are issued birth certificates and become American citizens supposedly under the authority of the 14th amendment of the constitution.  There has been a call by some on the right to repeal or modify this amendment to stop the awarding automatic citizenship to children of illegal aliens. . Many constitutional scholars and others including myself think this is a misrepresentation of the original intent of the amendment as well as its recent application.

The amendment was proposed and ratified after the civil war for the sole purpose of protecting the hard won freedom and basic civil rights for the children of the recently freed slaves. The amendment was never meant to grant carte blanch citizenship to children born on US soil of parents that are here illegally. If you look at the very wording of the amendment section one  . “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.” The important words “Naturalized in the US and subject to its jurisdiction”; Illegal aliens are subject to the country of their origin. For example illegal aliens from Mexico are citizens of Mexico and are subject to its jurisdiction. As citizens o f Mexico they can vote in their elections, be subpoenaed and tried by the Mexican courts for treason and other offenses against the Mexican government. Under the original intent of this amendment children of illegal aliens born in the territory of the US are not automatically entitled to US citizenship.

The Supreme Court confirmed this interpretation of the amendment in the 1870’s &1880’s in the “Slaughter-House cases” [83 US 36 (1873) and 112 US 94 (1884)]13. The clause “Subject to its Jurisdiction” was interpreted to exclude “children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of foreign states born within the United States”. What the court decided was that the status of the parents. The parents of the child born on US soil must owe “”direct and immediate allegiance” to the US.  American Indians born on US Soil were excluded because of their allegiance to their native tribes this was rectified by the passing of “The Citizens Act of 1924”, codified in 8USCSß1401.

In order to rectify this all congress would have to do to rectify this is to pass legislation that implement that interpretation. This would of course cause a federal court challenge from the powerful “Undocumented Immigrant” lobbying organizations such as La Raza which in my opinion would be denied because of those previous  court decisions.

Granting of automatic citizenship should not be given as a reward for illegally entering into this country. America must stand up for its sovereignty and for the rule of law.

Just my opinion-D.B.

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