What can be done? - The 14th Amendment
Millions of Americans have served in defense of the United States of America. Many have died to preserve the freedoms that we take for granted - freedoms granted to United States citizens by the US Constitution. Granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens whose first act in coming here is to break our laws, cheapens the meaning of our Constitution and denigrates the principle of the rule of law upon which our country was founded.
Although some experts believe that a Constitutional amendment would be necessary to remedy the misinterpretation, many believe that Congressional action would be sufficient and is urgently warranted. The 14th Amendment itself stipulates that Congress has the power to enforce its provisions by enactment of legislation. The power to enforce a law is necessarily accompanied by the authority to interpret that law. Therefore, an act of Congress stating its interpretation of the 14th Amendment - as not including the offspring of illegal aliens - is long overdue.
It should be noted that the Supreme Court stated in a footnote of the 1982 Plyler v. Doe case that "[e]very citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States", and that "no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment 'jurisdiction' can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful." Yet this note specifically addressed children who were born outside of the United States, and not those born to illegal alien parents within the United States. Thus, it indeed remains within the purview of Congress to act to interpret the 14th Amendment in accordance with Article I of the Constitution.
Congress has recognized the problem. Rep. Howard Stump (AZ) introduced H.R 190 in 2001 to deny citizenship to children of illegal alien mothers. In 2003, the Citizenship Reform Act of 2003 (H.R. 1567), introduced by Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA), was introduced to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to deny birthright citizenship to children born in the United States to parents who are not U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.
The Citizenship Reform Amendment (H.J. Res. 44), introduced by Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), would have amended the U.S. Constitution to provide that no one born in the U.S. will be granted automatic U.S. citizenship unless a parent is a U.S. citizen or has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of the birth. Unfortunately, none of these bills survived.
In 2009, Representative Nathan Deal (R-GA) has introduced H.R. 1868, The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009.
Birthright citizenship is an outdated, antiquated practice that has been abandoned by all other Westernized nations as well as most developing nations. It remains to be seen whether our elected public servants will do more than just pay lip service to halting this practice.
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