Birthright or Birthwrong?

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This is why I have used the term “anchor baby” to describe them.   The critics of this term are the same people who are trying to make the anchor drop even deeper.  During his speech last week, President Obama stated we cannot deport illegal aliens because “it would tear at the very fabric of this nation—because immigrants who are here illegally are now intricately woven into that fabric. Many have children who are American citizens.”

The costly policy of granting birthright citizenship is based upon a misinterpretation of the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment.  It states, “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.”

This was clearly designed to guarantee for the purpose of ensuring that the children of freed slaves could not be denied citizenship.  Granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens is a completely arbitrary interpretation that has never been ruled on by the Courts or passed by statute.

When I served in Congress, I co-sponsored 10 bills to end birthright citizenship either by statute or Constitutional Amendment.  Rep. Nathan Deal’s Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009 (H.R.1868) currently has 92 co-sponsors.  This is a start, but unless the debate changes, it is unlikely that the Republican leadership, much less the Democratic majority in Congress, will address the issue.

With the federal government far behind on upholding its constitutional duties on immigration, the States are once again stepping in.

State Rep. Leo Berman of Texas introduced a bill to deny benefits to children of illegal aliens, and State Rep Randy Terrill of Oklahoma and State Sen. Russell Pearce of Arizona–who wrote SB 1070–are planning on introducing similar legislation.

Mark Twain wrote, “Citizenship is what makes a republic.”  Our policy of giving the children of illegal aliens citizenship cheapens one of the most basic building blocks of our Republic.

Virgil Goode Represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District from 1997 until 2009.

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  • Alexander Gofen

    "Granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens is a completely arbitrary interpretation" – Exactly! It is ludicrous to think as though 14th amendment "All persons born … in the United States" applies to kids delivered by women who got on American soil deliberately violating the law crossing the border illegally. Just one more example how legal concepts, common sense and language erode pushed by the "progressives".

    • Steven Laib

      There is a second qualification to the 14th amendment: "Subject to its jurisdiction." If someone enters the nation illegally they are avoiding the jurisdictional requirements. As a result, their children should not be considered citizens of the US.

  • Hammer2

    The key phrase is "and subject to the juristiction thereof". An illegal alien is a citizen of a foreign nation and subject to the juristiction of their home country. Same goes for any person who is in the United States legally as a tourist, to study, or has a work permit. Even people with permanent resident status have not given up their foreign citizenship.
    If you are born of parents who are not citizens, then you are not "subject to the juristiction thereof" and are therefore not a citizen of the United States, but of your parent's home country.
    Only a person who is a citizen, born or naturalized, is subject to the juristiction of the United States.
    Of course, if you commit a crime while in the US, you do become subject to our law for purposes of trial & punishment. Usually followed by quick deportation.

    • theunknownamerican

      To say that a person living here is not subject to the jurisdiction of is like saying that the laws don't apply to them. They can then murder all they want because they are not subject to the jurisdiction of. A person here is subject to the jurisdiction of the laws simply because they are within the geographical location.

      • Hammer2

        Incorrect – The reference is to which country has juristiction over it's citizen. It does not mean subject to the criminal laws of the US – that is a seperate issue. Who issues your passport? The country which has juristiction over you. If you as an American citizen violate an American law in a foreign country, you can be extradited home for punishment. A citizen of that country who does the same thing in his country is not subject to US juristiction & thus has not violated US law and cannot be extradited.

  • poetcomic1

    It is clear as Waterford Crystal. I'm no Hawvard graduate and what you are saying is self-evident.

  • jaydickb

    This legislation needs to be enacted, but it seems unlikely as long as Obama is in office. Moreover, priorities for legal immigration are also all screwed up. Why would give preference to people just because they have a distant relative that is already here? I can understand giving priority to immediate families (spouse, children), but not to anyone else. We need more immigrants that are talented and well-educated. With the government running the health care system, we will need many more doctors and other health care professionals than we can train here or that will want to enter this field.

  • 1Fearless1

    We will forever be paying the price for the haste in which the LIBERALS passed the Amendments to The Constitution after the war of Northern agression. The Amendments were passed, not so much as to help the freed blacks but to punish those states that could see the harm that a STRONG CENTERALIZED government would do to the rights of the individual states.

  • Beverley

    America is losing the plot. Your presidents seem to be going from bad to worse. What a hole is being dug for you all.

  • krishna.g9g

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  • Thunder

    we are efd by liberals for good;
    liberalism is a mental disorder.
    Next: Amnesty, NA Union, and Dem Party (party 24/7) 4 ever.

  • USMCSniper

    The erosion or nullification of citizenship by birthright is a road we may not want to go down because it is really a secondary issue to effectively policing our borders to control illegal immigration and maintaining our sovereignty as a nation. If we would only take care of this the issue of "anchor babies" would be secondary.

    • Hammer2

      I agree that securing the borders should be priority one. However, that will do nothing to stop the problem of anchor babies, unless you would deny entry to the US for any pregnant alien woman. They can come here legaly as a tourist & have their baby here. Then thanks to Ted Kennedy's liberalization of chain migration rules in the 60's – that anchor baby can be used to eventually legaly migrate entire families – Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, Cousins etc.

      • USMCSniper

        To not grant any baby born in the US a US citzenship by birthright because of the parents immigration status does not solve the illegal immigration problem nor will the immigration problem be solved until the bordres are sealed and secure and a process is in place that preserves the sovereignty of the United States for processing the already 12 million that are here.

        • Peachey

          Actually Sniper, the attraction for American citizenship is what drives hundreds of thousands of pregnant Mexican women to flood into California, Arizona,New Mexico and Texas in the 7-8th month of pregnancy. Another way is to become pregnant once across the border, enroll in a state paid pre-natal program and not only be guaranteed prenatal care, Medical, welfare benefits, but American citizenship for the child automatically at birth. In California, the father of the child is no longer identified on the Birth Certificate, thus preventing the State from securing child suport from the father, and further identifying responsibility for the care and welfare of the child. It's a great game put into place by Libs to enslave the mother and child to the politicians that use them as voting pawns and lifelong dependency on County and State programs. A redefinition of the 14th Amendment is needed along with the complete closure of the border.Take away the carrot and watch how many stay away.

        • Hammer2

          I agree, ilegal immigration stops when the borders are sealed and must be done first. The issue of anchor babies is a problem of legal immigration which must also be addressed.

  • den

    Clearly an anchor baby is not a reason to bestow citizenship on it. The US can no longer afford to be a liberal cesspool. Consider how the Mexican government would handle you as an illegal. It would not be pretty.

    Also there is the point of inadmissibility where some people here follow the Koran which clearly states they must be under Sharia law, not the US constitution. These people who think that must be removed as well.

    • Ron Grant

      "liberal cesspool"

      Until we recognize and acknowledge that conservatism and liberalism are two sides of the same western democratic coin our understanding of our origins and indeed destiny will be incomplete.Muchiboy

  • aspacia

    The expense and danger from illegal immigration is huge, and is destroying my land, the health of its citizens, and economically laying waste to our infrastructure.

    PC speak is dangerous and prevents many from making a stand.

  • Sprinklerman

    An anchor on a boat can be raised and secured on deck, going wherever the boat goes. Why are anchor babies not the same. When an illegal alien returns or is returned to the land from which they came they can take the baby with them.

  • cynthia

    I am so glad someone is bringing up this topic. This will help get to the root of many problems. Pregnant women could sign a waiver when they come saying their children will not become an American citizen if born on US soil. Can we start a push for that?

    • Kim Bruce

      That pregnant women waiver would apply to all Muslims, of course as the vast majority of Muslims do not consider themselves part of the Nation they occupy, until that nation becomes Islamic of course..
      Do you think Obama owuld actually push for that waiver?
      He stands to lose so many voters before the 2012 election.

      • Peachey

        Are you aware of "Maturnity Packages" that are becoming popular in Muslim countries. For a fee, you can visit the U.S. and have your baby here on your "vacation".

  • AnimalFarm

    I've been saying this for decades. The United States is the only country to my knowledge which grants citizenship to ANYONE born here. For decades, 9 months pregnant women crawled across the border and downloaded a kid, voila, and American citizen, and promptly starts milking the system. Seeing that the liberals always look to imitate Europe, why don't they imitate Europe when it comes to this issue?

  • Drew458

    This part of the 14A is unequivocal. The original intent of that part is spelled out in the congressional record of the time; endless debate and rejected attempts to exclude Native Americans and so forth. When it was voted on, the language that passed was clearly understood to mean what Senator Howard said it meant … which is the same as what Rep. Goode wrote here: the 14A does not create anchor babies; children born here to parents from another country are NOT citizens. There is NO birthright.

    So let's own up to our mistake, stop the practice, and then move forward to some real immigration reform.

    Oh, and so much for Obama as the big "constitutional scholar".

  • Richard

    Obama made these statements, because his citizenship is in question. One of his parents was not a US citizen and he has become a financial burden upon the citizens of the United States.

    In his address to the country on immigration last week, President Obama said that “being an American is not a matter of blood or birth.” Our current government policy of giving automatic US citizenship to the children illegal aliens who are born on American soil makes being American solely a matter of birth.

    Americans are quickly waking up to the disaster that is the arbitrary government policy of guaranteed automatic citizenship to the children of illegal aliens. A Rasmussen Poll found that 58% of Americans opposed granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens, while only 33% supported it.

    Birthright citizenship creates a massive fiscal burden on the American taxpayer.

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 specifically states illegal aliens and even many legal immigrants are “not eligible for any Federal public benefit” with a few exceptions such as disaster relief.

  • Ron Grant

    Could be worse.Could have been born Arab in Palestine when the Zionists occupied the country.And they thought they had some rights from their long Palestinian lineage.Could be even worse then that.Could have been born Jewish in Poland when the Nazis occupied the country.And they thought they would be safe in their European homeland.Could be worse still.Could be born a Tuna or whale in the Pacific when the Japanese ignored their being endangered. Muchiboy

  • TonyM

    The answer to the question is: To create a never ending supply of potential new Democrat voters. DUH!

  • theunknownamerican

    I hate to say this but the 14th amendment says anyone born here is a citizen. I can't see anyway around that but what needs to changed is the naturalization laws that says a parent of a child born here also becomes a citizen. There is nothing in the constitution that says parents of people born here are also granted citizenship status. They can have their kids here but then they can go back to their home country with or without their newly born American citizen.

    • patriot077

      I believe you are forgetting the words "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof". Makes a world of difference. An earlier post explains this more fully.

    • Hammer2

      The term is chain migration & it starts with the first family member to become a citizen. Once that is accomplished, nearly any member of an extended family can eventually become a naturalized citizen. My wife is foreign born & naturalized by marriage to me. She was able to apply for her father, brother, and sisters to immigrate here legally. Parents can apply for their parents, brothers & sisters, they can apply for their children etc – all it takes is 1 person becoming a citizen.


    WHY? Because they will become permanent welfare recipients and democrat voters. The democrat party knowingly and gleefully destroyed the black race in order to guarantee itself a 95% voting bloc. For democrats, Mexicans are simply the next black race!

    • Guest

      Uh Jethro,

      A black man is your President!

      You wouldn't be suggesting that black folks were better off under Jim Crow, would you?

  • Guest

    The 14th Amendment says that all people who are found on U.S. territory are subject to due process of law, hence subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. So the "subject to the jurisdiction" issue is settled and not in favor of those of us who don't think children born in the United States to illegal aliens are U.S. citizens.

    What needs to be done is to repeal the 14th Amendment. Its original purpose has long since been achieved, and to keep it in the Constitution is a many-headed injustice of long, long standing. The 14th Amendment must go.

    Of course it never will be repealed.

    • Hammer2

      The 14th ammendment says nothing of the sort – it gives a 2 condition rule for determining citizenship. Condition 1 – born or Naturalized in the United States AND Condition 2 – subject to the juristiction thereof both conditions must be met for a person to be a citizen. If one is automatically subject to the juristiction of the United States by mere physical presence, it is not necessary to define the 2nd condition of the 14th ammendment. This is becaused it is a tenent of international law that "jurictiction" in terms of citizenship refers to one's home country, not where one is.
      Again, criminal law is a seperate issue – don't confuse the two.

  • George

    Um…to answer the main question posed by the article….because the Constitution says so.
    I think Republicans who want to commit political suicide try to repeal the 14th Amendment.

    It's not a "loophole"…if they are born here…they are American Citizens. Sorry. Obama didn't make that decision.