Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, March 18, 2011

Detaching the Anchor from Anchor Babies

The worst decision of the U.S. Supreme Court was the Dred Scott decision in 1857, which ruled that African Americans born in the United States could not be U.S. citizens. The purpose of the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, was to overrule that Dred Scott decision and assure that African Americans born in the U.S. would be citizens. Those who support court-made law should forever be reminded of Abraham Lincoln's warning that if we accept the supremacy of judges, "the people will have ceased to be their own rulers."

However, the 14th Amendment included the important words that citizenship depends on being born "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. Those words denied citizenship to American Indians because they were subject to the jurisdiction of their tribal governments, even though they obviously were "born" in the U.S. Congress did not grant citizenship to American Indians on reservations until 56 years later, in 1924.

Babies born in the U.S. to illegal aliens are clearly citizens of their mother's country, so granting U.S. citizenship at birth creates the possibility of dual citizenship, which the United States does not recognize as valid. To become a U.S. citizen, immigrants are required by our law not only to swear allegiance to the United States but also to absolutely renounce any and all allegiance to the nation from which they came.

Congressman Steve King has introduced a bill in Congress to clarify U.S. citizenship. It states that the "subject to the jurisdiction" phrase in the Fourteenth Amendment means a baby born in the United States is a U.S. citizen only if one parent is a U.S. citizen. The 14th Amendment gives Congress (not the judiciary, not the executive branch), the power to enforce the citizenship clause.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

Further Reading: Immigration

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