Time to limit 14th Amendment “anchor baby” language

The summer months of 1967 are recalled by many middle-aged hippies as the “Summer of Love.”  The summer of 2010 may be remembered as the “Summer of Immigration Discontent.”  From Arizona to Nebraska, and in political contests from California to Georgia, immigration debates raged white-hot across the land. 

  •  In Fremont, Nebraska a local, immigration-based law was passed that would require any person, regardless of their immigration status, to register with the local police and obtain a permit before being able to reside in any dwelling within the city limits.
  • In Phoenix, a federal judge granted in large part an injunction sought by the Obama Administration to halt implementation of the state law passed earlier this year, commonly referred to as “S.B. 1070,” that would have significantly enhanced the power of state and local law enforcement authorities to take action against known or suspected illegal aliens.
  • In Georgia’s gubernatorial primary, one Republican candidate endorsed establishing a “Guantanamo Bay of Georgia” to deal with the problem of illegal immigration.
  • Former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado has called for President Obama to be impeached, because he has abrogated his “duty” to protect the country “from invasion” by illegal immigrants.
  • In Washington, DC, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has reignited the debate over whether in fact the 14th Amendment to our Constitution automatically grants American citizenship to any baby born within our borders, regardless of whether the parents are in the country legally. 

The Fremont, Nebraska ordinance has been placed on temporary hold, and the Arizona law is now firmly enmeshed within the federal judiciary (which rarely is applauded for acting swiftly).  Still, the visceral reaction by many in this country to the topic of illegal immigration is not likely to die down any time soon; and certainly not before the vote in November.

Politics asides, the fact that at least some aspects of immigration policy are now being teed up for what is hoped will be definitive judicial rulings, is welcome news.  If the Arizona case moves through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court, all 50 states hopefully will have at least some guidance regarding whether and to what extent they can – consistent with principles of federalism – interfere with and enforce federal responsibilities.  And, if the courts take notice of the Fremont, Nebraska ordinance, perhaps municipalities across the country will better understand that infringing civil liberties of all in order to enforce immigration policies against a few, is not a permissible exercise of local government power.

Of special interest, however, as we enter the final month of this summer’s immigration discontent, is the issue of whether the 14th Amendment really does require states and the federal government to recognize as full-fledged citizens of the United States, babies whose only connection with this country is the fact that their mother was in the country unlawfully at the moment of their birth.  Just as the Supreme Court had never, until its Heller decision in 2008, ruled definitively that the Second Amendment in fact recognized an individual right to keep and bear arms, the high Court has never decided the scope or intent of the 14th Amendment’s so called “anchor baby” language.

Perhaps now one or more states will take action directly (through a legal challenge to the 14th Amendment) or indirectly (through passage of a state law to be challenged by the administration) to determine whether this 1868 Amendment, designed to ensure citizenship for former slaves, should continue to be interpreted to force states to recognize as recipients of taxpayer-funded services in their states, children born to foreign mothers not even lawfully in the country.  If this is part of the legacy of the summer of 2010, it will not have been such a bad one after all.

177 comments Add your comment

HDB

August 9th, 2010
10:52 am

Cold hard facts August 9th, 2010
10:13 am
“Can one ACCURATELY determine when a child is to be born??”

“HDB is so right. How can anybody tell when someone is born? Crazy talk, all this talk about “date of birth” and “birthdays” and all that other nonsense. At best you can only narrow it down to a five year window. The rest is just pseudoscience.”

Note my distinction: date to BE born versus date OF birth!! That’s two different things! The birthdate is when the occurrance HAPPENED….doctors estimate when the child is to BE born…..what about premature births….or births via C-Sections……some mothers give birth before or after their estimated due date….THAT’S the focus…..get your perspective right!!

Tech Buzz

August 9th, 2010
10:24 am
HDB what are you mental ? Here we go again “it not the poor child’s fault” your right take a gold star for the day..its the parents fault for being here illegally why in the name of all that;s holy would you grant citizenship to that child his patents 1) broke the law and 2) broke the law in most cases to cash in on the “my child is a U.S citizen” benefit…again you reward an illegal action. If the parents didn’t break the law we never have the problem. No more rewarding of those that do..period.

By LAW (which conservatives seem to decry when it’s counter to their ideology): 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”

Does it mention illegal or legal?? The LAW is pretty clear!! If the LAW is applied, the CHILD has rights that are not to be abrogated unless DUE PROCESS occurs!! What you are asking is that due process be DENIED to an American citizen!! Where does that lead us as a nation??? Sounds like apartheid to me….

Chief Three-Legs

August 9th, 2010
10:56 am

I completely agree: Repeal the 14th ammendment. And, make it retroactive to 1776 – O, wait – that’s not what you meant, is it?

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
11:00 am

Well, the liberals and liberal lawyers see separation of church and state to be very different to what our forefathers intended and the 2nd also. So we can just interpret the 14th to mean American citizens and be done with it.

Richard

August 9th, 2010
11:03 am

Out of curiosity, if the 14th amendment no longer applies, how do you get to be an American citizen in the first place? The illegal immigrant’s child is then a citizen of what country?

Linda

August 9th, 2010
11:07 am

The Silverios came to the US illegally with 3 children. Mrs. Silverio had her anchor baby prematurely costing Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton, CA $300,000, where 70% of babies are born to illegal aliens. Another of the Silverios children gave birth. The Silverios earn $18,000 per year picking fruit & the children earn $12,000 from welfare (one has asthma). The cost to send their children to school is $7,000 per child per year X 5 = $35,000 X 12 yrs. = $420,000. CA needs a bailout.

In 10 yrs., 60 hospitals closed in CA. because they were not paid.

The busiest maternity ward in the US is Parkland Memorial Hospital Dallas, where 70% of women giving birth are illegals. 11,200 babies per year received $34.5 million in Medicaid, $9.5 million from the fed. govt. & $31.3 million from Dallas taxpayers.

The story in Atlanta is not any better.

Boneyard Randy

August 9th, 2010
11:07 am

does a baby born to an illegal on a flight from Mexico City to Toronto count as a citizen if it took place over Oklahoma?

Frontman

August 9th, 2010
11:14 am

Richard,
That’s why a new amendment would finally define what being a natural-born citizen is. As to your 2nd question, a country can only define citizenship for itself, not for other countries as well. The U.S. could define whether or not the illegal immigrant’s child is a U.S. citizen, but other countries are free to have their own requirements. Underlying all of this is the fundamental question: where are the requirements for U.S. citizenship actually laid out? Seems to be a haphazard mish-mash of common law and court-inferred diktat. I think what is needed is to define it in as absolute terms as possible. That’s why we may have to go the constitutional amendment route in order to make it happen; if you pass a law, there will be a Constitutional challenge per the 14th amendment anyway.

Don't Forget

August 9th, 2010
11:19 am

So what happens if we deny these babies US citizenship? Would any country grant them citizenship?

oldschoolrider

August 9th, 2010
11:20 am

Same story every city! Except here in California, we pay over $16,000 per year/student. The anchor babies are always the sickest and the mothers have no prenatal care, typically. The baby is instantly elegable for social security and public assistance, as are the parents. Food stamps, welfare, education, hospital care-birth-follow up treatment-therapy, PRISONS, law enforcement , on and on! An while most work labor jobs, they pay no taxes, so their is zero contribution for the services aims at citizens. They typically take these services for decades, then have kids who do the same.
This is simple.
Do some math. Citizens pay every cent the illegals take. FACT!

lovelyliz

August 9th, 2010
11:21 am

Becasue the 2nd amendment is much more dangerous to the populace of our country. It also one of the most loosely interpreted of the constitutional amendments.

Well, than and it would drive the GOP crazy.

ga_bulldawg79

August 9th, 2010
11:22 am

Tech Buzz, Thank you for explaining my point.
@Lib, Criminals can’t legally own guns, and criminals lose certain rights or have others restricted once convicted of a crime, so the 2nd Amendment wouldn’t apply to them. At the end of the day the 2nd Amendment was placed in the Constitution because monarches/goverment tried to disarm the people of England in the 16th century so that they could do whatever they wanted without fear of revolt. The Founders feared the same thing could happen here. And remember our rights are unalienable which means they are given by our Creator, not the government. The government’s job is to protect the rights and just because you don’t like my right to protect myself from a criminal or an oppressive government doesn’t mean you or our government has a right to take mine right away, because you don’t give it to me in the first place. Our great Republic is based on ‘individual rights’ not “collective” ones.

That's nice

August 9th, 2010
11:23 am

Hey Drifter,

You can correct me on this if I am wrong, but I do not believe that any of the Native American tribes had any laws against entering the “country”.

It is a nice bleeding heart kind of thought, but please don’t overstate your opinion.

My family came here before the American Revolution legally.

Frontman

August 9th, 2010
11:25 am

HDB,
You seem hysterically devoted to the 14th amendment as it is. The point has been made repeatedly that law has, and can be, amended. Most contributors to this thread are saying that the LAW needs to be changed. If the LAW couldn’t be changed, then abortion would still be illegal, right?

christian

August 9th, 2010
11:30 am

i thought the conservative christians wanted OBAMA to uphold the constitution…now they want to change ther constitution to fit their racist beliefs…hypocricy at its best

christian

August 9th, 2010
11:33 am

Nice job of bringing religion into a totally unrelated topic.

You forgot to say that they are racist as well.

Grow up and learn to make a point and not just bash someone because you do not agree with them.

Frontman

August 9th, 2010
11:39 am

christian,
I’m not really sure what your point was. Were you referring to my post? Religion had nothing to do with it; it was just about law. Not sure who you are talking about bashing people and being racist. Could you clarify? And do you have a standard rule that the word “racist” must be included in every one of your posts? If so, just include it as the first or last word so it is more easily ignorable.

Dr. Pangloss

August 9th, 2010
11:51 am

“The summer months of 1967 are recalled by many middle-aged hippies as the ‘Summer of Love.’”

The Summer of Love was 1969. Not that I was ever a hippie.

And this is a phony issue.

christian

August 9th, 2010
11:53 am

if the illegals were white then they wouldnt be a problem

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
12:12 pm

Linda

August 9th, 2010
11:07 am
Good post! However if the rich democrats would only pay their taxes….

Lib on a Red Island

August 9th, 2010
12:15 pm

@# Techbuzz and ga_bulldaeg: You guys are missing my point. You are arguing that the 14th ammendment should be changed based on the intent of what was written, not the actual words. I am trying to use the 2nd ammendment as an example of how this can open a big can of worms for issues that the GOP would prefer to argue “as written” versus “intent. I’m not arguing the 2nd, I am a gun owner.

@ga-bulldawg: You said “The government’s job is to protect the rights and just because you don’t like my right to protect myself from a criminal or an oppressive government doesn’t mean you or our government has a right to take mine right away, because you don’t give it to me in the first place.” I could say the same thing for the 14th. Those babies have been given the right to be a citizen of this country, what gives you or the current batch of politicians the right to take that away from them just because you don’t like it?

See my point? You don’t want your rights messed with but you want to mess with others rights when it benefits your point of view. That’s a dangerous precedent to set.

HDB

August 9th, 2010
12:18 pm

Frontman August 9th, 2010
11:25 am

First…since this IS the law….it must be followed!
Second: What you are looking at proposing is what is occurring in Germany…in that only CERTAIN people become citizens…isn’t there enough balkinization in this nation as it is??
Third: Many unjust laws are overturned by judicial fiat…then updated by legislative mandate
Fourth: Isn’t it true that conservatives want the government to GET OUT OF THE WAY?? Now you’re asking for governmental intervention!! Which way is it??

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
12:24 pm

christian

August 9th, 2010
11:53 am
Mabe if they were white they would not be illegals?

One crazy woman

August 9th, 2010
12:30 pm

I ain’t got to worry about my mortgage, ain’t gotta worry about puttin gas in my SUV. Obama say if I help him, he’s gonna help me.
Just how longs it gonna be befo NOBODY werks and the Govmint takes care of everbody. I’m tired of waitin. I want da Govmint to do it now.
That is ecept for dose evil rich folk—they still gotta work!

Sick&Tired

August 9th, 2010
12:43 pm

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
12:24 pm

If you weren’t the first to occupy the land, then you are illegal. So, that makes you an illegal regardless of your skin color.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
12:50 pm

America is not safe, according to ICE agents, & we’re being lied to.

Their entire union, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, representing all 7000 employees, sworn to protect us, has turned on the Obama adm. They voted unanimously against his leadership heads, accusing them of dishonesty, failure to abide by their oath to uphold the law & compromising our safety (& theirs) to further promote his amnesty agenda.

90% of ICE detainees are first encountered in jails, arrested on criminal charges, & sent to play bingo & learn to dance. The letter describes a massive criminal alien problem in the US…large scale release of criminals.” Most ICE agents are no longer allowed to make arrests. They can’t search detainees in ICE facilities for weapons or drugs.

This vote of no confidence has been covered up since 6/11 & will continue to lack coverage in the alphabet media.

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
12:50 pm

Sick&Tired

August 9th, 2010
12:43 pm
HORSEPUCKY! The native indians were squatters.

Larry

August 9th, 2010
1:00 pm

Since the parents do not consider our laws to be relevant to them, and since our federal government does not enforce the current immigration laws, there may be a question regarding “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” since both parties ignore the law and these individuals are not subject to deportation as called for under the current law.

HDB

August 9th, 2010
1:07 pm

Wiley August 9th, 2010
12:50 pm
“Sick&Tired

August 9th, 2010
12:43 pm
HORSEPUCKY! The native indians were squatters.”

Hmmmm…Native were here when the Mayflower landed….Mayflower settlers moved the Natives out; who’s the squatter?
Cherokee Nation was displaced by whites in Florida: who are the squatters?
Creek, Apache, Najavo, Iriquois nations were displaced by white settlers..natives are deligated to live in reservations; WHO’S THE QUATTERS?

Please redefine the definition……………

barking frog

August 9th, 2010
1:10 pm

Just mark through the word born on all the copies.

barking frog

August 9th, 2010
1:12 pm

The US believes that native americans were the
reason God made Oklahoma.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
1:16 pm

History always repeats itself. Reagan make a mistake with amnesty in 1986. He failed to secure the borders first. There was extensive document fraud with illegals trying to prove they had been living here continuously for 5 yrs. & were law-abiding. The number who applied far exceeded the projections. Laws against employers were not enforced.

What has changed in 24 yrs.? The border is still not secure. There’s at least 12 million illegals here (as of yesterday) compared to the 3 million granted amnesty in 1986. We have more laws, few of which are being enforced. States & cities are in dire situations, especially those who harbor illegals. We have terrorists seeking entry into our country to kill all of us.

Americans will never support amnesty again until the borders are secure. All amnesty does is encourage more illegal immigration & Democratic votes. Illegals are being used a pawns.

barking frog

August 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

Numbers may lie, there’s 12 million mexican restaurants here.

MU in GA

August 9th, 2010
1:51 pm

I’m amazed at the number of women who seem disturbed by the thought of a change to the constitution. Please go read up on your history particularly the part about the 19th amendment.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
1:55 pm

A dozen GOP lawmakers are trying to get to the bottom of a memo regarding granting amnesty by executive order.

How much nerve would Obama have & how desperate would he be to grant amnesty without congressional approval before the November elections?

How much money would the reorganized ACORN make signing up each illegal multiple times to vote?

Would there be any tea left in America from all the new tea party attendees?

Jefferson

August 9th, 2010
1:58 pm

That would be 12 no votes on any given subject…

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
1:59 pm

HDB

August 9th, 2010
1:07 pm
Well, blacks didnt return to Africa so I guess they are the squatters. White christains were promised this land, didnt you know?

Not cool

August 9th, 2010
1:59 pm

I find it hypocritical that we conservatives are willing to easily hold debate on amending the Constitution when it comes to the 14th amendment, but God forbid we even think about regulating our right to bear arms according to the 2nd.

Amending the Constitution to “solve” a problem that could be solved with just the implementation of our current laws sets a dangerous precedent. I’m sure our founding fathers might not have foreseen the illegal immigration problem that we currently have. Nevertheless, they were aware that being born in this nation was a blessing, and that being born within “the jurisdiction” of the United States entitled you to legal and natural rights that no person, state, or political majority could infringe upon. Now, to debate whether or not to take away those rights from an American citizen just because of the legal status of their parents is unnatural. For remember we are discussing the citizenship of a person born here not of their parents; the parents shall not be granted any special treatment because of their child but the child is and will be an American citizen by “Jus soli” (law of ground)

Jconservative

August 9th, 2010
2:28 pm

As the Republican National Committee pointed out over the weekend, the 14th Amendment is a purely Republican amendment. Not a single Democratic member of congress vote for it.

Now I have no idea why the RNC made that pronouncement, but they did.

Now you have the Republican members of congress wanting to examine/change the language of the 14th Amendment.

I would think the quickest way to get a Supreme Court decision is to get a bill through Congress and signed into law. The Supreme Court will handle it within a year. See the Line Item Veto Bill that the Court shot down within months of Clinton signing it into law.

Heads up! There are already rumblings in the pro-life community that any change to the interpretation of the 14th Amendment is “anti-life”.
So the debate may move from the “immigration” battlefront to the “pro-life” battlefront. Or pit the two groups in a head to head confrontation.

Gerald West

August 9th, 2010
2:31 pm

Typical “conservative” ploy, Bob. Stir up the rabble with a hate issue, but offer no solution. Actually, there’s not a solution the American people will tolerate. So, keep the hate stirred so that nothing at all will be done about the illegal immigration “problem”.

Now, what about all those gay people demanding their same-sex marriage rights under the 14th Amendment? Spew some hate on that next!

Where would America be if we got rid of all the children born to illegal immigrants and prevented gay people from marrying? Right where we are now, with a declining economy and dim prospects for a better future.

OneFreeMan

August 9th, 2010
2:35 pm

Gotta blame somebody….Instead of balming US Businessmen for shipping high paying job offshore and replacing them with low-paying jobs and CREDIT, blame people coming here to work.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
2:38 pm

While we’re amending the constitution, let’s amend term limits, define marriage, require patriotism & a balanced budget & promote free enterprise.

HDB

August 9th, 2010
3:02 pm

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
1:59 pm
HDB

August 9th, 2010
1:07 pm
Well, blacks didnt return to Africa so I guess they are the squatters. White christains were promised this land, didnt you know?

Who promised them the land?? The Natives didn’t!! The preponderance of black people came here BY FORCE!! Just as the Natives were forcibily removed from their lands…so were the African blacks taken from their homes and families…by FORCE!!

mike

August 9th, 2010
3:14 pm

Isn’t it ironic all the folks who talk about illegal immigrants are the descendants of the ones who stole, murdered, and generally crooked their way into this country. They tried to exterminate the Native Americans and used blacks as slave labor. It is amazing to see those morons each night on the local and national news talk about taking their country back. If you are from Georgia, then you know Old Bob and his brand of politics. So pushing this agenda is within his scope of reasoning. Sort of sad to see this in this day and age. But what else do these people have.

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
3:15 pm

Well I can tell you why people are talking ammending the constitution. It is because we have a President whose administration is bound and determined to force social laws and values upon the American citizen. The public other than the present reigning party does not want this administration to burden this country with more debt simply by allowing illegal immigrants citizen status so they can vote them back into office. You can all it politics but I call it throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I and my family will not support this type of Chicago style menuevers. POTUS is very close to becoming a KING.

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
3:16 pm

mike

August 9th, 2010
3:14 pm
Yepper and a man got to know his limitations.

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
3:20 pm

HDB

August 9th, 2010
3:02 pm
Ever heard of indentured servants? Did you know the first colony in Ga was formed by convicts made to clear the land? Yep, they settled it. Of course I do not know if all the convicts were white but it was a majority. Oh and remember you folks left Africa to colonize/relocate into the world according to history. It was OK for you then but not for those da*n whites in exploring and settling the new world.

Sick&Tired

August 9th, 2010
3:25 pm

Linda,
Patriotism is more than just waving a flag on the sidelines and buying bumper stickers;
It should be defined as required to serve your country:

Man or woman 18 years of age must register

Regardless of your social status (Poor, middle class, millionaire, billionaire or in the trillions)

Regardless of your education plans (already in college, plan to go to college or graduating from college)

Regardless of you being an only child (son or daughter)

You must fight on the battle field (not on the sidelines or just as support) – men & women

You must deploy with no excuses and regardless of your (political, religious or military views)

While enlisted you must respect the current President and deploy upon notification

I’m sure I could think of a few more patriotic requirements.

HDB

August 9th, 2010
3:34 pm

Wiley August 9th, 2010
3:20 pm

Look, colonization was required so that the world would be as it is….but the preponderance of colonization was done by Europeans….not Africans. African exploration primarily took place on the continent. European colonization started with the Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans….modern history shows the French, British, Spanish, Portuguese exerted thewir global influence on the African continent. It is also historical fact that white people spread more diseases and killed indigeneuos populations by disease and force than any other nationality!! (Quoting HISTORY…not my personal opinion!!) Christopher Columbus brrought smallpox to the Americans.

“No evidence has been found of any smallpox-like diseases in Latin America before the arrival of European explorers. With the discovery of the New World, Europeans brought with them Old World diseases, most notably smallpox, which were to decimate the native population.

The Amerindians of Latin America had no natural resistance to the disease, and smallpox was to spread rapidly and disastrously. Spanish Conquistadors were set to wage war against the civilizations of Latin America with steel and horse, but no weapon could have been more lethal than smallpox.”

From: www. suite101.com/content/the-history-of-smallpox-in-latin-america-a152524#ixzz0w8gEXIL4

Linda

August 9th, 2010
3:35 pm

One Free @ 2:35, Why is it wrong for a US businessman to (legally) go offshore to work & it’s okay for an alien to come here illegally to work?

Assuming the US businessman & the illegal alien are both promoting the products of Merck Pharmaceuticals, is it more or less egregious for the American to legally sell cocaine to hospitals offshore than for the illegal alien to sell it in streets of America?

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
3:38 pm

Linda

August 9th, 2010
2:38 pm
You took my breath away!

Sick&Tired
August 9th, 2010
3:25 pm
I am sick&tire of liberals. Is that original or what?