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

Linda

August 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

Sick & Tired @ 3:25, I think we should start by bringing our flag & pledge back into the classroom, along with teaching civics, the constitution & American history.

When the next generation learns that the “separation of church & state” is located nowhere in the constitution, that it’s a figment of the progressives’ imagination, maybe we can get a little prayer back in the classroom.

(It would also help if fifth graders were still taught science to learn that breathing/air doesn’t cause global warming.)

No More Progressives!

August 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

Georgian

August 9th, 2010
7:52 am
It is the plain language in the 14th Amendment that clearly states that those born on U.S. soil are u.S. citizens. Period. What about your strict “Constitutionalist Principles”? Hypocrite!

Now tell us what the 2nd Amendment says………….

This should be fun…..

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
3:56 pm

HDB

August 9th, 2010
3:34 pm
They all came out of Africa.

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

Linda

August 9th, 2010
3:53 pm
I need oxygen! Where have you been? A real American! Keep posting please!

Linda

August 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

Wiley @ 3:38, I took your breath away? Then you won’t be leaving your carbon footprint on the environment. Pray tell how you are to continue to clean your glasses, blow out your birthday candles & blow up balloons.

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
4:01 pm

Your posts will resuscitate me!

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
4:04 pm

Ok I will stop. However, Linda and others drive the progressive liberals off the blog. She directs her comments with facts and American traditions and customs. Soon they will gang up and personally attack her. It is their motto.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
4:06 pm

Wiley @ 4:01, Then you will harm the environment. Carbon dioxide is your breath when you exhale. Did you know that?

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
4:11 pm

Well, but Al Gore wont like me anymore if I contaminate the environment with CO2. I guess I should breath in the fumes of his jet exhausts.

I think you have intimidated all the others.

Deal? Get Real!

August 9th, 2010
4:12 pm

This is nothing more than the latest wedge issue. Thanks to all for playing. Tools.

sam

August 9th, 2010
4:12 pm

One way to slow down this illegal immigration stuff is to put a bounty on their heads. Every real American ought to just shoot a Mexican. That would clean up the mess right away. About those anchor babies–we have enough little b…tards born to welfare mothers who are legal, why would we want any more? We can’t afford all these leeches.

Deal? Get Real!

August 9th, 2010
4:18 pm

All Americans who have ever benefited from the labor of one of these “leeches” are responsible for this problem and have broken the law. Such a shame to suffer the consequences of your own actions.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
4:19 pm

Wiley @ 4:01, Let them attack me personally. I can hold my own.

They should be tired of the same old rhetoric & childish name-calling. They are like the boy who cried wolf in Aesop’s Fable. The moral of the story was, “Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed. The liar will lie one, twice & then perish when he tells the truth.”

No More Progressives!

August 9th, 2010
4:20 pm

HDB

August 9th, 2010
3:34 pm

The Amerindians of Latin America had no natural resistance to the disease, and smallpox was to spread rapidly and disastrously.

I wasn’t aware that you had a background in immunology. Tell us, HDB, what society does have a “natural resistance” to smallpox?

While you’re at it, explain to us how the AIDS virus was transmitted from primates…………..

And for your encore, tell us that the rats that spread the Bubonic Plague to Crimea in 1346 were “white.”

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
4:21 pm

sam

August 9th, 2010
4:12 pm
Calm down or your blood pressure will shoot through the roof? I agree with your logic but your means are too much. Besides, you pull a gun out and the liberals will run to mexico. Then drug cartels will declare war on us.

HDB

August 9th, 2010
4:25 pm

Linda -August 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

Make sure that when American history is taught….ALL of American history is taught….not just the Euro-centric versions that those in Texas wish to claim as true American history!!

Prayer still exists in the classroom — ask any student who’s preparing to take an exam!!

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
4:04 pm
Ok I will stop. However, Linda and others drive the progressive liberals off the blog. She directs her comments with facts and American traditions and customs

LEst you forget that many facts, custom, and traditions began as progressive ideas….
1) Father’s Day: In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.[
2) National Park Service: The first effort by any government to set aside such protected lands was in the United States, on April 20, 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation to set aside four sections of land around what is now Hot Springs, Arkansas to protect the natural, thermal springs and adjoining mountainsides for the future disposal of the US government.
3) Mother’s Day: One of the early calls to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States was the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” by Julia Ward Howe. Written in 1870, it was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe’s feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level
4) Civil Rights Act of 1964: The conference bill was passed by both houses of Congress, and was signed into law by President Johnson on July 2, 1964. Legend has it that as he put down his pen Johnson told an aide, referring to the Democratic Party, “We have lost the South for a generation.”

Enough???

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
4:25 pm

Linda

August 9th, 2010
4:19 pm
THAT, I have no doubt.

Wiley

August 9th, 2010
4:32 pm

HDB

August 9th, 2010
4:25 pm
HDB

Mothers day? What has that become? Fathers day? Only the liberal biased media knows when that is. Civil rights a good thing. Parks? That is the government controlling property. You know you will never own your own property. The government will keep you paying for it as long as your live–property taxes. Well, if your are a rich democrat you might not pay taxes.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
4:42 pm

This is my plan. The Tea Party sneaks up on them at the border. We confiscate their drugs, sell them in California & pay off the national debt by the November elections. (Will get rid of Cal. & debt at same time.) Back at the border, we call up Williams Brothers Concrete Co. & have the drug dealers/kidnappers, etc. build a fence wearing the pink prison uniforms from Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail. We buy pink socks to match. Someone will be assigned to go the Kennesaw Mt. Nalt. Battlefield Park & borrow the cannon balls. We’ll show gang members what chain gangs are all about.

Deal? Get Real!

August 9th, 2010
4:43 pm

HDB- You’re casting your pearls to swine here. Thanks for showing that there are other opinions than those spewed here. Don’t expect to change any minds though.No thanks to ACLU member Barr for throwing the red meat out here. Our immigration problems are not the fault of the 14th ammendment. We let these illegals in because of their cheap labor. What? Did we expect them not to procreate in their off hours? The problem lies in the mirror.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
5:02 pm

HDB @ 4:25, I’ll give you an A minus for not reminding us that FDR extended the Great Depression for over 10 years & that history is repeating itself as I type. I would venture to say that the great majority of Americans have no clue as to the progressive agenda in 2010. I can assure you that it has absolutely nothing to do with recognizing mamas & daddies let alone with personal responsibility & freedoms. My eyes are wide open & know exactly what they are up to.

Deal? Get Real!

August 9th, 2010
5:09 pm

” My eyes are wide open & know exactly what they are up to.”

Too bad your mind is so closed to anything except right-wing dogma. Your oh-so-vigilent eyes do not give me comfort. They’re actually kind of creepy.

Jefferson

August 9th, 2010
5:22 pm

Linda — should we vote on what prayers we have at school? I’m all for it as long as it is my kind of prayer. What if I get outnumbered?

Jeb

August 9th, 2010
5:40 pm

I say deport adulterers. Oops..Bob would have to go.

Bob

August 9th, 2010
5:40 pm

I don’t have a problem with the baby becoming a citizen, however the mother should still be deported. If she wants to take the baby with her that is her decision and the baby can come back when it is 18. If the mother does not want the baby (still her decision), I am sure we can find a home for it.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
5:52 pm

Deal @ 5:09, Over 30 yrs. ago when my husband introduced me to our new accountant, my husband warned him that I would be asking a lot of questions. I’ve never forgotten my husband’s perspective of me in our early marriage & I’ve never changed. I question everything & everyone & I learn something new every day. I was raised in a Dem home & hometown & converted to a Rep as Dems became more liberal & I became more conservative, as people often do as they mature & experience life. The only things my mind are closed to are sins outlined in the Bible & breaking the law.

You should take “comfort” in the fact that there are still people on both sides of the political spectrum that question each others’ perspectives & try to seek the truth & common ground, without calling each other “creepy.”

Linda

August 9th, 2010
6:13 pm

Jefferson @ 5;22, I think all prayers should focus more on thanking than asking. We should only ask for God’s blessings & pray for each other.

I thank God everyday for sending me problems & challenges. If other people did not have them, I would not have had a job for 40 yrs. If I did not have my share of them, I would not be the person I am today.

May God bless you.

christian

August 9th, 2010
7:40 pm

this country is getting to dark for white christian conservatives….

Lee

August 9th, 2010
7:42 pm

Here’s what the 14th Amendment says:

“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.”

Key phrase, ….AND subject to the jurisdiction thereof…

Plainly put, if you are an illegal alien, you are not subject to the jurisdiction of the state.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
7:43 pm

According to immigrationcounters.com,
22,937,000 illegal aliens in the USA
585,400 illegals other than Mexicans (terrorists perhaps)
$35,760,000,000 wired to Mexico since 1/06 (that’s billions)
$298,100,000,000 wired to Latin America since 1996 (that’s billions)
$397,500,000,000 cost of social services to illegal aliens since 1996 (that’s billions)
5,300,000 number of children of illegal aliens in public schools
$173,726,000,000 cost of illegal alien children in K-12 since 1996 (that’s billions)
428,404 number of illegal aliens currently incarcerated
$27,250,000,000 cost of incarcerating illegals since ‘08
750,000 illegal alien fugitives
5,050,000 anchor babies since ‘02
11,750,000 skilled job provided to illegals
Their $10 per hour jobs are costing American taxpayers billions of dollars per year.
The world is laughing at American for our lack of securing our borders, our self-imposed drilling for our own natural resources, our belief that air causes global warming & our president’s ability to appoint communist/socialist czars to implement national policy.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
8:08 pm

Christian @ 7:40, Give it up. You are not a Christian, a speller or a conservative.

To translate, you are taking the name of God in vain (Exodus 20:17), you are showing your lack of fundamental education (fifth grade) & you are displaying the liberals’ mantra of calling conservatives racists which is so old hack that it went out with flat-earthers. Cry wolf one more time & see what it gets you.

christian

August 9th, 2010
8:09 pm

@LINDA

U SOUND LIKE A RIGHTWING commie….u and the rest of your commie rightwing conservatives didnt say anything about illegal aliens until OBAMA became president…y’all didnt make a peep for 8 yrs while DUBYA GUMP was in office…typical rightwing hypocricy

christian

August 9th, 2010
8:12 pm

@LINDA

the truth never gets old…if the illegals were white it wouldnt be a problem…but then again it wasnt a problem until we got a black president…the country is getting to dark for you…lol…and who are u to say who is and isnt a christan?…u must get your talking points from drug addict LIMBAUGH

olderandwiser49

August 9th, 2010
8:12 pm

“Subject to the jurisdiction thereof” doesn’t mean born in the U.S. It is common law that children are aligned with the same country to which their parents owe their allegiance. Since illegals owe their allegiance to the country from which they came, until or unless they become legal U.S. citizens, their children are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S., but rather, subject to the jurisdiction of their parents’ home country. Seems pretty clear-cut to me. If we would stop paying to house, feed, and educate the children of illegals (and why we do makes no sense at all), and eliminate (or “clarify”, in politcally correct words) the “anchor baby” law, two-thirds or more would probably return to their homelands. Instead, we do everything but put up signs reading, “Welcome to Obamaland, all illegal immigrants. Feel free to choose any or all of these free benefits, or free to you, anyway. We have housing, food, jobs, education, and medical treatment free for the taking, just for coming over the border. Wife knocked-up? No worries. Just cross the line, and make your kid a U.S. citizen. That’s when we really sweeten the pot for you and your family, with welfare programs and benefits almost as good as we give our politicians, and certainly better than we offer our own citizens. Why are they better? Because they have to pay for theirs, and yours, too!!!” Maybe I shouldn’t print this. Next thing you know, there will be signs just like this all along the border, but they will have Obama’s picture on them with the slogan, “Another great project arising from my wonderful stimulus package!”

christian

August 9th, 2010
8:20 pm

@olderwiser49

ITS funny that u conseratives said nothing about illegal immigration until a black president came to power
…where was y’alls phony outrage when DUBYA GUMP was in office for 8 yrs

Linda

August 9th, 2010
9:47 pm

Christian @ 8:09 & 8:12, I was unaware that any Communists were in the conservative party. Would that not negate what we stand for: individual freedoms & the right to fail? Enlighten me.

On the other hand, I can name you bunches of Communists/Marxists/Socialists in the Obama adm., including Obama, from his czars to his friends, appointees & their quotes from their own mouths to prove my point. It would take up many spaces on this blog.

If you would read my former post on this blog today, I said that Reagan make a mistake in 1986 by granting amnesty without securing the border. It only caused the problem to worsen. The problem is that we have 4 times the illegal aliens today than we had then. It didn’t solve the problem then & it won’t now. Americans will never again fall for amnesty again until the border is secure! Amnesty in1986 for 3 millions illegal aliens made the problem much worse, one of those causing another over 12 million to cross the border.

Both the Rep & Dem parties have supported illegal immigration against the wishes of the American people, for decades, for their own political agenda.

I must be stupid but I was unaware Mexicans & Latinos were not white. When did we start going by shades of color? When did we start discriminating against people from other countries & Americans who like to sit out by the pool?

Conservatives are not against Obama because he is black or half-black. They voted for them. They are against his policies. Calling us racists is like crying wolf & old rhetoric.

I know a Christian & you show no signs of being onel

I don’t listen to the radio.

Tinsel

August 9th, 2010
9:50 pm

It comes as no surprise that libs want those babies anchored here in the U.S. thereby severing the umbilical cord to their illegal parents. Libs have no interest in the family unit.

Brown v Brown.

Linda

August 9th, 2010
10:00 pm

Christian @ 8:30, Americans, both conservatives & liberals have been screaming to secure the border for decades. It’s only the politicians in DC that are against it, both Dems & Reps for different reasons.

kamakiri001

August 9th, 2010
10:37 pm

Parts of the 14th Amendment have already been repealed previously (by the 19th and 26th Amendments):

“Amendment XIV, Section 2 eliminated the three-fifths rule, specifically stating that representation to the House is to be divided among the states according to their respective numbers, counting all persons in each state (except Native Americans who were not taxed). The provision also punished states that did not let all males over the age of 21 vote by reducing their population for purposes of representation in Congress.

With the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, the right to vote in federal elections was extended to women. Eighteen- to twenty-one-year-olds became voters in 1971, with the adoption of Amendment XXVI. But language in this section has been used to support the constitutionality of state laws than deny felons the right to vote.”

So how come nobody is complaining about the previous alterations to the 14th Amendment (via the 19th and 26th Amendment) until now?

No More Progressives!

August 10th, 2010
5:58 am

HDB

August 9th, 2010
4:25 pm
Linda -August 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

Make sure that when American history is taught….ALL of American history is taught….not just the Euro-centric versions that those in Texas wish to claim as true American history!!

Well, HDB, another pearl of your version of wisdom. I suppose that schools everywhere could teach Afro-centric history………if it were written down. Remove the Egyptian influence in the north, and the Dutch/English influence in the south, and what do you have? A continent that lives the same way today as they did 5,000 years ago.

History lesson over.

Bob

August 10th, 2010
10:04 am

Every person should have a right to be a citizen of some country. Every right ever granted, either by the State or by God, has been used and abused. Does that mean every right being abused should be abolished? If I, a US citizen, marries a Mexican Citizen living in the US, does that mean my children should not be citizens of ANY country? They wouldn’t be Mexican and, under the proposal to limit the 14th Amendment, not citizens of the US either.

Also these so-called “anchor babies” don’t stay babies. They grow up to become adult American citizens in 18 short years, with the full rights and responsibilities of a citizen. They pay taxes. They have to work for a living. They become us. How does that threaten America? How does that do anything but strengthen America?

Keep the 14th Amendment the way it is.

zeke

August 10th, 2010
10:18 am

THERE ARE NO NATIVE AMERICANS! THEY ALSO CAME HERE FROM ELSEWHERE! GET OVER IT!!

Eddie

August 10th, 2010
10:21 am

You are a citizen of the country you are born in. That’s basic. Nothing else makes any sense.

I'm Here from the government and I'm here to help

August 10th, 2010
10:41 am

Time to follow the first paragraph of the Constitution!

No More Progressives!

August 10th, 2010
10:46 am

Eddie

August 10th, 2010
10:21 am
You are a citizen of the country you are born in. That’s basic. Nothing else makes any sense.

Nick Price, one of the best golfers of the 90’s, was born in Durbin, S. Africa. He currently resides in Florida.

Is he 1) African-American, 2) African, 3) American, or 4) all of the above?

Grob Hahn

August 10th, 2010
10:48 am

I get so tired of hearing people proclaim that present-day Americans are “immigrants” or that we are here unlawfully in some way. As if we personally came here and took the place in the night when the native population wasn’t looking. Settling this country took centuries and the land would have been taken by any number of other nations if left to the native population to protect and hold. That’s just a fact of life on earth, you only keep what you can defend. And the native population was too sparse and disconnected to defend the entire mass. They only realized it was worth defending when they had already lost it. But we wouldn’t even have an America if not for the continuous warfare with the native population. They taught colonists how to fight and ultimately the colonists defeated a far more powerful master nation to achieve freedom. My own family has been here since before the Civil War. I’m not an immigrant and I’m not leaving my native country; America. So whine about it all you like. Sure you can show me a few disgruntled (in their own mind) people who will swear up and down that anyone who isn’t a “Native American” is clearly an illegal immigrant even to this day. Sorry, but that’s just a dream and has no basis in reality. Americans aren’t going to pack up and leave after working so hard to build this nation and improve the world in the process. Instead of sitting around griping about a time you weren’t even part of, why not live in reality and become part of America and America’s future. Surely you know that you can’t fix the past. Ever!
Grobbbbbbbbbbbbb

No More Progressives!

August 10th, 2010
11:17 am

While you open borders liberals are cogitating on the above, look up the phrase “sovereign nation.” It may mean nothing to you apologists out there, that think the greatest nation in world history is resposible for every miniscule problem that befalls anybody. But it means something to those of us willing to adhere to the law and die defending it.

The Romans lasted 1,480 years. We’ll be luck to make 250.

mpercy

August 10th, 2010
2:49 pm

As a libertarian, I am for more open borders and freer trade. However, unchecked immigration is not compatible with a welfare state (which as a libertarian, I also oppose). Since we have a welfare state, at this point I concluded that I have to oppose unchecked (illegal) immigration.

And the proposal is not to do away with the 14th, but rather the clarify for the modern era and strengthen the application of the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”.

In 1873 the United States Attorney General ruled the word “jurisdiction” under the Fourteenth Amendment to mean:

The word “jurisdiction” must be understood to mean absolute and complete jurisdiction, such as the United States had over its citizens before the adoption of this amendment… Aliens, among whom are persons born here and naturalized abroad, dwelling or being in this country, are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States only to a limited extent. Political and military rights and duties do not pertain to them. (14 Op. Atty-Gen. 300.)

At the time, the phrase was understood to exclude Indians, as they were technically subjects of a sovereign power (their own tribes as recognized by treaty).

Only recently has “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” come to be seen to have been completely erased from the clause (apparently only to apply to children of diplomats).

I see absolutely no problem with clarifying the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” to require explicitly that a child born on US soil will be a US citizen if and only if at least one parent was a natural born or naturalized citizen at the time the child was born (legal visa holders and illegal aliens are not citizens!).

Of course, such a change would not be applied retroactively, and so does not affect anyone already born so crying about that is a smoke screen. Instead it merely removes one of the incentives for coming here or staying here illegally in the future. And is clearly in line with the thinking of the framers of the 14th, who were struggling with language to define former slaves as citizens but not to include everyone who could, however tenuously, claim citizenship.

Jefferson

August 10th, 2010
4:12 pm

The problem is what to do with the illegals that are here, this discussion about the 14th does nothing but incite bs and solves nothing.

mpercy

August 10th, 2010
7:26 pm

HDB: 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….

Not at all, what we’re discussing is amending the Constitution to clarify the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. Following clear and Constitutional principles to do so. Having Congress and 3/4 of the States agree. And the change would apply only to *future* children of illegal aliens.

Due process is certainly followed, and it is not at all apartheid nor DENIAL of DUE PROCESS to insist that illegal aliens not be given the benefit of citizenship for their children simply for having successfully avoided deportation for their several criminal offenses before they managed to give birth.