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

mpercy

August 10th, 2010
7:33 pm

HDB: 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?

And many of the illegal aliens we’re discussing are themselves descendants of the Spanish, who conquered and devastated the Aztec and Mayan populations of Central America, and who are claiming some sort of rightful ownership over the southwestern US.

What’s your point?

mpercy

August 10th, 2010
7:43 pm

Oh, and HDB, there are no indigenous people on this continent, so the term “native” is a misnomer. There are only the descendants of people who arrived here sooner than other people. Yes, they got here first and by some 12,000 years head start and by all means should have had the right to be here without the near-genocide that was enacted upon them by encroaching Europeans (French, English primarily in North America and Spanish in Central/South America).

But they are not “native” any more than the horses with which the various Plains Indians are commonly associated, which of course were brought here by the invading Spaniards (who were themselves the forefathers of the most of the invading horde of illegal aliens).

mpercy

August 10th, 2010
7:50 pm

mike @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.

Isn’t it ironic all the illegal immigrants are the descendants of the ones who stole, murders, and generally crooked their way into South America. They tried to exterminate the Aztecs, Inca, and Mayans and used blacks as slave labor.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_colonization_of_the_Americas
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_Spanish_New_World_colonies

mpercy

August 10th, 2010
7:57 pm

Dammit, I hate when I’m late to the party and don’t even notice! I apparently lost a day somewhere and thought this was today’s blog!

Rick

August 10th, 2010
9:09 pm

GB August 9th, 2010 8:32 am

Georgia and Stasha:

You need to think a bit harder. Re-read the part about “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” and reflect upon its meaning.

And maybe read some more detail on the subject.

http://federalistblog.us/2007/09/revisiting_subject_to_the_jurisdiction.html
========================
Clearly with regards to children of Mexican parentage, they are Mexican citizens (by the Mexican Constitution)! They are NOT subject to the jurisdiction of the US government anymore than their Mexican parents are subject to the jurisdiction of the US! They are entitled to representation from the Mexican consulate. As evidenced in many parades featuring illegal aliens holding Mexican flags, they still owe their allegiance to Mexico and have not renounced such!

I hope they get this to the US Supreme Court soon! We need to cut these “anchor” babies off from all the US social benefits they have been illegally receiving.

Pat

August 10th, 2010
10:22 pm

Post-Civil War reforms focused on injustices to African Americans. The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 to protect the rights of native-born Black Americans, whose rights were being denied as recently-freed slaves. It was written in a manner so as to prevent state governments from ever denying citizenship to blacks born in the United States.

In 1866, Senator Jacob Howard clearly spelled out the intent of the 14th Amendment by stating:
“Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons”.

It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. The children born in the U.S. to illegal alien parents are NOT U.S. citizens. The illegal aliens are NOT under the jurisdiction of any state in the US( the states don’t know the illegals), can they (illegals) be compelled to serve jury duty? NO. Only LEGAL US Citizens can serve as jurors. Therefore, they are NOT under the jurisdiction of any state in the US.

The 14th Amendment stipulates that Congress has the power to enforce its provisions by enactment of legislation, and 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 to include the offspring of illegal aliens, would fall within Congress’s prerogative.

ZOO

August 10th, 2010
10:41 pm

“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.”

INTERFERE WITH? Odd choice of words for a seemingly ‘neutral -toned’ piece. Perhaps Barr is or should be part of Obama’s attack team.

ZOO

August 10th, 2010
10:55 pm

BOB sez: “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?” – The proposed clarification is to require at least ONE of the parents be a U.S. citizen. The answer to your question is no.

BOB sez: “Also these so-called

Rachel

August 10th, 2010
11:23 pm

The 14th Amendment does NOT need to be amended in order to prevent citizenship being granted to the children of illegal aliens. Senator Jacob Howard authored the phrase ‘and subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ for the 14th Amendment and described the purpose of the phrase in a public statement:

h t t p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_M._Howard
“[The 14th amendment] will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the government of the United States, but will include every other class of person.”

The Constitution does not have to be modified, the intent of the author is already clear. All that would be needed would be a majority vote on legislation defining the term ‘and subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ as the author intended, or a SCOTUS interpretation of the clause.

The children of illegal aliens, regardless of what the ‘intent’ of their parents is, are not eligible for citizenship through birth on US soil. The intent of the authors of the 14th amendment was NOT to reward the children of people that broke the law. After all, can anyone name a specific right/privilege/program that is only made available to the children of burglars, or those who are incarcerated? Of course not. Why? Because we DO NOT AND SHOULD NOT REWARD ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR. Anyone that can think straight is perfectly aware of this.

As usual the open borders wailers will use the term racist as a scare tactic to threaten anyone who supports the law. Unfortunately for them, that card has been way overplayed and is no longer effective.

Rachel

August 10th, 2010
11:27 pm

Personally I believe that we should do what most countries have done in requiring that the child take on the citizenship of the mother. If the father of that child is a citizen, then he should petition to sponsor them while they wait for approval to become US citizens. That way he is responsible for their care, not the taxpayers.

Rachel

August 10th, 2010
11:39 pm

Jefferson

If we have a lawful presence requirement for anyone to receive any taxpayer funded privilege, benefit, service or grant, and set it up so that all employers and hospitals are also required to utilize e-verify, it would be a moot point. Unable to get a job or any benefits, the vast majority would self deport, much as they have been leaving Arizona since SB1070 passed. While technically we cannot deny a child a K-12 education thanks to Plyler v. Doe, it is time to challenge that decision. At that time the children of illegal aliens cost the state of Texas roughly $1 million to educate, which is a drop in the bucket even by the standards back then. However, today multiple billions of taxpayer dollars are spent educating the children of illegal aliens and it is now having a severe fiscal impact on many states, all due to the federal refusal to and failure in securing the borders and enforcing immigration laws.

AngryLegalAmerican

August 11th, 2010
12:50 am

Those of you commenting on how the 14th amendment is clear on awarding children born in the USA, even if their parents are illegal aliens, are probably wrong in their assessment.

14th Amendment:
Section 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.

Here is the part most of you fail to observe:
“and subject to the jurisdiction thereof…..

As most illegal alien children born in this country have parents that are NOT U.S. CITIZENS and are not SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF(the U.S.), therefore the child born IS NOT subject to the jurisdiction thereof (the U.S.) either.

AngryLegalAmerican

August 11th, 2010
1:12 am

I comment on many websites concerning the MASSIVE PROBLEM of ILLEGAL ALIENS(not immigrants) and the bottom line of all of this is WE ARE BEING INVADED. Anyone who doesn’t call 20-30 MILLION citizens from another country entering our country ILLEGALLY needs to have their heads examined(to see if they have brains) and be forced to have a portion of these illegal aliens live in their homes indefinitely.
If you have NO problem with them being in this country then you should not have any problem housing them too.
But I suppose for you to consider it “an invasion” they need to be wearing uniforms and carrying guns.
Maybe then you’d realize the seriousness of the problem.
But I honestly doubt you would even then.

Brooke

August 11th, 2010
3:14 am

Amazing that some folks are asking what country the babies born here would be citizens of if the anchor baby option was taken away. The babies would naturally take the same citizenship as their mothers!

Augiestyles

August 11th, 2010
5:18 am

Let me make this as clear as possible for the libs and progressives out there who don’t seem to grasp the seriousness of 40 million illegal aliens feeding off one country…..THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT A SUICIDE PACT!!!

No More Progressives!

August 11th, 2010
8:06 am

Rachel

August 10th, 2010
11:39 pm
“However, today multiple billions of taxpayer dollars are spent educating the children of illegal aliens……..”

Well said. My wife, an ICU nurse of some 30 years, can tell you story after story of pregnant illegals who sit in the hospital parking lot, waiting for the contractions to get closer. Then, when birth is imminent, they enter the ER and, Voila!, Medicare (a/k/a the US taxpayer) get stiffed with the ER & neo-natal bill. This happens right here in out little town in W. GA. Immagine CA or AZ.

SITDOWN

August 11th, 2010
8:42 am

This amendment is being ABUSED. Of course it should modified. And all you “truth to power” lefties who whine about how “we” (Normal people) expect adherence to the constitution, just remember that this amendment was designed to legitimately help former slaves, not open the door for LYING, AMERICA HATING, INVADERS to finagle aw way into this great nation. Your “argument” is so weak as to be laughable and you will roundly deserve the ass kicking you have coming. You fools defend ANYTHING that undermine our sovereignty and there for you are ENIMIES of the state. You have some very big payback heading your way, you sniveling punks.

Alex

August 11th, 2010
10:56 am

Drifter:
Only connection with this country is the fact that their mother was in the country unlawfully at the moment of their birth? Not quite. Their mother was seeking out a better life for her and her child(ren), just like all of our ancestors. Unless you are Native American, I can show you someone who believes your ancestors were here illegally too.
———————————————————————————————————————————————-
I am Native American from New Mexico and we are now living in a modern United States.
It was a nice country until the powers that be wanted to destroy what we had and decided not
to enforce our immigration laws.
American immigrants entered through Ellis Island so they came here legally.
Now we have the Latin American savages and their offspring entering and they are not
always decent people.
So stop with your ignorant asinine rhetoric! Stop the anchor baby mess which is not legal.

No More Progressives!

August 11th, 2010
12:16 pm

Alex

August 11th, 2010
10:56 am
I am Native American from New Mexico and we are now living in a modern United States.

That’s great! I’m a native American from New Mexico, too! I was born in Los Alamos in the 50’s (Dad was in the Amry & assigned to the LANL). We moved all over the place; I’m still an American, born & raised.

My family can trace it’s roots to 940 AD from the Isle of Man, UK.

Funny, but you never hear the English whining about the Romans that came to Brittania illegally; (read about Hadrians Wall)or the Vikings that pillaged the Monastey at Lindesfarne in 793. Were those folks in England illegally?

Jimi

August 11th, 2010
12:19 pm

Dog and Pony show, just used to placate the masses. Nothing will be done. The nation will continue to decline and it will collapse within our lifetime. It’s all over except for the fat senorita singing…

norris hall

August 12th, 2010
2:08 am

If we are going to start tinkering with the US constitution, why not just start over from scratch.
All this nonesense about the constitution being some kind of sacred document that has withstood the test of time and should be followed to the letter of the law is a bunch of hogwash.
If conservatives don’t like something in the constitution…just change it. No big deal.

As for me, perhaps we need to take another look at the second amendment too. That was written at a time when the most dangerous handweapon was one that took one minute to reload after the first shot. Nothing like the semi automatic weapon that Cho used at Virginia tech to kill 30 people.

Yeah. Let’s reconsider the second amendment too.
I like that.

Alphare

August 12th, 2010
4:00 pm

“Conservatives” are amazing, when they want to hide a gun in their pants, they cite 2nd amendment like chickens picking grain on the ground. When they see a darker-skinned person showing up in front of them, 14th amendment is like a piece of used toilet paper.

Do you realize most “conservatives” live in the south now? the most backward part of the country? that should tell you how much the “conservative principles” are worth.

No More Progressives!

August 12th, 2010
5:08 pm

Do you realize most “conservatives” live in the south now? the most backward part of the country? that should tell you how much the “conservative principles” are worth.

If we’re so backward, why does everybody re-locate here?

What bastion of utopia do you live in? Michigan?

Stay away from my beloved Southland, infidel. We don’t need any more yankee transplants clogging the highways.

INJURED HUMANITY

August 13th, 2010
10:55 am

WITH THESE INTERESTING COMMENTS BY THE READERS THE TRUE LEGACY OF AMERICA WILL ALWAYS SHINE THRU!!!!AWESOME

INJURED HUMANITY

August 13th, 2010
11:10 am

HAVE PEOPLE EVER STOPPED AND REALIZED THAT BEFORE 1968 ALL LAWS AND CODES WERE AGAINST PEOPLE OF COLOR. THE TV RADIO NEWSPAPER POLICE GOVERNMENT CONSTANTLY FEED US A SHOVEL FULL OF HATE EVERYDAY THAT PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE LESS THEN HUMAN. WHITE AMERICANS WHERE PROGRAMMED TO THINK OF US AS INFERIOR THIS IS EMBEDDED IN THE FABRIC OF AMERICAN SOCIETY. SO WHEN THESE ISSUES ARISE THAT FABRIC IS EXPOSED. UNTIL WE CAN ALL SIT DOWN AND SAY THAT BOTH BLACKS AND WHITES HAVE BEEN TRAUMATIZED BY THE INSTITUTION OF RACISM ON BOTH ENDS OUR GREAT COUNTRY WILL ULTIMATELY CRASH AND BURN. REMEMBER JIM CROWE BLACK CODES LYNCHING TERRORISM BY KKK AND WHITE MOBS THIS WAS CONSIDERED FREEDOM JUSTICE LIBERTY? OF COURSE NOT BUT WITH THE PREMISE PROGRAMMED TO THE MASSES OF PEOPLE THAT PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE LESS THEN HUMAN I GUESS IT WAS OK AND ITS STILL OK ACCORDING TO THE GREAT HISTORY AND LEGACY OF AMERIKKKA…

Ben Allen

August 13th, 2010
10:33 pm

Hey Bob, I voted for you in 2008 and you’re my Facebook friend and all, but I think you’re wrong on this one. Creating an “if/then” system for birthright citizenship just opens the door to federal abuse, denying people of all stripes of their citizenship. They’re already trying to strip citizens of their citizenship just for being ACCUSED of terrorism, why make their job any easier? Besides, before we even start worrying about “immigration reform” or whatever the inevitable legislative disaster will be named, shouldn’t we get to work on a balanced budget amendment? Or an Enumerated Powers act?

RonJB

August 26th, 2010
1:30 am

No limit is needed on the 14th amendment since it disallows ‘anchor’ babies of illegals to be US citizens. It says any baby born here who is subject to the jurisdiction of the USA which they are not since they avoid the jurisdiction of US immigration law.

Those who violate this and grant them birthright anyway, need to be punished! Unless of course they can afford to support 30-40 million illegals and their babies retroactively for at least 2 generations till now, out of their own wallet. Since that won’t happen the tax payer is the patsy.
Unfortunately he is the patsy for more than he can manage already.
The hospitals and social services go broke, the prisons and the schools scream for tax money, Heck, the States go broke and look to Washington to defray the cost or do their duty to enforce immigration law fully. Mexican drug cartel armies roam our border States and ICE posts signs warning US citizens away from our soil. The law breaker should pay even if it is Washington and the Supreme Court!
It’s not the fault of the 14th. It’s clear enough, if your not using it for politics. It is not automatic birthright like the media keeps saying. If you obey immigration law and thus do subject yourself and you are not a foreign national (subject to another jurisdiction) your newborn is covered by the 14th now. This also disallows travel package birthright nonsense as well. I hear the Chinese are the leading offenders at the moment. See, where will we be after Asia is finished with our Social Security while it lasts? No other country allows such lunacy. It’s about the tax payer, not race!
We spend fortunes on defense but can’t defend ourselves.