Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Children Born to Illegal Aliens Have No Constitutional Right to US Citizenship

See Letter-to-the-Editor to the Wall Street Journal December 7, 2005 from Dr. John C. Eastman Chapman University School of Law. He’s one of the “Smart-Guys” frequently interviewed on the Hugh Hewitt Radio Show

Subscription is required but Dr. Eastman’s letter Constitution's Citizenship Clause Misread includes:

- The 14th Amendment provides that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens . . . ."
- “The clause must therefore mean something much more -- an allegiance-owing jurisdiction.”
- “The author of the provision, Sen. Jacob Howard, announced that the clause ‘will not, of course, include foreigners’."
- “The Supreme Court first considered the clause in the Slaughter-House Cases of 1872, unanimously recognizing that the phrase ‘was intended to exclude from its operation children of . . . citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States’."
- “Congress retains the power to offer citizenship more broadly than the Constitution requires, of course, pursuant to its plenary authority over naturalization.”
- “..determining that the Constitution also mandates automatic citizenship to children of temporary, illegal immigrants not only presses the Constitution's text beyond the breaking point, but significantly intrudes on Congress's plenary power over naturalization.”

There are many incentives for people from other countries to enter the United States. Having children born here to instantly be United States citizens certainly is a powerful incentive, and one that is not serving our country. We should all encourage the Congress to pass legislation and require the children of illegal aliens to go through the naturalization process as legal immigrants have to do.

While the Congress is at it, they should forbid dual citizenship, and require (as I was taught in civics class in 1960) that to become a naturalized US citizen, one had to renounce citizenship in other countries.


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