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Is it time to re-open the birthright citizenship debate?

Is it time to re-open the birthright citizenship debate?

It’s an old question. And Europe answers it differently.

Michael Anton has caused a furor by suggesting that birthright citizenship is not required by the US Constitution, as Fuzzy Slippers has previously discussed on this blog. Anton is quoted as having said this on Tucker Carlson’s show:

You have to read the whole 14th Amendment. There’s a clause in the middle that people ignore or they misinterpret — “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” — ‘thereof’ meaning of the United States. What they’re saying is, if you’re born on US soil subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, meaning you’re the child of citizens or the child of legal immigrants, then you are entitled to citizenship. If you’re here illegally, if you owe allegiance to a foreign nation, if you’re the citizen of a foreign country, that clause does not apply to you.

Reasonable people can certainly differ on whether that is the case or not. But Anton also said this:

…what was very disappointing was how angry the so-called conservative intellectuals got with me, and they essentially said any opposition to birthright citizenship is racist and evil and un-American. . . .

I have discussed the issue of birthright citizenship on my blog in some detail in this post written four years ago. This is not just Anton’s issue; the question has been debated for quite some time and the anti-birthright side has made a case that has at least some plausibility, whether you agree with them or not.

As Fuzzy has pointed out, one of the arguments being mounted against Anton is that he misquoted a legislator named Jacob Howard who was involved in the original debate concerning the 14th Amendment:

Michael Anton inserted the bracketed word “[or]” into a statement made by Michigan Sen. Jacob Howard during debate of the 14th Amendment on May 30, 1866, as recorded in the Congressional Globe. Anton wrote that Howard “clarified that the amendment explicitly excludes from citizenship ‘persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.’” Writers before Anton have made the same insertion, and Anton stands by his interpretation of Howard’s statement and maintains that the insertion of the word clarified rather than altered its meaning. You can read his full explanation in a blog post subsequently published by the Claremont Review of Books. Others believe the inserted word changes rather than clarifies the meaning of the quotation. Because the quotation can be read a different way, we should have asked Anton to publish it unaltered and then explain his interpretation rather than publishing it with the inserted word.

It’s very difficult to know what Howard actually said because it’s a contemporaneous rendition of what was apparently an oral statement. Here’s some further context:

Howard also participated in debate over the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, arguing for including the phrase and subject to the jurisdiction thereof specifically because he wanted to make clear that the simple accident of birth in the United States was not sufficient to justify citizenship. Howard said: “[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 very other class of person.”

Despite his intention, the amendment has since been interpreted to guarantee citizenship to every person born in the United States.

So Howard was against birthright citizenship in general, at least according to that site, which was not written in response to the Anton controversy. And here is part of Anton’s argument on the subject in the Claremont Review of Books:

But if that is what was meant, the language would have to read “who are foreigners OR aliens who belong …” To get to the meaning insisted upon, one must not merely add “or” after foreigners, one must also delete both commas. Getting rid of just the first one will not do.

But that’s not what’s in the text. What is there is a list missing its final conjunction. Apples, oranges, bananas. Remembering my high school English, I simply added one for the reader. Apples, oranges, [or] bananas.

It is necessary to note that this quote (and most of those that follow) come from the Congressional Globe, an ancestor to the Congressional Record, which records Congressional debates. Unless otherwise noted, all the quotes that follow are from the Globe’s account of the Senate the debate on the 14th Amendment, May 30th, 1866. They do not purport to be exact transcripts, especially with regard to punctuation. So to be certain we really know what Senator Howard was trying to say, we have to read the whole debate and place his comment in context.

Senator Trumbull says that “subject to the jurisdiction” means:

not owing allegiance to anybody else and being subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States. [Emphasis added.]

There’s much much more at the link about the historical context of the entire debate about the 14th Amendment and whether birthright citizenship was meant to be included in it; well worth reading.

But to bring us to the present, it is also interesting to note that the US is nearly alone among first-world, highly developed countries in having such a rule:

To discourage birth tourism, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom have modified their citizenship laws at different times, granting citizenship by birth only if at least one parent is a citizen of the country or a legal permanent resident who has lived in the country for several years…

Irish nationality law included birth citizenship until the 27th Amendment was passed by referendum in 2004. The amendment was preceded by media reports of heavily pregnant women claiming political asylum, who expected that, even if their application was rejected, they would be allowed to remain in the country if their new baby was a citizen. Until 2004, Ireland was the last European country to grant unconditional birthright citizenship.

Only Canada of all the developed countries has a rule about birthright citizenship that resembles ours.

Whatever one’s opinion on the subject, this is certainly a topic that should be able to be debated without name-calling. And yet name-calling seems to be the favorite debate technique of a great many people these days. And if Anton is “evil” for saying what he said, then I guess that Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are all evil too.

And here I thought Europe was supposed to be so wonderfully progressive.

Anton also suggested that Trump might do this via executive order. Of course—as Anton states—if Trump tried that, there would immediately be a court challenge. Although Trump might indeed lose that challenge, it certainly would compel SCOTUS to clarify the issue, a process which has its own merits.

I believe, however, that a better approach would be a statute passed by Congress. This will almost certainly not occur, though, for the same reasons that a previous bill introduced by Vitter (which I discussed in my 2014 post on the subject) never went anywhere, which is basically that Congress lacks the stomach for it. If such a bill were to be passed, however, it would also be challenged in the court system and would almost certainly ultimately go to SCOTUS for clarification on its constitutionality.

The safest route would be a constitutional amendment. This is quite difficult to accomplish, of course, but it would be the answer to those who believe that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment is properly read as requiring birthright citizenship even for the children of illegal aliens and/or so-called birth tourists.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]

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Comments

I’m with Anton completely and agree with the EO idea. There is NO political desire on the GOP side to fight this, and the Democrats… well… they want open freaking borders, so they are guaranteed to fight this.

So, do what the Democrats do. Force it via a E.O. and then judge shop the appeals and court cases. In the years it takes to get to the SCOTUS, the winds will blow and more Federal judges will have been appointed. Immigration , legal and illegal, WAS NOT an issue for the country’s politicians UNTIL President Trump made it so. And looky here… two years later and it tops the polls of voter concern. GOPe and Democrats hardest hit. Heh.

    Tom Servo in reply to RobM. | July 31, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Foolish to try and do this and take this to a judge, because it it would be a clear violation of the Separation of Powers, and it would be thrown out by any Federal Judge that hears it – and that ruling will be backed 9-0 by the Supreme Court, which would be a huge blow to any efforts to deal with this.

    I believe Congress can change it – but the President does not have the authority to change Federal Code with a signature only. He can direct the way that the Executive Branch employees enforce Federal Code, but he cannot change the wording of it – only Congress can do that.

    See 31 CFR 515.329 and 515.330, which currently legally define the phrase “Subject to the Jurisdiction thereof”, as it is currently applied, especially to the 14th amendment. You may disagree with this definition, but your disagreement does not change the fact that this is still black letter Law in the US.

    https://www.govregs.com/regulations/expand/title31_chapterV_part515_subpartC_section515.329

      mailman in reply to Tom Servo. | August 1, 2018 at 1:30 am

      Oh I dunno….that never stop the constitutional lecturer in chief from doing that when the black baby jesus was President.

      Edward in reply to Tom Servo. | August 1, 2018 at 10:03 am

      So your argument is the Executive Branch may never alter a
      Federal Regulation once that, or a previous, administration has published the Regulation (in this instance 31 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 515.329 and 515.330)absent Congress passing a new Statute (US Code – USC) or court decision(s) requiring a re-write?

      I can’t say there has never been a statute passed and signed in the modern governmental era (the era of government by administrative regulation) which prohibited alteration of implementing regulation(s) once published, but it certainly would be an unusual statute.

      txvet2 in reply to Tom Servo. | August 1, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Then I guess that Trump is even more in violation of leftist orthodoxy than we thought, given that his administration claims to have eliminated 22 regulations for every new one enacted. Of course the executive can change or eliminate regulations, as long as they don’t violate the underlying law – so in this case the law would have to specifically define “under the jurisdiction of” to prevent it from being changed.

JusticeDelivered | July 31, 2018 at 6:09 pm

I don’t think anyone imagined that the 14th Amendment would be used by large numbers of illegals. It badly needs to be amended, requiring one parent to be a citizen. To accommodate legal immigrant’s children, their children should be considered citizens if at least one of their parents is naturalized before they turn 18.

    Milhouse in reply to JusticeDelivered. | July 31, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Nobody in 1868 imagined there could ever be such a thing as an “illegal”. But everyone knew it did cover the children of Chinese immigrants.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | July 31, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      Chinese immigrants were legal.

        All immigrants were legal; there were no restrictions on immigration at that time. But Chinese could not be naturalized, and yet it was clear to everyone that the amendment would make their US-born children citizens.

        And however you define jurisdiction, there is no difference between US jurisdiction over legal and illegal immigrants. Both are subject to US law, can be arrested and tried for crimes, and sued for torts, and both owe exactly the same allegiance to their country of origin. So no distinction can be drawn between them.

          Hawk_TX in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 9:18 am

          That’s not true if you had ever done any genealogical research on immigrant ancestors you would find that there were indeed restrictions. There were no federal restrictions on immigration. That was a power left to each state at that time.

          It was common for states to restrict immigrants to only those who had a sponsor. Or to those who could show they had employment arranged and that they would not be indigent. And it was common to require health inspection to prevent the spread of disease or the entry of the chronically ill or infirm. Also, all immigrants were required to present themselves at a port of entry and to take an oath (referred to as qualifications) to the government.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 9:49 am

          You need better research. State restrictions on immigration were struck down in 1849. The first federal restrictions were passed in 1875. In 1868 there were no restrictions of any kind.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 3:16 pm

          Reading the sum total of Milhouse’s comments on this issue of illegals makes it clear that he wants to keep the door open for illegals. All the discussion about the intent of the 14th Amendment is mildingly interesting, but it does not change the fact tens of millions of illegals have multiplied like rabbits, to the point that we now have 70 million Hispanics, most of whom are a result of illegal immigration.
          It does not change the fact that they suck up a staggering amount of aid, at the expense of American taxpayers, and even worse is that Hispanics are second only to blacks for per capita crime rate, meaning that American taxpayers are paying to imprison them.

          Whatever the intent of the 14th Amendment, it was not meant to facilitate am invasion of illegals and their spawn.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 5:08 pm

          Only a thoroughly unprincipled person could possibly make such an argument; but we already know you to be that. Listen, you indecent excuse for a human being, just because you have no principles doesn’t give you the right to project that on others. Normal people, decent people, do not change their principles with their socks, do not tailor their beliefs according to whose ox is gored, and argue the exact same position regardless of the outcome. Normal people care about the truth, and don’t confuse it with what they would like; they care what a document actually says, not what they wish it said. But you wouldn’t understand any of that because you think everyone is like you.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 2, 2018 at 2:01 pm

          My badge of honor, Milhouse doesn’t like me. Too bad.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | July 31, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Chinese immigrants average IQ is 106, they improve our gene pool, they were also good workers and earned their place in America. They were not drawing a bunch of welfare.

      All immigrants are not created equal.

        Irrelevant. The 14th amendment makes no reference to IQ.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 3:36 pm

          Degrading our gene pool damages our ability to compete, it is every bit as bad as Romans ingesting lead or Middle Easterners inbreeding.

          While individuals of any race may be exceptional, that does not mean that their genes will result in exceptional offspring. Considering that the average IQ of the group they come from is likely to be predictive of what your children may get from a potential mate is an important consideration. The same is true for our nation.

inspectorudy | July 31, 2018 at 6:10 pm

I think we are entering a period on our country’s history where referendums on national policies will have to be offered during federal elections. At that point, after the vote, Congress can come up with the details and the law itself. But we are at a period of a total shutdown of commonsense laws. Anything that Trump is for, even if it helps 90% of the country, the Dems will not vote for it. But having a national referendum will allow the voice and the will of the people to bypass the do-nothings in Congress and get much-needed legislation. I do not know how our Constitution would effect such a plan but it is sorely needed.

    Milhouse in reply to inspectorudy. | July 31, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    The constitution does not recognize referendums at all. The people acting directly at a referendum have no right to any say whatsoever over our laws or constitution. If you don’t like it, propose an amendment and see how far you get.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | July 31, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Politicians who want to stay in office will pay attention to the will of the people, or they will be former politicians.

        Politicians depend only on their constituents, not on “the people”. And of those, only those who bother to vote, and of those only those who feel strongly enough about any given issue to change their vote over it.

        In any case there will be no referendums, because there is no provision in US law for such a thing, and therefore no display of “public will” for them to defy.

          ZZMike in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 11:21 am

          Yeah – you’d think we were a democracy or something. (I know we’re not – at least not at the Federal level, but the voice of the people can’t be ignored for long.

Purely as a question of English usage, I see no problem with that “[or]”.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | July 31, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    It dishonestly splits a single criterion into two separate criteria.

      Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 4:59 am

      AND

      The word AND creates the second criteria.

      You really are a complete imbecile, Milhouse.

      You can’t even comprehend basic grammar.

        Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | August 1, 2018 at 9:58 am

        What “and”? There is no “and” in the sentence, you liar.

        And the sight of someone who speaks of “the second criteria” and immediately accuses someone else of not comprehending basic grammar is ludicrous. Quack, pretend to heal thyself.

          ZZMike in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 11:23 am

          Please pay attention. The st commenter said that IF the word were AND …..

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 11:44 am

          No, he didn’t say that. He wrote “The word AND creates the second criteria”, but there is no word “and”.

          In any case if he had said that he’d be wrong. Anton’s inserted “or” falsely splits the single criterion into two; an “and” wouldn’t do that.

It’s fine to debate whether the US should keep its traditional attachment to “the rule of soil”, or dump it and adopt the traditional European “rule of blood”. Just as it’s also fine to debate whether the US should keep its traditional attachment to the RKBA, or to the freedom of expression, or to the abolition of slavery, etc. All of these things can be debated, so long as it’s clear that the debate is over whether to amend the constitution.

What is not legitimate or honest is to claim birthright citizenship is not required by the constitution as it stands, and that dropping it would not require an amendment. Anton is just as dishonest as those who claim the second amendment doesn’t protect our right to own AR-15s, or those who claim the first doesn’t protect “hate speech”. There is simply no legitimate argument for that position.

Anton’s defense of his dishonest insertion of the “[or]” is invalid. That is not a list of separate conditions, it is one condition: who is not under US jurisdiction? Diplomats and Indians.

Lyman Trumbull also explicitly insisted that the native-born children of aliens would be citizens, despite the parents’ allegiance to their country. So it’s dishonest to claim otherwise.

Anton’s further claim that Wong Kim Ark applies only to the children of legal aliens is also dishonest, since his entire case is based on the parents’ foreign allegiance, which is exactly the same for legal and illegal aliens.

In addition, I’ve come across many people in this debate, including not only ignorant commenters on this blog but also ignorant people writing supposedly learned articles on the subject, who falsely claim that only citizens can be drafted. That is just not true. Whenever the US has had the draft, all residents have been subject to it, regardless of citizenship or legal status. The same is true now about Selective Service registration; all male residents between 18 and 25 must register, regardless of citizenship or legal status. This is not subject to debate. It is a simple fact, and anyone who denies it simply displays their ignorance.

    Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | July 31, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    There’s an interesting sub-debate about whether this has to be changed by Constitutional Amendment, or whether Congress has the power to do it without an amendment. Congress has the power to grant citizenship, clearly, as it has done to Native Americans and Puerto Ricans; but does it also have the power to restrict citizenship? I have come to the view that Congress has the power to do both, under the Constitution; but there the counter argument is that citizenship under the 14th amendment is more like a one-way ratchet, in that Congress is allowed to *increase* it, but is not allowed to decrease it. If that is true, then amending the Constitution is the only possible method to change this.

      Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | August 1, 2018 at 1:05 am

      No, there is no room for legitimate debate about that, any more than there is room for legitimate debate about whether guns or “hate speech” can be banned without a constitutional amendment. People like this Anton fellow who claim the 14th does not require birthright citizenship are no different than those who claim the 2nd doesn’t protect individual gun ownership, or the 1st doesn’t protect “hate speech”. Nobody who takes the former advocates seriously has any right to mock the latter ones.

        JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 10:21 am

        Milhouse needs to stop handing these proclamations down on stone tablets, only to have the peons he looks down upon reject what he has written, and then turn those tablets into gravel.

          So you think there is room for legitimate debate about banning guns or “hate speech”?! What is the point of a constitution, if not to close off debate on certain subjects, to tell the people we don’t care what you want, there are some things you simply have no right to do?

          JusticeDelivered in reply to JusticeDelivered. | August 1, 2018 at 4:28 pm

          Milhouse, we do have a right to stop illegals and to end birthright citizenship. That is the whole point of this discussion.

          Under the current constitution you do not have the right to end birthright citizenship, any more than you have the right to ban guns. With an amendment you can do both.

    cloudbuster1 in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Milhouse, when you mentioned Indians,are you aware
    that congress found it necessary to pass legislation
    granting citizenship to native americans, almost half
    a century(mol) after the 14th was adopted?? They were
    certainly born here, but were not citizens until the
    law was passed.Why was the law passed??

      Milhouse in reply to cloudbuster1. | August 1, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Because you seem to be incapable of either reading or comprehension. Of course I’m aware of it, I’ve only mentioned it at least a dozen times.

      The whole point of the “under their jurisdiction” clause was to exclude Indians, since they were not under US jurisdiction. They were foreign nations, with whom the US made treaties just as it did with France or China, they were not subject to US law, did not pay US taxes, and could not be sued in US courts. Therefore the 14th didn’t make them citizens, but it explicitly did so to anyone who did have to obey US law, pay taxes, and answer court summonses.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 2, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    “long as it’s clear that the debate is over whether to amend the constitution.”

    One way or another, we are going to stop this invasion.

Shorter: You can reopen this debate when you reopen the gun debate and the “hate speech” debate.

    SDN in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 9:22 am

    And since both of those have been done, we need to re-open this one before enough Democratic votes are imported to make all this moot under the mobocracy you prefer and the Founders hated.

      Milhouse in reply to SDN. | August 1, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Neither of those has been done. The first and second amendments allow debate about the desirability of banning “hate speech” or guns, but prevent any debate about actually doing so, and we all recognize that those who argue that it can be done without a constitutional amendment are cranks and liars, not to be taken seriously.

      The same is true about Anton and anyone else who proposes ending birthright citizenship without an amendment. You can debate all you like about whether ending it would be desirable, but you are not entitled to argue that it can be done under the current constitution.

Sorry Neo, but there never WAS a debate.

DINORightMarie | July 31, 2018 at 7:05 pm

It may be a great thing to clarify what the amendment means in some manner via EO, but this is indeed law, codified in statutes that were modified dramatically in the mid-1960s. And who led that fundamental transformation of immigration policies?

You guessed it – the so-called Lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy”.

Let us suppose that Princess Kate came over for a visit. While here she gave birth. Suppose further that Prince William and children are back in the UK where the last IRA member bombs their home, killing all.

According to Anton, kate’s child would be a US citizen, when he grows up would become King, and could become US president. So we have a UK king who is president. Is there something messed up with that?

    stl in reply to RodFC. | July 31, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Yes, that’s exactly the problem that Anton is suggesting we fix. It should really be called “Birthplace citizenship” and I can’t imagine the founders every supporting the idea that you are born one inch inside our border you are an automatic citizen. The problem would also mean a child, born one inch inside our border, who then lives in his parent’s country until 18 would be eligible for the presidency after age 35.

      Milhouse in reply to stl. | August 1, 2018 at 1:08 am

      Your lack of imagination is irrelevant. That is not only exactly what the framers and adopters of the 14th amendment explicitly intended, it is also what all of the original founders of the USA, without exception, intended. Citizenship by soil, i.e. by the place ones mother happened to be when she gave birth was taken for granted as the obviously correct rule, and the European model of citizenship by blood was rejected as primitive and unjust.

        V.Lombardi in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 7:24 am

        Everybody, Milhouse states many things with certainty that are clearly untrue. He has the audacity to use the word explicit, when the citizenship clause is simple and clear. The writers of that contradict him. I trust those writers more than a book learned liberal. Do you trust a know-it-all sophist, or the people actually involved at the time:

        Sen. Jacob Howard, who wrote the Fourteenth’s Citizenship Clause believed the same thing as Bingham as evidenced by his introduction of the clause to the US Senate as follows:

        [T]his amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that 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.

          Milhouse in reply to V.Lombardi. | August 1, 2018 at 10:30 am

          Lombardi, you idiot, you just quoted exactly the words that prove you wrong. Howard said explicitly that it would include everybody except diplomatic families. “Foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.” There is no “or” in that sentence, and Anton was dishonest in introducing one. (Of course in that sentence Howard was not addressing the question of Indians. He addressed that separately, since, like diplomats, they were not subject to US jurisdiction.)

          Meanwhile I’m still waiting for your apology and your acknowledgment that conscription (when we had it) applied equally to citizens and aliens, including illegal ones, as does selective service registration today.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to V.Lombardi. | August 2, 2018 at 3:54 pm

          Milhous, you idiot, you keep going off topic. The topic is, How Do We Stop Anchor Babies.

          Milhouse in reply to V.Lombardi. | August 3, 2018 at 11:50 am

          No, it isn’t. The topic is what restrictions the constitution places on what the people’s elected representatives might want to do about it.

        ZZMike in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 11:32 am

        Your arguments are solid. (And I can see your patience wearing thin – appropriately.) Our arguments are more philosophical: Where’s the country going if we don’t do something about illegal – and I do mean illegal – immigration? There’s no question that illegal immigration is a drain on our resources – many hospitals and ERs have closed.

        The big problem with the 14th Amendment (today’s problem, not the problem of the 1800s) is that our laws allow those newly-born citizens to bring in their sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, &c. So maybe that’s the part of the law that needs to be changed.

          Milhouse in reply to ZZMike. | August 1, 2018 at 11:48 am

          our laws allow those newly-born citizens to bring in their sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, &c.

          No, they don’t. Go look it up.

        ZZMike in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 12:52 pm

        About “sisters &c” – what I was thinking of is chain migration:
        “Chain migration became the driving force behind immigration to the United States in 1965, with the passage of the current version of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The 1965 legislation changed the objective of U.S. immigration policy. Rather than admitting immigrants who were likely to assimilate to our culture and succeed in the United States, American immigration policy shifted its focus to an extremely broad concept of “family reunification.” This placed the integrity of immigrant families above the economic, national security, and public safety interests of the American public. As a result, the pool of immigrants eligible to come to the United States became largely self-selecting.”

          Milhouse in reply to ZZMike. | August 1, 2018 at 1:10 pm

          Look it up. Family reunification does not bring in “sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, &c”. It doesn’t bring in any relatives of “newly-born citizens”. And it’s subject to annual and per-country caps severe enough to have created such a backlog, especially for some countries, that it’s difficult to get anyone in in a reasonable time.

        stl in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 5:58 pm

        If birthright was attached to either parent, it would be the father’s citizenship. Consistent with wife and children taking father’s name, woman not voting at the time, father essentially voted for entire household. Citizenship would have followed same general principle.

    Milhouse in reply to RodFC. | August 1, 2018 at 1:10 am

    No, there is nothing messed up about it, it is the clear and obvious truth, and anyone who denies it is either lying, or so ignorant he has no business commenting on the subject.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Milhouse, do you really think that this comment was compelling, or that you won any brownie points with it?

        Yes, it is compelling. It is the perfectly clear truth, which no honest person who knew anything about the subject could deny. Arguments from emotion are automatically invalid, and those who make them should shut up.

When we can be sure there is a majority of SCOTUS Justices that will uphold the 14th Amendment’s prohibition against “birthright citizenship”, then it will be time to ‘take up the issue’ again.

At the moment, there are 4 guaranteed votes against it, and at least 2 others that are highly questionable, at best.

    Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | August 1, 2018 at 1:11 am

    14th amendment’s prohibition?! On the contrary, the 14th amendment requires it, and you will never get a SCOTUS that will not say so 9-0.

      Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 3:48 am

      Stop wasting people’s time with your idiotic nonsense, Pinochio.

      14th was written to do two things: 1) Make sure that children of former slaves, now US citizens, born on US soil were treated as citizens from birth, and 2) Make sure that Indians, who were subjects of their Indian Nations, would NOT be US citizens from birth despite being born on US soil.

      The history on it is crystal clear. They even discussed, and agreed, on the fact that it would prohibit children of other foreign nationals (besides Indians) being US citizens.

      The text of the Amendment is also crystal clear: “… AND subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. The meaning was debated and agreed – it PROHIBITS anyone that owes any allegiance to any foreign power (again, main concern was allegiance to an Indian tribe) from having their children be US Citizens at birth.

      Oh, and the “Wong Kim Ark” ruling is NOT on point. Partly because it only dealt with children of legal residents, but mostly because it never dealt with the 14th Amendment’s meaning at all. It simply ignored the fact that the 14th existed, didn’t debate or rule on its meaning, and the Justices simply invented out of whole cloth a policy that was clearly in violation of the 14th Amendment.

      You really haven’t got the first clue.

      About anything.

      Why don’t you go troll people at Firedoglake, you’d fit in perfectly over there.

        Aarradin in reply to Aarradin. | August 1, 2018 at 3:55 am

        Also: SCOTUS has already ruled on this, contrary to myth.

        Case was “elk v Wilkins”

        here’s the money quote:

        “”The main object of the opening sentence of the 14th Amendment was … to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black, and whether formerly slaves or not, born or naturalized in the United States, and owing no allegiance to any alien power, should be citizens of the United States … The evident meaning of (the words, “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”) is, not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance. … Persons not thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of birth cannot become so afterward, except by being naturalized…”

        Obviously, this is crystal clear. Children born of foreign nationals, here legally or not, are obviously NOT “completely subject” to the jurisdiction of the US. They owe allegiance to the nation of which they are subjects (synonymous with “citizen” at the time).

        Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | August 1, 2018 at 10:48 am

        Arradin, shut up. You are a damned liar, and therefore have no right to participate any further in this discussion. Everything you wrote is a lie.

        1. Trumbull explicitly said that the US-born children of Chinese nationals would be citizens, just like those of German nationals, and refused to allow any distinction to be drawn between them.

        2. The text is clear, and jurisdiction has nothing to do with allegiance. There has never been any dispute about the plain meaning of the phrase “subject to their jurisdiction”; it means and has always meant only one thing: that the person must obey their laws, can be hauled into their courts, and those courts’ verdicts can be executed against him. The only classes of people who could be present in the US without being subject to that were diplomats and their families, and Indians.

        3. Your claim that Wong Kim Ark “never dealt with the 14th Amendment’s meaning at all. It simply ignored the fact that the 14th existed, didn’t debate or rule on its meaning, and the Justices simply invented out of whole cloth a policy that was clearly in violation of the 14th Amendment” is a damned lie. You have no right to make such a claim. You should be banned from this site just for making it, because you know very well that it’s false, or would know it if you’d done your most basic due diligence.

        What part of “A child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States, by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, ‘All person 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'” do you pretend not to understand?

        4. Elk v Wilkins 1) was about Indians, who were not subject to the jurisdiction of US law, not about aliens, who were and are; 2) was dicta, not a ruling, so even if you’d got it right your claim that “SCOTUS has already ruled on this” would be a lie; and 3) if it were true it would have been overruled by Wong Kim Ark.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 11:34 am

          “You are a damned liar” “is a damned lie.” “You have no right to make such a claim.” ” You should be banned from this site”

          These, and many others outrageous claims are typical of both Milhouse and Rags.

          Both of their arguments remind me of an old debating joke, where the reference card said”Argument weak here, yell like hell”.

          In fact, we do all have a right to discuss how to reign in illegals. and to work to implement same.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 11:52 am

          You do not have the right to lie. There is no such right. Lies contribute nothing to debate. Arradin’s claims are outright lies, and he has no right to make them.

          Seriously, explain how a claim that Wong Kim Ark “simply ignored the fact that the 14th existed” can possibly be defended.

          You are not discussing how to rein (let alone “reign”) in illegals, you are lying through your f***king teeth in an attempt to conspire to illegally deprive US citizens of their rights.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 2, 2018 at 4:09 pm

          Ill gotten rights should be rescinded. To that end, any amendment to the 14th amendment should be retroactive for at least twenty years. That would fix illegal wagons. Then tose poor no longer children would be reaping what their parents sowed.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 3, 2018 at 11:52 am

          The constitution cannot be amended retroactively. Ever. Any attempt to do so should and will be put down by the US military.

If anchor babies and chain migration are really what the constitution means, and the wonderful judges have read it to mean,

then all those ‘citizens’ need to be located in the districts and states of those politicians who support the idea,

and the local population taxed to support their welfare. No reason the nation should support a sectional idea. Let them pay for their good intentions on the backs of the citizens who work for a living.

If a birth ready alien invader female of unknown origin breaks into your house and gives birth on your couch,

then are you the owner required to support economically that female, her collateral relatives and her newly born for 18 years???

That is clearly what the democrat position is, except they want everyone to pay who lives around the house, not just the owner.

Good luck with that view.

    Milhouse in reply to Candid. | August 1, 2018 at 3:11 am

    You are not required to support anyone, whether they were in your house as a trespasser or as an invited guest.

    But a person born in the USA is a citizen, which means this country belongs to them just as much as it does to you. It is not your country more than it’s theirs. You have no more rights here than they do. And if you seek to throw them out then you deserve to be thrown out instead.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 9:42 am

      We are all required to support anchor babies, because as citizens those babies receive welfare. In fact, they average 1.5 times more welfare because illegals have large families. Milhouse, if you insist on promoting the anchor baby scam, maybe you should be thrown out? Perhaps, in addition to changing the 14th Amendment, we should look at laws to make giving aid and comfort to invaders an act of treason.

      I have to wonder if Milhouse was either an illegal who received amnesty from Reagan or was perhaps an anchor baby?

        We are only required to support anchor babies because politicians get elected who tax us and spend the money buying votes. Be careful who you vote for!

        Candid’s irrelevant question was about him personally having to support someone born in his home. He has no such obligation, no matter how the mother came to be there at the time of birth. This has nothing to do with immigration policy, or with welfare policy, which is a choice the voters have made. Having made that choice, the 14th requires it to apply to all citizens equally.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm

          This discussion is specifically about non citizens, here illegally & dropping enough babiles to more than double their numbers each generation on our dime. Quit trying to divert the discussion off topic.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 4:31 pm

          No, the discussion is about the US constitution. I know you don’t give a sh*t about that, and would rather discuss your vile racial policies, but that is off topic. Unlike you, Anton is not a racist, and isn’t discussing your topic.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | August 2, 2018 at 4:17 pm

          I am not a racist either, I have no problem with allowing Hispanics to immigrate to America if they are the cream of the crop and do so legally. The issue here is large numbers of illegals sneaking in and dropping babies which are citizens. That is a 70 million and climbing problem.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 3, 2018 at 11:53 am

          You are an open racist, and an open enemy of the very concept of natural rights.

      ZZMike in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 11:18 am

      We may not be require to support illegal aliens, but we do – through our “compassionate” welfare system – which we support through taxes.

      “a person born in the USA is a citizen” Which is why we need to amend the 14th Amendment.

    ronk in reply to Candid. | August 1, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    actually she doesn’t have to do that, all she needs to do is put your name on the birth certificate, and you stuck for child support. it happened to someone I work with. Oh and he had a DNA test done and he was not the father but he still had to pay child support

End DACA,begin deportations and Build The Wall.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to jmccandles. | August 1, 2018 at 11:18 am

    It would be faster to deploy drone swarms, followed by the wall.

    Initially, they should plaster people trying to sneak in with a mildly radioactive short half life agent in paint balls (for tracking purposes). This would be the warning phase.

    After the warning phase, the drones should use lethal means to stop intruders.

    The DMZ zone should be created south of the border.
    There should be fees or taxes on money being sent to Mexico of 20%. Currently, over 70 billion is being transferred annually. 14 billion a year would be a good start on Mexico paying for border control.

    On the home front, any illegal which has to be tracked down should also forfeit all their assets, those assets going to fund ICE. If they leave on their own, they should be allowed to retain 80% of their assets.

    We need to be playing hardball.

The 14th Amendment was clearly intended to guarantee citizenship to former slaves.

The first major influx of foreigners came through Ellis Island, were checked for communicable diseases, mental illnesses, and many were turned away.

    Milhouse in reply to ZZMike. | August 1, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    The first (and second, third, etc.) major influx came long before Ellis Island, and before there were any immigration laws. Ellis Island wasn’t built until 1892.

many people are scared of opening the natural born citizenship issue due to being scared of being called racist, etc. reopening the birthright citizenship issue would reopen that discussion.

PersonofInterests | August 1, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Funny how the Left is so adament that our Constitution is a living document to evolve, change, and adapt to new circumstances over time, without being formally amended, but become animated and shrill with their objection when others embrace their belief to tackle their means to steal elections and advance their political agendas, i.e., Anchor Babies, Chain Migration, Amnesty, DACA.

    The left?! What have the left got to do with this discussion? The only leftist I see here is you, with your open embrace of “living constitutionalism”, stealing elections, and your claim that it is the judiciary’s job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices. In doing so you expose yourself as a leftist, and cannot object when they spit on the constitution.

      PersonofInterests in reply to Milhouse. | August 1, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      Actually, the Left has everything to do with this discussion since it is they who are the proponents of Open Borders and all the “tools” used to advance their desire to replenish their depleted Voter Base that has finally started to smarten up to see demoncRATs for what they are, e.g., lost Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in the 2016 Election, and why they went from holding all the power in 2009 to holding none by 2017. Over 1100 political seats lost at the state and Federal Levels is what they are attempting to remedy with illegal aliens no matter the damage that they do to our Country.

      Just one question for you: How many illegal aliens are you taking into your house, your neighborhood, and the schools of your children and those of your friends, neighbors, and family?? I’ll wait.

        The left has nothing to do with this. The serious attacks on Anton are not coming from the left. The only leftist I see in this discussion is you.

PersonofInterests | August 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm

If John Roberts can go through legal contortions to find Obamacare “Constitutional” while later providing his infamous mea culpa (i.e., “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”), then it ought to be reasonable to find the interpretations that permit our Country to be a dumping ground for unskilled, uneducated, and illegal alien lawbreakers give birth to their kids while “vacationing” in the U.S. It’s absurd on its face to put up with this BS.

PersonofInterests | August 1, 2018 at 12:34 pm

If John Roberts can go through legal contortions to find Obamacare “Constitutional” while later providing his infamous mea culpa (i.e., “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”), then it ought to be reasonable to find illegal the interpretations that permit our Country to be a dumping ground for unskilled, uneducated, and illegal alien lawbreakers give birth to their kids while “vacationing” in the U.S. It’s absurd on its face to put up with this BS.

The 14th amendment was to clear up the issue of blacks after the Civil War during Reconstruction. Remember also that at that time, immigrants came here and had to make it on their own, as there was no government welfare yet. You cannot have open borders AND a welfare state. Pick one.

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