Opponents of birthright citizenship have mobilized in Congress and in fourteen state legislatures to pass legislation that would reinterpret the 14th Amendment to deny birthright citizenship. At a forum of state legislators who support scrapping birthright citizenship, Republican State Rep. Daniel B. Verdi of South Carolina compared illegal immigration to “the malady of slavery” and Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said such legislation would help “bring an end to the illegal alien invasion.”
Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly praised their efforts in a column today, promoting the plans by Republican politicians to do-away with birthright citizenship through legislation rather than an amendment to the constitution even though the Supreme Court ruled that even the children of illegal immigrants have constitutional protections in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), a ruling confirmed in Plyler v. Doe (1982).
According to constitutional scholar James Ho, “the text of the Citizenship Clause plainly guarantees birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born children of all persons subject to U.S sovereign authority and laws” and “the clause thus covers the vast majority of lawful and unlawful aliens.”
Schlafly, however, insists that the longstanding interpretation of the 14th’s Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship should be tossed out just as Dred Scott, the infamous case which declared that African Americans could not be citizens and as result have no rights under the constitution, was reversed by the 14th Amendment:
It’s long overdue for Congress to stop the racket of bringing pregnant women into this country to give birth, receive free medical care and then call their babies U.S. citizens entitled to all American rights and privileges plus generous handouts. Between 300,000 and 400,000 babies are born to illegal aliens in the United States every year, at least 10 percent of all births.
The amnesty crowd tries to tell us that the 14th Amendment makes automatic citizens out of “all persons” born in the United States, but they conveniently ignore the rest of the sentence. It’s not enough to be “born” in the U.S. — you can claim citizenship only if you are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, overruled the Dred Scott decision wherein the U.S. Supreme Court declared that African-Americans could not be citizens. Those who support court-made law should forever be reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s warning that if we accept the supremacy of judges, “the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”
Terminating the anchor-baby racket is very popular with the American people. A Rasmussen poll reports that 58 percent oppose it, while only 33 percent favor it.
Now that state legislatures are flexing their muscles, representatives from 14 states unveiled state legislation to clarify who is and who isn’t a citizen in those states. The Arizona bill establishes that state law parallels the definition of citizenship in the 14th Amendment, and that a U.S. citizen is, “for the purposes of this statute, a person who owes no allegiance to any foreign sovereignty.”
The Arizona bill, introduced by Sen. Russell Pearce and Rep. John Kavanagh, would create two kinds of state birth certificates. One would be for children of citizens and the other for children of illegal aliens.