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Posted at 9:20 AM ET, 01/30/2011

Birthright citizenship

By Jennifer Rubin

Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a proposal to amend the Constitution "so that children born in the United States are only considered automatic citizens if one parent is a U.S. citizen, one parent is a legal immigrant, or one parent is an active member of the Armed Forces. They could also follow the traditional naturalization process to attain citizenship."

As a preliminary matter, recall that Paul ran as a "constitutional conservative." But that apparently did not mean that he was enamored of maintaining elements of the Constitution that have operated since the Civil War. If mucking around with the 14th Amendment is "constitutional conservatism," then these words have no meaning. There is nothing conservative about a radical constitutional revision, the need for which has yet to be established.

Usually, when a constitutional amendment is proposed -- for example, repealing prohibition or securing voting rights for newly freed slaves -- there is some agreement that there is a problem of such magnitude that the Constitution should be altered. Here, the amendment is offered in search of a problem.

Proponents of repealing birthright citizenship argue that scores (millions, I guess) of illegal immigrants come here to have babies (dubbed "anchor babies"), who can then help their parents establish citizenship. You may recall the cringe-inducing comments of Sen. Lindsey Graham, who posited that "people come here to have babies. They come here to drop a child. It's called 'drop and leave.'" Aside from the grotesque imagery, the problem with this assertion is that it's largely false.

Immigration studies by the Pew Hispanic Center and Douglas Massey of the Mexican Migration Project have demonstrated that the drivers for immigration are jobs and family reunification. In fact, roughly 80 percent of immigrant mothers in 2008-2009 had been in the U.S. since 2005, and 90-95 percent were here over a year before having a child. Moreover, a child cannot under federal immigration law help a parent attain citizenship until that child is 21 years old. In sum, pregnant women are not stumbling over the Rio Grande en masse in search of the closest obstetrics wing.

A recent Migration Policy Institute study suggested that the consequences of declaring that children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants are themselves illegal would, by 2050, lead to a 44 percent increase in the illegal immigrant population. For those keen on denying jobs to, or deporting, millions of current illegal immigrants, this would dramatically increase our woes. And with each generation the number grows larger and larger. Presumably, the grandchild of an "anchor" baby would be an illegal immigrant under the senators' scheme.

In a phone interview on Friday, Dan Griswold of the Cato Institute told me: "The birthright immigration doctrine has served our nation well. We make sure that we don't have second and third generation, marginalized immigrants, as Germany does." He added: "This is part of what makes the U.S. exceptional."

Given the paucity of evidence that birthright immigration is a significant issue, the hurdle of enacting a constitutional amendment, and the negative consequences that would follow from repeal of birthright citizenship, Griswold doesn't think the Vitter-Rand proposal is going anywhere. Griswold contends that as long as Americans "understand that "anchor baby" immigration is not a "widespread phenomenon," the idea won't get much traction.

And then there is the moral issue. We are talking about children who had no say in their parents' decision-making and/or who can't determine the legal status of their parents. They know no other country than the United States. And Vitter and Rand want to go searching for these children, presumably deny them employment and/or benefits and, I guess, toss them from the country, so that we will dissuade other adults (who exist primarily in Lindsey Graham's imagination) from coming here?

It is this sort of harebrained idea, unreasoned and extreme, that raised concerns about Paul's judgment during the campaign. Those of us who loudly criticized him, unfortunately, may turn out to be prescient.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 30, 2011; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  Immigration  
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Comments

While I agree generally with your position on the Vitter-Paul proposal, I think what you call the moral issue is dead wrong. Yes, we're talking about children who had no say in their parents' decision-making, but presumably you would not object to confiscating the ill-gotten gains of a bank robber, for example, even though that means sentencing his children, who had no say in their father's decision-making, to poverty.

Rightly or wrongly, children often bear the consequences of their parents' poor decisions. It's the very nature of our fallen world; heck, it's the very reason for our fallen world if you look to the story of Adam and Eve. How is this any different from a moral perspective?

Posted by: bigcitizen | January 30, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Rubin, may I suggest a bit of editing?

Para 8: "Griswold doesn't think the Vitter-Rand proposal..." Should be "Vitter-Paul proposal"

Para 9: "Vitter and Rand want..." Should be "Vitter and Paul want"

BTW, the Arizona lege has introduced a bill seeking to challenge birthright citizenship. Back in 2009 then-Congressman and current Governor Deal of Georgia introduced H.R. 1868, which would have ended birthright citizenship. And at least one possible GOP presidential contender, Tim Pawlenty, supports the end of birthright citizenship.

Given the levels of anger and fear surrounding our immigration dilemma, this issue may get more traction.

Posted by: MsJS | January 30, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it "interesting" that these "strict constitutionalists" who claim the original constitution was perfect (presumably before all those women and people of color were allowed to vote), who declare the constitution isn't a living document, but whose purpose is to protect the people's rights from government, are so eager to change this "sacred document" to perfect it in their view. And exactly how is this related to either job creation or the national debt? They are pandering to their bigot base without a care for the real problems they were elected to address. I suppose its possible they want these American born kids shipped back to Mexico where they will labor for American companies for a few dollars a day rather than minimum wage here. It's astounding how hypocritical these men are.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 30, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

GO, David and Rand, GO

Posted by: thetruthsayer | January 30, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The phrase in the Amendment subject to the jurisdiction thereof [of the United States]” can be interpreted either way: to allow, or disallow, birthright citizenship.

While I agree with the meaning of the changes proposed by Sens. Vitter and Paul, it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Contra your innuendo that they are not “constitutional conservatives,” I'd say they are attempting to restore the Fourteenth Amendment to its original intent: ensuring that native-born former slaves and their children were not deprived of their citizenship.

Again, the key phrase is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” There never was any intent to regularize those in our country illegally, who by definition of breaking our laws have not subjected themselves to our jurisdiction.

Posted by: Jack43 | January 30, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The Vitter-Paul proposal only helps Obama get re-elected in 2012.
If the Republicans were smart, they would take this deal in 2011:
Legalization of the undocumented immigrants in exchange for mandatory E-verify for all businesses plus a robust guest worker program.

Posted by: mehuwss | January 30, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer says the number of cases is insufficient to warrant action, and then she cites a study that asserts that denial of birthright citizenship would "lead to a 44 percent increase in the illegal immigrant population."

Which is it, Jennifer?

Posted by: Inagua1 | January 30, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The idea that only "scores" of illegal immigrants come to the US to give birth to an anchor baby is so ridiculous it probably doesn't even merit a response. Do people in the Beltway really believe this nonsense?

Come to a hospital in a border state, Ms. Rubin. Go to Dallas where Parkland Hospital, the same hospital were President Kennedy was taken after he was shot, where 70 percent of the births there today are to illegal immigrant mothers. And that doesn't include the rich Koreans, Indians, and Chinese who pay thousands of dollars to "birth tourism" operators so that they can give birth to a brand new US citizen.

Then they go home and come back 18 years later--voila, their new "US citizen" gets into a US university that American parents have paid tax dollars to support all those 18 years.

Posted by: MaryJessel | January 30, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious as to why this column is called "On the Right." The columnist seems to toe the standard WaPo liberal line on most subjects.

Posted by: MaryJessel | January 30, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The original intent of the 14th Amendment was to give former slaves citizenship after the Civil War including the right to due process. But, the original intent of the Amendment has been bastardized. The pertinent question is whether illegal aliens are "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" as written in the Constitution.

Numbers USA points out, scholars "have looked to the original Senate debate over the Fourteenth Amendment to determine its meaning. They conclude that the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment did NOT want to grant citizenship to every person who happened to be born on U.S. soil."

Numbers USA concludes that "The jurisdiction requirement was added to the original draft of the Fourteenth Amendment by the Senate after a lengthy and acrimonious debate. In fact, Senator Jacob Merritt Howard of Michigan proposed the addition of the phrase specifically because he wanted to make clear that the simple accident of birth in the United States was not sufficient to justify citizenship...Sen. Howard said that '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.'"

Even though it is a misinterpretation of a Constitutional amendment passed by Congress 142 years ago, the Supreme Court has never decided the issue. It is now time to present the issue to the Supreme Court and hope that they reach the CORRECT decision that the children of ILLEGAL aliens born on U.S. soil does not entitle them to citizenship.

Posted by: zeezil | January 30, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Want to see real time illegal immigration stats? Check out the website 'immigration counters' at:
http://immigrationcounters.com/

Notice that since 2002:
4,843,022 anchor babies have been born and bestowed U.S. citizenship.

It is far beyond time to end the blatantly unconstitutional practice of granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens. Furthermore, we should ask how was this insane practice ever allowed to happen.

Posted by: zeezil | January 30, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer Rubin, the author of this article cheerleading for illegal aliens, is the lame attemp by WaPo to have a token 'conservative' on their writer's staff. Sorta like the NY Times has David Brooks. They are both libs masquerading as conservatives. Those with even a modicum of logic can see right through the ruse.

Posted by: zeezil | January 30, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'll bet the same people who are claiming that the 14th Amendment was solely to grant rights to freed slaves sing a different tune about the 14th Amendment being used to claim corporate personhood. Any takers?

Posted by: fingersfly | January 30, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

If child citizens make it impossible to throw out illegal immigrant felon parents, then the fact that the child's citizenship is unacceptable should be obvious. I am not sure why Jennifer is ignoring this.

Posted by: IsraelP | January 30, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Why is it necessary to reward ILLEGALS to get the Latino vote? Do we want Latinos that believe in law and order or special rights (affirmative action) for themselves? Our country has been invaded by 12 to 30 million ILLEGALS mostly from Mexico! The rotten federal government has allowed this to happen. They have allowed sanctuary cities and states in some cases!

I will never agree with Obama, Bush or Gingrich rewarding criminals to buy votes! American citizens are suffering in many ways because of this INVASION. Wages driven down, costs to support the flood of alien children and families, out of control Latino gangs and crime, millions of ILLEGALS on welfare thanks to anchor babies and document fraud, ILLEGALS changing the numbers of representation in our political system by flooding certain areas of the country, hospitals closing emergency rooms by being bankrupted and many other numerous problems because of the failure of our so called leaders buying votes or catering to greedy business interests.

These are just a few of the terrible things the Mexican INVASION has brought us! ENFORCE our laws against ILLEGAL immigration! We must stop running this country by political correctness and go back to the rule of law!

Posted by: mayaying | January 30, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

There is a lively debate in law journals on the whole question of the 14th amendment and birthright citizenship. Some of this nation's legal legal minds, such as Peter Schuck of Yale Law School and Richard Posner of the University of Chicago Law school, believe that the 14th amendment does not necessarily confer birthright citizenship and this power is reserved to congress. For those who want a fuller exposition of this line of reasoning Schuck wrote an op ed in the New York Times last year. In addition, there is no Supreme Court case that directly addresses the question of birth right citizenship and no one knows how this court would rule on this question.

Posted by: jeffreed | January 30, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The bill would deny citizenship to no one. It would deny US citizenship.

If it passed, some babies born in the US would be denied dual citizenship or automatic US citizenship. That would put the children of illegal immigrants in the same group as the children of legal foreign workers and diplomats. Those children are citizens of the country in which their parents hold citizenship and the only requirement is to fill out a piece of paper.

Posted by: HoosierMom | January 30, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The children of legal foreign workers born here are automatically US citizens as well, HoosierMom. Only those born to employees (embassy, etc) of foreign governments are excluded.

Apparently no one wants to respond to the hypocrisy of claiming the 14th Amendment only grants citizenship to former slaves while claiming it grants citizenship to corporations.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 30, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the author properly understands the Constitution or conservatism based on it. The Constitution allows for amendments. There's a whole score of them, one of which is the 14th in question. Therefor, these Constitutionally Conservative pols are using the methods outlined in the Constitution to amend the Constitution, constitutionally... instead of just ignore it like usual.

And to the author, this is not being true to the Constitution? jeez, go back to school. No one said the document is perfect, we said you need to follow it as is or change it...

so we change it. They're putting their money where their mouth is, and you say it's hypocritical?

The blog is called "Right Turn" but I believe you've actually made three right turns. You do the math.

Posted by: rhysz | January 30, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

fingersly, I will take a shot at your question:

answer: no one is claiming that it grants citizenship to coprs. The Supreme Court ruled that way, not us. If you'll notice, this proposal would actually negate that ruling which would make you happy, yes? I don't think that's the point, but it is a side effect. Now, don't be so quick to attack people's motives next time.

Posted by: rhysz | January 30, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet the same people who are claiming that the 14th Amendment was solely to grant rights to freed slaves sing a different tune about the 14th Amendment being used to claim corporate personhood. Any takers?
----
Sure. Me. Now let's get back to the hypocrisy of those who claim that states like Arizona don't have the "constitutional" right to establish immigration laws, while at the same time, claiming that "sanctuary cities" like San Francisco and LA DO have the constitutional right to establish their own immigration laws (as long as those laws are pro-illegal), that is.)

Posted by: MaryJessel | January 30, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Long overdue and thank you both gentlemen for your work. Arizona also just introduced this bill in both houses this week.

We are the only first world country left that still allows people to be declared citizens by soil birth. This needs changed.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 30, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

A good friend of mine's father never made it off Omaha Beach. I have friends who lost their dads in Korea. I have friends who died in Vietnam and their children grew up missing their dads. Furthermore, I could add that I have friends whose dads died from cancer, heart attacks, and other things and they did not benefit from having a dad in their life. I can made similar statements about moms. My point is quite simple: the actions of the parents always affect their children. One consequence of coming into this country illegally and bringing your children with you is that you might well be deported. Furthermore, if one looks at the so-called developed world Canada is the only other nation that still practices birth right citizenship. Why should the United States continue this outdated policy?

Posted by: jeffreed | January 30, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

A good friend of mine's father never made it off Omaha Beach. I have friends who lost their dads in Korea. I have friends who died in Vietnam and their children grew up missing their dads. Furthermore, I could add that I have friends whose dads died from cancer, heart attacks, and other things and they did not benefit from having a dad in their life. I can made similar statements about moms. My point is quite simple: the actions of the parents always affect their children. One consequence of coming into this country illegally and bringing your children with you is that you might well be deported. Furthermore, if one looks at the so-called developed world Canada is the only other nation that still practices birth right citizenship. Why should the United States continue this outdated policy?

Posted by: jeffreed | January 30, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The only reason for maintaining birthright citizenship is pandering to Hispanics, and in a way which shamefully and, in the case of Republicans, hopelessly, condescends to them. It's not even a serious question--why in the world should a baby born to two non-citizens, who have no legal standing in the country in question, be a citizen of that country? No one would be able to answer that question in a way that doens't completely degrade the whole notion of citizenship. If we could count on the Supreme Court to read the Constitution rigorously, we wouldn't need a constitutional amendment--who could imagine that the framers of the 14th Amendment meant to give citizenship to babies born here of tourists or illegal aliens? But we probably do need the amendment.

Posted by: adam62 | January 30, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rubin is right, as discussed here: http://www.ceousa.org/content/view/833/141/

Posted by: rclegg1 | January 30, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"Ms. Rubin is right, as discussed here: http://www.ceousa.org/content/view/833/141/"

I still don't agree. Maybe babies born here of illegal aliens is not yet a significant part of the problem of illegal immigration, but if it ever does become such a problem, it will be far more difficult to deal with it than it would be now. All laxity in law enforcement starts with that argument--what difference does it make if a few people do it! But, of course, a whole new set of objections come into it once it's more than a few people.

The better argument is the one regarding wording the amendment--how would citizenship be determined? Would Americans born here have to prove that their parents were citizens? I'm not sure, but I doubt this objection is insuperable. If my wife and I travel to Germany and she gives birth there, the baby won't be a German citizen. Well, how do they know? How does every other country in the world manage to distinguish citizens born in their country from non-citizens born there?

Posted by: adam62 | January 30, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I think birthright citizenship is an absurdity not intended by the drafters of the 14th Amendment. I have no philosophical objection to a constitutional amendment but, practically, that route is a waste of time. It won't happen. Several states are planning to pass laws that would take this legal issue to the US Supreme Court, which has never addressed it directly. I have no idea how the court would rule, but that is the better approach.

Posted by: eoniii | January 30, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse


Call Lindsey Graham's observation "cringe-inducing," but it is true: illegals DO "drop babies."

What makes me cringe is people who have children in order to derive personal, financial benefit. And that is what the illegals do -- they have multiple children they cannot afford to care for, so that taxpayers pick up the bill beginning at the hospital, on through K-12, medical care, food stamps, etc.

But why should that be a surprise: illegal aliens have been taught that they have every right to be catered to. They are the racists, hating black and white people alike; they see Americans as dying off, with their entitlement to people the U.S. with their own kind.

And yes, American hospitals are going broke delivering anchor babies. As are states, having to underwrite the "re-unified" families who latch on like parasites to taxpayer-funded programs.

Citizenship was never intended for law-breaking aliens or citizenship "tourism."

Posted by: wmpowellfan | January 31, 2011 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Dear President Obama,

"Your Administration's decision to drop deportation proceedings against "non-violent" illegal aliens shows a profound lack of respect for those Americans and legal immigrants unable to find jobs. For the sake of all Americans, I expect you to allow ICE to do its job and is allowed to arrest and deport all illegal aliens they arrest.

The White House's recent decision to force ICE to release illegal aliens who have committed identity fraud and other "non-violent" crimes is outlandish. Not only have these individuals come to this country illegally, they have also committed serious criminal offenses. However, because they have not committed "violent" crimes and are not deemed to be terrorists, you believe they deserve to stay in the country and are above our laws. How sickening."

Go to NumbersUSA.com to send Obama a fax similar to this. . .

Send messages to President Obama and other pro-criminal supporters in Congress.

Posted by: fury60 | January 31, 2011 4:37 AM | Report abuse

MaryJessel wrote: Sure. Me. Now let's get back to the hypocrisy of those who claim that states like Arizona don't have the "constitutional" right to establish immigration laws, while at the same time, claiming that "sanctuary cities" like San Francisco and LA DO have the constitutional right to establish their own immigration laws (as long as those laws are pro-illegal), that is.)

==========================
Since the constitution grants congress the power to make immigration policy, not states, your point is ridiculous. Sanctuary cities aren't setting immigration policy when they choose to not spend their own money enforcing federal immigration laws. I'll bet you thought sanctuary city meant illegals are given sanctuary there to prevent them being deported. WRONG.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 6:07 AM | Report abuse

fingersly, I will take a shot at your question:

Rysz wrote: answer: no one is claiming that it grants citizenship to coprs. The Supreme Court ruled that way, not us. If you'll notice, this proposal would actually negate that ruling which would make you happy, yes? I don't think that's the point, but it is a side effect. Now, don't be so quick to attack people's motives next time.
==========================

The legislators who are trying to amend the constitution to deny birthright citizenship are also supporters of corporate personhood which is solely based on a corrupt reading of the 14th Amendment. Your belief (?) that this proposed amendment would revoke corporate personhood is delusional since they advocate nothing of the kind.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 6:14 AM | Report abuse

"Sanctuary cities aren't setting immigration policy when they choose to not spend their own money enforcing federal immigration laws. I'll bet you thought sanctuary city meant illegals are given sanctuary there to prevent them being deported. WRONG."

So, you're saying it's just a fiscal measure? In that case, why do they call themselves "sancuary cities"?

"The legislators who are trying to amend the constitution to deny birthright citizenship are also supporters of corporate personhood which is solely based on a corrupt reading of the 14th Amendment. Your belief (?) that this proposed amendment would revoke corporate personhood is delusional since they advocate nothing of the kind."

What difference does it make what those legislators believe? If the 14th Amendment is to be revised or re-interpreted, those concerned about corproate personhood can have their shot at it as well.


Posted by: adam62 | January 31, 2011 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Adam62 said: "Sanctuary cities aren't setting immigration policy when they choose to not spend their own money enforcing federal immigration laws. I'll bet you thought sanctuary city meant illegals are given sanctuary there to prevent them being deported. WRONG."

So, you're saying it's just a fiscal measure? In that case, why do they call themselves "sancuary cities"?

"The legislators who are trying to amend the constitution to deny birthright citizenship are also supporters of corporate personhood which is solely based on a corrupt reading of the 14th Amendment. Your belief (?) that this proposed amendment would revoke corporate personhood is delusional since they advocate nothing of the kind."

What difference does it make what those legislators believe? If the 14th Amendment is to be revised or re-interpreted, those concerned about corproate personhood can have their shot at it as well.
=====================

To your first question, correct. They have no immigration policy, they just refuse to use their own money to enforce federal law - just the opposite of what Arizona was proposing. The term "sanctuary city" originally meant cities that give sanctuary to immigrants seeking political asylum from repressive regimes but was hijacked by the right to mislead people like you into believing cities which refused to use local money to enforce federal law were actively thwarting it, which is not the case.

There is no will to change corporate personhood in congress because they are all owned by corporations. This country has always had birthright citizenship for white people. The 14th Amendment included black men, but no women. Not until 1882 was there any restriction on immigration when congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act and then in 1921-1924 our immigration quota system was set. The proposed amendment to deny birthright citizen to those born here is obviously contrary to what the founders envisioned, especially since Hispanic men were citizens before the 14th Amendment.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 7:14 AM | Report abuse

One of the first things illegal immigrants do when they have children in this country is apply for welfare. There was a recent article in the newspaper that said that California spends over $600 million dollars on illegal immigrants and their children. Remember the mother gets free medical care while she is pregnant. Do any of you logically think that the people who had recently escaped the cruel taxation of England and come to another land and formed a country would deliberately leave themselves open to being taken advantage of financially by foreigners? Even through giving birth in this country? If you do, you have just declared our forefathers irresponsible idiots.

Posted by: Edie3 | January 31, 2011 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Our forefathers put no restrictions on immigration or birthright citizenship, Edie; quite the contrary. I guess you think they were irresponsible idiots.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

"...the consequences of declaring that children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants are themselves illegal would, by 2050, lead to a 44 percent increase in the illegal immigrant population..."

What a shameful (or shameless) bit of sophistry. Note that Jen didn't say it would lead to a 44% increase in illegal "immigration." Just an increase in the "population." Well, duh. If you change the label of a certain group of people from "legal" to "illegal" you've increased the number of "illegals" without having added a SINGLE ADDITIONAL PERSON to the population.

Pure deceit, Ms. Rubin. Pure deceit. If that's what's needed to advance your argument, clearly it's a failed argument.

Posted by: adturnbull | January 31, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Here is one thing you will NEVER see explained or defined by those who share Ms. Rubin's view on this issue, including Ms. Rubin:

The meaning of "...and subject to the jurisdiction therof..." in the Fourteenth Amendment.

Such an explanation is conspicuously absent from Ms. Rubin's column, and it is ignored by EVERYONE who shares her view.

How about it, Jen? How 'bout devoting your next column to that singular phrase?

Posted by: adturnbull | January 31, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Everyone who is present in the US, other than embassy personnel from other countries, is subject to the jurisdiction thereof, Adturnbull. That's probably why Rubin and other educated people don't waste time on it.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"actively thwarting it"

Fine--they are passively thwarting it, but they know they are doing so. I'm sure the relation between being a "sanctuary" and allowing those sought by federal law to be free of that law is sheer coincidence. Those right wing hate mongers!

By the way, how much money would it cost for police officers to ask people for proof of citizenship under specifically defined circumstances, and to call the Feds if such proof isn't provided?

"they are all owned by corporations."

I suppose "they" means Congresspeople. (Those evil corporations!) Well, in that case corporate personhood is a dead issue--why worry about it. That still leaves the question of birthright citizenship unanswered.

Posted by: adam62 | January 31, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

You sound like you would have loved Nazi Germany, Adam - "Papers please!" There is no restriction in any city that prevents the feds from doing their job enforcing immigration laws. BTW, the fact that you only brought up SF and LA as "sanctuary cities" is possible evidence of your bias since there are sanctuary cities all across the US where they have a hard time paying for the enforcement of state and local laws without harassing people because they have brown skin.

Here is a list of "sanctuary cities:"

http://www.ojjpac.org/sanctuary.asp

There has never been a question of birthright citizenship in this country for white people. The 14th Amendment made it a right for non-white people as well. I know its disturbing for racists to accept the fact that they don't have special rights over non-white people and that they are losing their majority status, but all things change. That's why its always a good idea to protect minority rights. You may become one.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The 14th Amendment doesn't say that if someone is born on US soil then they are automatically a citizen.
It 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"

The key words are 'AND SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION'. Therefore, a Russian diplomat who lives here and has a baby here in an American hospital, cannot proclaim that baby is an American. The baby is still a Russian, because they are subjects to Russian jurisdication.

An illegal immigrant is subject to their home nation, whether it is Mexico or China. Their babies are still Mexican or Chinese subjects. Not Americans.

Posted by: scsiegel | January 31, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

You've got it HALF right, Scsiegel.

Diplomats have immunity to our laws so they aren't "subject to the jurisdiction" of them. Everyone else, including illegal immigrants, IS subject to the jurisdiction so their children born in the US are natural born citizens. If illegal immigrants weren't subject to our laws, why are so many of them in our prisons? Do you ever think before you post?

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Our forefathers put no restrictions on immigration or birthright citizenship, Edie; quite the contrary. I guess you think they were irresponsible idiots.


Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 7:50 AM


No, I don't, but it is quite obvious that you would like them to have been and keep making this country responsible for supporting the children of foreigners who break our laws and take advantage of our countries entitlements. Hey when tens of thousands of terrorists start coming here illegally and having babies. You will be out there in the streets talking about how the U.S. is breaking up families when we deport them. Brithright citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants is not only fool hardy, but irresponsible to taxpayers to this country. An illegal immigrant can be in this country as little as one day or one weak have a baby and that baby gets food stamps (helps the illegal immigrant), housing (the child qualifies, so the illegal immigrant parent is helped again). You may be a fool, but I am not.

Posted by: Edie3 | January 31, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh, so now you don't care about the founder's intent when they made no restrictions on birth right citizenship, no immigration laws at all. Funny how quickly principles change when bigotry rears its ugly head.

Now if you want to make the case that IF the founders could have foreseen the impact of excessive immigration they would have dealt with it back then. But then I could make the same case about gun laws. If they could have foreseen that our cities would be endangered by gangs using fully automatic weapons, do you think they would have had more to say on the topic?

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The WAPO strikes again with their ill informed propaganda ignoring the common fact that illegal alien parents name their anchor babies after themselves and then fraudulently use the SSN issued to the anchor baby for themselves. And that is a felony.

But, if the Democratic Party, liberals, the US Chamber of Commerce and a few select pro illegal alien churches want to over-populate this nation with illegal alien third world welfare recipients, let us all agree to pass a law that lays the financial burden of all the costly ramifications of illegal immigtation on registered Democratic Party members, self-proclaimed liberals and members of the chamber while granting tax ememptions, like Obama grants to Unions for OBamacare, to the 80% of Americans who object to paying for illegal alien costs.

There's a pragmatic common sense solution. Let the pro illegal minority pay the way of their cause celebs.

And, while Congress is at it, given the Administration doesn't intend to combat the calamity of illegal immigration, they may as well cede California to Mexico.

Posted by: Patriot12 | January 31, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

According to a study by the Urban Institute, the 1996 welfare reform effort dramatically reduced the use of welfare by undocumented immigrant households, exactly as intended. And another vital thing happened in 1996: the Internal Revenue Service began issuing identification numbers to enable illegal immigrants who don't have Social Security numbers to file taxes.

One might have imagined that those fearing deportation or confronting the prospect of paying for their safety net through their own meager wages would take a pass on the IRS' scheme. Not so. Close to 8 million of the 12 million or so illegal aliens in the country today file personal income taxes using these numbers, contributing billions to federal coffers. No doubt they hope that this will one day help them acquire legal status.

What's more, aliens who are not self-employed have Social Security and Medicare taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks. Since undocumented workers have only fake numbers, they'll never be able to collect the benefits these taxes are meant to pay for. Last year, the revenues from these fake numbers — that the Social Security administration stashes in the “earnings suspense file” — added up to 10 percent of the Social Security surplus. The file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year.

Beyond federal taxes, all illegals automatically pay state sales taxes that contribute toward the upkeep of public facilities such as roads that they use, and property taxes through their rent that contribute toward the schooling of their children. The non-partisan National Research Council found that when the taxes paid by the children of low-skilled immigrant families — most of whom are illegal — are factored in, they contribute on average $80,000 more to federal coffers than they consume.


http://neomugwump.blogspot.com/2006/05/illegal-immigrants-cost-benefit.html

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"You sound like you would have loved Nazi Germany, Adam"

No, I'm afraid I wouldn't have thrived there...

"BTW, the fact that you only brought up SF and LA as "sanctuary cities" is possible evidence of your bias since there are sanctuary cities all across the US where they have a hard time paying for the enforcement of state and local laws without harassing people because they have brown skin."

I didn't mention any cities, but how does the existence of many of them make it more justified? How about, say, checking the status of those arrested; or, if you like, arrested multiple times, or for violent crimes, or those convicted, or those who have been convicted and rearrested? Wouldn't be able to hand over to the Feds some of those fitting such categories save money (in incarceration costs, future crimes, etc.)?

"There has never been a question of birthright citizenship in this country for white people"

Of course there is--the same law that would make a baby born of Mexican citizens a non-citizen would do the same for a baby born of British or German citizens.

Posted by: adam62 | January 31, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who is present in the US, other than embassy personnel from other countries, is subject to the jurisdiction thereof, Adturnbull. That's probably why Rubin and other educated people don't waste time on it.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

More blather, fingersfly. You, too, didn't bother to explain what's meant by "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

If it's so simple as you say that people don't waste time on it, then why was it put in the Fourteenth Amendment in the first place? What is its meaning in the context of the Fourteenth? And why do people like you steadfastly refuse to address it? Hmmmmm???

Don't ignore it. ADDRESS IT. (You won't, because you can't.)

Posted by: adturnbull | January 31, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone who is present in the US, other than embassy personnel from other countries, is subject to the jurisdiction thereof, Adturnbull. That's probably why Rubin and other educated people don't waste time on it."

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 9:36 AM

More blather, fingersfly. You, too, didn't bother to explain what's meant by "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." You just skirt it, which is precisely what I said in my original post. Thanks for confirming it!

If it's so simple as you say that educated people don't waste time on it, then why was it put in the Fourteenth Amendment in the first place? What is its meaning in the context of the Fourteenth? And why do people like you steadfastly refuse to address it? Hmmmmm???

Don't ignore it. ADDRESS IT. (You won't, because you can't.)

Posted by: adturnbull | January 31, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who is present in the US, other than embassy personnel from other countries, is subject to the jurisdiction thereof, Adturnbull. That's probably why Rubin and other educated people don't waste time on it.

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 9:36 AM

Here's why your explanation, fingersfly, is so brainless (which is why you refuse to address the point). If what you wrote is true, then there would have been NO need for "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" to have been part of the Fourteenth Amendment. If it is as simple as you state, it would have been superfluous to include that clause. But that clause IS part of the Fourteenth.

Why? (Because the drafters had extra ink to spare?)

Can you answer that? Do you dare try? Or will you, like everyone else of your ilk, dismiss it without addressing it and think you've actually said something intelligent?

Posted by: adturnbull | January 31, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The point that an anchor baby can't help the parents attain citizenship until he or she is 21 is a red herring--the anchor baby is a means for the parents to gain immunity from deportation and keep on earning American paychecks. They couldn't care less about citizenship, which is why the defenders of illegal immigration try to use those citizenship numbers to downplay the problem.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 31, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Foreigners illegally in our country for the benefit of themselves at the expense of U.S. citizens and who do not pay taxes should not be given welfare payments or citizenship rights. Our law needs to be changed!!!

Posted by: TaxpayerCitizenMom | January 31, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Jen, I think you've jumped straight to the policy question without seriously considering the legal/constitutional issue. As others have pointed out, the 14th Amendment birthright guarantee requires not only that the person be born in the US but also "subject to the jurisdiction" of the US. The current interp of the clause renders the "jurisdiction" reference meaningless - and I hope you'd agree that we should avoid any reading of the Constitution that ignores part of the text. The best evidence we have is that the "jurisdiction" clause was meant to exclude people born in the US who could be subject to a foreign power's jurisdiction via their parents. I would argue that the Vitter-Paul resolution is not "mucking around" with the 14th amendment, but is restoring its original meaning (as I explain further over at the Ricochet site:http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Time-to-Reconsider-Birthright-Citizenship).

I understand your policy concerns, but fidelity to the Constitution trumps transient policy concerns. In any event, I'm not sure that the issue of "anchor babies" is a minor one. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that the birthright law accounts for approx. 165,000 births in the US per year.

Posted by: AdamFreedman | January 31, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so now you don't care about the founder's intent when they made no restrictions on birth right citizenship, no immigration laws at all. Funny how quickly principles change when bigotry rears its ugly head.

Now if you want to make the case that IF the founders could have foreseen the impact of excessive immigration they would have dealt with it back then. But then I could make the same case about gun laws. If they could have foreseen that our cities would be endangered by gangs using fully automatic weapons, do you think they would have had more to say on the topic?

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

If subject tot the jurisdiction applied to illegal immigrants and their children. The illegal immigrant could be drafted into our armed services and we could "force" the illegal immigrants to leave their children in this country when they are deported. The child is not under our jurisdiction to taken away from his illegal parents who have put him/her in a difficult and child endangering situation, not do we have the jurisdiction to draft his/her parents into our armed forces. It didn't say "under the partial jurisdiction." It said under the jurisdiction as in, completely under our jurisdiction. And little man who am I suppose to be biggotted against. What race, what culture? I am all for equal rights and the fact remains that "all" illegal immigrants have broken our nations immigration laws. The black, brown, yellow and white ones. I want them all deported. Nothing racist about that. You liberals/progressives always throw out the race card when you have nothing else. You're just hot air!

Posted by: Edie3 | January 31, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so now you don't care about the founder's intent when they made no restrictions on birth right citizenship, no immigration laws at all. Funny how quickly principles change when bigotry rears its ugly head.

Now if you want to make the case that IF the founders could have foreseen the impact of excessive immigration they would have dealt with it back then. But then I could make the same case about gun laws. If they could have foreseen that our cities would be endangered by gangs using fully automatic weapons, do you think they would have had more to say on the topic?

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

If subject tot the jurisdiction applied to illegal immigrants and their children. The illegal immigrant could be drafted into our armed services and we could "force" the illegal immigrants to leave their children in this country when they are deported. The child is not under our jurisdiction to taken away from his illegal parents who have put him/her in a difficult and child endangering situation, not do we have the jurisdiction to draft his/her parents into our armed forces. It didn't say "under the partial jurisdiction." It said under the jurisdiction as in, completely under our jurisdiction. And little man who am I suppose to be biggotted against. What race, what culture? I am all for equal rights and the fact remains that "all" illegal immigrants have broken our nations immigration laws. The black, brown, yellow and white ones. I want them all deported. Nothing racist about that. You liberals/progressives always throw out the race card when you have nothing else. You're just hot air!

Posted by: Edie3 | January 31, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

If they could have foreseen that our cities would be endangered by gangs using fully automatic weapons, do you think they would have had more to say on the topic?

Posted by: fingersfly | January 31, 2011 11:16 AM

Right, because we all know that if only the Founders had put a ban on fully automatic weapons in the Second Amendment, we wouldn't have problems with gangs or illegal firearms.

Seriously, fingersfly, can your arguments get any MORE simpleminded?

Posted by: adturnbull | January 31, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

And fingerling, our forefather never said the words, that their intent waswas to make no restrictions on birth right citizenship.

They were addressing the matter of slaves. You know the ones that were forced to come to this country in chains. Funny how you and your type always twist words around and do not address what the true focus was in the writing of the 14th amendment. Guess the ugly head of open borders rears its ugly head.

Posted by: Edie3 | January 31, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Abrogating the 14th amendment so that birthright would be revoked would create a group of stateless human beings. Remember, the country of origin of the parents is under no obligation to extend citizenship to babies born in the U.S.. The most vivid example of what statlessness can lead to is Germany and Poland in the 1930's up to and including world war II. Yep, Jews were stateless and Nazi Germany decided to arrange special "public housing facilities" for them...

Posted by: RegisUrgel | February 2, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The only way to get control of our country again is to: 1. Eliminate automatic birthright citizenship and 2. Use tamper-proof IDs and/or a system like E-Verify to ensure all workers are legal workers. There's lots of under the table jobs that illegal immigrants take so just cracking down on formal workplaces who keep formal records isn't enough.

If anyone thinks we can continue to absorb new arrivals like we have been over the past 30 years, I suggest you go look at the Census Bureau's population projections.

I only wish the unemployed and broke received half the sympathy and help that people seem so eager to extend to immigrants.

Why is that?

Posted by: jerseycityjoan | February 6, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

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