In a recent article in The Texas Observer, the subject was raised about whether or not to grant American citizenship to children of illegal aliens. These children are more commonly known as “Anchor Babies” because they are used as an anchor to secure their family to this country illegally.
The most common justification for allowing this practice of granting citizenship to anchor babies is Section 1 of the 14th Amendment which reads
“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.” (Emphasis added)
That pesky phrase underlined above somehow has been ignored for decades when applied to anchor baby cases.
As you know, whenever possible, we should always go back to original sources in order to draw out the intent and context of the period in which the law was written to apply the most accurate representation. So here we go…
The 14th amendment was ratified on July 9th, 1868. During the debates surrounding the amendment, the author of Section 1, Senator Jacob Howard of Michigan, describes his intent for the section:
“The first amendment is to section one, declaring that all “persons born in the United States and Subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside. I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This 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. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.” (Emphasis added) — Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1866, pg. 2890
Clearly, as the author of this section states, even those born in the United States who are foreigners (as all aliens are–legal and illegal–until they are naturalized), are not intended to be granted citizenship by this amendment.
Furthermore, this language and intent is consistent with the Civil Rights act of 1866 which passed two years earlier on April 9th 1866 which, in part, reads:
“Be it enacted . . ., That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.” (Emphasis added)
All illegal aliens are subject to the power of the foreign government to which they owe their allegiance–not to the United States. This cuts directly to the reason behind the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” We should not make citizens, those foreign nationals who are loyal to another nation! We are seeing the results of this folly today in spades with the balkanization of our own country.
It does not matter which judge gives an opinion, or which Congress enacts a law to the contrary, neither one trumps the Constitution!
The intent of the 14th Amendment has not changed over the years, only the political views of judges offering opinions on it or those defying their oaths to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic”
So, God Bless Texas for taking a stand, although the article does claim that the Texas Department of State Health services would accept a foreign passport with valid visa, which would still place the mother and the child in a foreign status and consequently ineligible for citizenship according to the original intent of the 14th Amendment.
There is still much to do in this country…