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The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
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Ron Hamilton
2009-06-27 12:59:28 EST
The Case Against Birthright Citizenship

By Howard Sutherland

http://www.amconmag.com/2004_09_27/article.html

On June 28 [2004], the Supreme Court decided the case
of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, holding that an American citizen
confined in the United States as an enemy combatant has
the right to contest his detention before a neutral
decision-maker. Yaser Esam Hamdi, a Saudi, was captured
by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo.
Hamdi claimed American citizenship and the right to be
transferred stateside. Federal authorities moved him to
naval brigs in Norfolk and Charleston, where he sits.

The Supreme Court ignored the threshold question that
was before them: is Yaser Esam Hamdi an American?
Writing for the majority, Justice O’Connor blandly said
that Hamdi was “[b]orn an American citizen in
Louisiana.” In dissent, Justice Scalia came closer to
the truth, calling Hamdi “a presumed American citizen.”
Hamdi was born in Louisiana, to Saudi parents briefly
here because his father was working on a temporary visa
for Saudi Arabia Basic Industries. While still an
infant, Hamdi went home to Saudi Arabia and had nothing
to do with the United States until he bore arms against
U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001. An amicus curiae
brief in his case, filed by the Center for American
Unity, Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement, the
National Center on Citizenship, and eight U.S.
Representatives—including immigration-reform stalwart
Tom Tancredo—asserts that Hamdi is not a U.S. citizen,
presumed or otherwise. Maryland attorney Barnaby Zall
argues persuasively that to deem Hamdi an American is
to ignore the plain meaning of the 14th Amendment’s
Citizenship Clause and the express intent of those who
wrote and ratified it. The federal government
misinterprets the Citizenship Clause as though the
phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” (the
jurisdiction requirement) were not there.

Despite the Court’s evasion, this is no small matter.
The government’s selective misreading grants birthright
citizenship to anyone (except diplomats’ children,
highlighting federal inconsistency) born on American
soil, no matter who his parents are. Birthright
citizenship lures illegal aliens, who know a U.S.-born
child is, thanks to American immigration law’s
family-reunification bias, an anchor baby who will be
able to sponsor his relatives for residence and
citizenship. They also know that anchor babies’ mothers
are not deported. In 1993, the Los Angeles County Board
of Supervisors reported that two-thirds of births in
L.A. County hospitals were to illegal aliens, mostly
Mexicans. Conservative estimates of illegal-alien
births here, assuming an illegal alien population of
between 8.7 and 11 million, run from 287,000 to 363,000
per year.

Not only Latin Americans have figured out Uncle Sam’s
birthright bonanza. South Koreans have created a birth
tourism industry. As the Los Angeles Times reported in
2002, Korean tour operators fly Korean mothers into Los
Angeles and other American cities, there to give
birth—in Korean-owned clinics with Korean staff—to an
“American.” Websites like www.birthinusa.com advertise
“from birth to citizenship.” Korean chaperones help get
the babies California birth certificates and U.S.
passports to take home. Junior can then dodge Korea’s
draft—and sponsor his family in America if they feel
like moving. Pledging allegiance to the Stars and
Stripes has nothing to do with it.

Federal laxity creates what Zall calls “drive-by
citizenship,” debasing American citizenship by giving
it to legions of aliens like Hamdi, who bear no
allegiance to this country or connection other than the
accident of birth here. Among other evils, this dilutes
the citizenship of unquestionable Americans—children of
American citizens—and encourages dual citizenship with
attendant divided loyalties. Is this what those who
ratified the Citizenship Clause intended?

The Citizenship Clause was drafted to prevent freed
slaves from being denied citizenship because they were
not citizens at birth. It overturned the Supreme
Court’s Dred Scott decision, which held that even
U.S.-born freedmen were not automatically citizens.
Nevertheless, the jurisdiction requirement was written
into the clause to ensure that birthright citizenship
would not become the law of land and that allegiance
would remain a vital element of citizenship.

In the 1866 Senate ratification debate, the Citizenship
Clause’s proponent, Jacob Howard of Michigan, said it was

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 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.

James Doolittle of Wisconsin queried Howard’s language,
but not because he favored birthright citizenship.
Instead he wanted it clear that Indians were excluded
because they owed allegiance to their tribes. The
Citizenship Clause’s drafters were careful to exclude
Indians—deep-rooted in this land—from U.S. citizenship
because they were not fully subject to the jurisdiction
of the United States. It is inconceivable that they
would countenance citizenship for Yaser Esam Hamdi just
because he was born in Baton Rouge.

Pennsylvania’s Edgar Cowan discussed citizenship’s
limits. “If a traveler comes here from Ethiopia, from
Australia, or from Great Britain, … he has a right to
the protection of the laws, but he is not a citizen in
the ordinary acceptation of the word.” Lyman Trumbull
of Illinois, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a
key drafter of the 14th Amendment, explained the
jurisdiction requirement. “The provision is, that ‘all
persons born in the United States, and subject to the
jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means
‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ … What
do we mean by ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the
United States?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else.
That is what it means.”

Maryland’s Reverdy Johnson, the only Democrat in this
Reconstruction-era debate, gave Trumbull bipartisan
support. “Now all this amendment provides is, that all
persons born in the United States and not subject to
any foreign Power … shall be considered as citizens of
the United States.” Johnson emphasized that the
jurisdiction requirement meant the same as the phrase
“not subject to any foreign Power” in the Civil Rights
Act of 1866, passed by the same Congress that ratified
the 14th Amendment. The import of the jurisdiction
requirement, affirmed by its drafters’ expressed
intent, is that after dealing with the special case of
freedmen the Citizenship Clause confers birthright
citizenship only on citizens’ children.

The Supreme Court honored the Citizenship Clause for 30
years, holding that the jurisdiction requirement’s
distinction between those who do and do not owe
complete allegiance to the United States is a critical
test of citizenship. In The Slaughter House Cases
(1873), the Court held that the jurisdiction
requirement was “intended to exclude from [the
Citizenship Clause’s] operation children of ministers,
consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign states
born within the United States.” In Elk v. Wilkins
(1884), the Court denied citizenship to John Elk, an
Indian, because he did not owe complete allegiance to
the United States. The jurisdiction requirement “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.”
Justice Gray continued, “The evident meaning of [the
jurisdiction requirement] 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.” It is impossible to square this
interpretation with conferring citizenship on Hamdi or
on any illegal alien’s child. And it is very hard to
reconcile it with granting birthright citizenship to
the children of legally resident aliens, who retain
allegiance to their ancestral homelands.

Unfortunately, the Court undermined the jurisdiction
requirement in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)
when Justice Gray, who had it right in Elk, concocted
the theory that an alien in this country somehow gives
his undivided allegiance to the United States and
renounces all allegiance to his homeland for the
duration of his residence. Gray’s Wong interpretation
finds no support in the Citizenship Clause, the Senate
debate, or the Court’s own precedents. It was a
political expedient to avoid acknowledging that
California-born children of Chinese parents legally in
the United States, of whom Wong was one, were not
automatically American citizens. The Court instead
invented a right to citizenship for U.S.-born children
of legally resident aliens. Not for the last time, the
Supreme Court refused to apply the Constitution as
written. Since Wong, the Court has accepted the case’s
reasoning without examining it, exacerbating drive-by
citizenship. With Hamdi the Court has ducked the issue
again.

Fortunately, we need not await the Supreme Court’s
pleasure to enforce the whole Citizenship Clause and
end drive-by citizenship. Section 5 of the 14th
Amendment gives enforcement power to the Congress.
Three bills exercising this authority are pending in
the House. The best is H.J. Res. 42, sponsored by Rep.
Ron Paul of Texas, to amend the Constitution to deny
citizenship to individuals born in the United States to
parents who are neither U.S. citizens nor persons who
owe permanent allegiance to America. Although an
amendment is not necessary, Paul’s resolution is
faithful to the Citizenship Clause.

Legislation enforcing the Citizenship Clause must also
restore the traditional American rejection of dual
citizenship. It should follow these principles:

• Children of U.S. citizens are citizens, wherever born.

• Children of an American and a foreign parent are
treated as citizens until their 18th birthday.
Then they must choose one citizenship; no dual
nationality.

• U.S.-born children of legally resident aliens are
not citizens at birth. If their parents
naturalize while they are minor dependents they
may naturalize with them (assuming no criminal
record). Otherwise they pursue naturalization, if
at all, as do other immigrants.

• U.S.-born children of illegal aliens are not
citizens, period.

Mass immigration is transforming America, and Americans
have very little say in it. We must regain control over
who shares the privileges and duties of American
citizenship. Yaser Esam Hamdi’s only chosen involvement
with this nation has been fighting with the Taliban
against our troops. An America that accepts him as a
fellow-citizen has no respect for its own
citizenship—and an America that gives citizenship away
to illegal alien and birth-tourist babies drains its
greatest privilege, U.S. citizenship, of value.

Phxbrd
2009-06-27 13:08:02 EST

"Ron Hamilton" <dh_ld@> wrote in message
news:BMSdneB35Mts0tvXnZ2dnUVZ_ohi4p2d@earthlink.com...
> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship


There is none.

Birth in the USA = Native

Native = Citizen

HTH.







Wayne
2009-06-27 13:28:18 EST

"Phxbrd" <lesliesethhammond@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:7an1vgF201pl2U1@mid.individual.net...
>
> "Ron Hamilton" <dh_ld@> wrote in message
> news:BMSdneB35Mts0tvXnZ2dnUVZ_ohi4p2d@earthlink.com...
>> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
>
>
> There is none.
>
> Birth in the USA = Native
>
> Native = Citizen
>
> HTH.
>
Sounds reasonable. What isn't reasonable is saying that child citizenship
entitles illegal parents to stay in the US. When they are deported, the
child is not prevented from staying with them. And the child is free to
return to the US on his own upon reaching legal age.



Ron Hamilton
2009-06-27 13:48:14 EST
Phxbrd wrote:
> "Ron Hamilton" <dh_ld@> wrote in message
> news:BMSdneB35Mts0tvXnZ2dnUVZ_ohi4p2d@earthlink.com...
>> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
>
>
> There is none.

Yes, of course there is. The current birthright citizenship regime is
bad, and is not the will of the people; it was handed to us by an
irrationally determined court decision. It can be fixed.

It's worth pointing out to you screwballs that nearly every country in
the world that formerly had an automatic /jus/ /soli/ birthright
citizenship regime like ours has severely restricted it. The roster of
countries that have curtailed /jus/ /soli/ birthright citizenship reads
like a Who's Who of all the countries you America-haters say we should
emulate: Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy. All
of them formerly had an automatic birthright citizenship regime very
similar to ours, and all of them have ditched it. In general, no one
born to an illegal alien in those countries is a citizen.

Ron Hamilton
2009-06-27 14:00:17 EST
Wayne wrote:
> "Phxbrd" <lesliesethhammond@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:7an1vgF201pl2U1@mid.individual.net...
>> "Ron Hamilton" <dh_ld@> wrote in message
>> news:BMSdneB35Mts0tvXnZ2dnUVZ_ohi4p2d@earthlink.com...
>>> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
>>
>> There is none.
>>
>> Birth in the USA = Native
>>
>> Native = Citizen
>>
>> HTH.
>>
> Sounds reasonable.

No, it doesn't. There is no law in the United States that specifies
that that is our citizenship rule. Instead, it's based on an
irrationally determined court decision, United States v. Wong Kim Ark,
169 U.S. 649 (1898).

The 14th Amendment, which the America-hating pro-illegal immigration mob
like Leslie Seth Hammond (phxbrd) do not understand, and which the
Supreme Court before the Wong case /DID/ understand, contains this sentence:

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.

Note that crucial clause: and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.
That does *NOT* mean what the pro-illegal immigration America haters
like Hammond say it does. It means subject to the _complete_
jurisdiction, meaning not owing allegiance to any other country. That
is clearly established by the Senate debate over ratification of the
amendment in 1866. That was also clearly understood by the Supreme
Court in a couple of important cases it heard between ratification of
the amendment in 1868, and the delivery of its incoherent decision in
Wong in 1898. Read up on Slaughterhouse Cases (83 U.S. 36 (1873)), and
especially Elk v. Wilkins (112 U.S. 94 (1884)).

The America-hating liars like Hammond are deliberately distorting the
meaning of the amendment.

2009-06-27 14:00:46 EST
Phxbrd wrote:
> "Ron Hamilton" <dh_ld@> wrote in message
> news:BMSdneB35Mts0tvXnZ2dnUVZ_ohi4p2d@earthlink.com...
>> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
>
>
> There is none.
>
> Birth in the USA = Native
>
> Native = Citizen
>
> HTH.

There are many cases against it, whether you agree with them or not.

I am definitely against Korean women coming here for the sole purpose of
giving birth to an American citizen, and returning to Korea to raise the
child.

The Supreme Court has never ruled on the citizenship of children born to
two illegal aliens, but one day it will be forced into the situation.

It is obvious to me that a child born to two illegal Mexican citizens in
The United States has Mexican citizenship.

Ron Hamilton
2009-06-27 14:13:18 EST
j*y@. wrote:
> Phxbrd wrote:
>> "Ron Hamilton" <dh_ld@> wrote in message
>> news:BMSdneB35Mts0tvXnZ2dnUVZ_ohi4p2d@earthlink.com...
>>> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
>>
>>
>> There is none.
>>
>> Birth in the USA = Native
>>
>> Native = Citizen
>>
>> HTH.
>
> There are many cases against it, whether you agree with them or not.
>
> I am definitely against Korean women coming here for the sole purpose of
> giving birth to an American citizen, and returning to Korea to raise the
> child.

There is an entire Korean "birth tourism" industry organized to
facilitate exactly that. A lot of the motivation for it is so sons
won't have to do compulsory military service in Korea, but a powerful
additional motive is set the anchor here.


>
> The Supreme Court has never ruled on the citizenship of children born to
> two illegal aliens, but one day it will be forced into the situation.

Soon, one hopes. I have little doubt that the current court, even if
the racist Sotomayor takes Souter's place, would strike down the absurd
interpretation coming from Wong.


> It is obvious to me that a child born to two illegal Mexican citizens in
> The United States has Mexican citizenship.

It's obvious to Mexico, too: the child is a Mexican national in the
eyes of Mexico. The child directly owes complete allegiance to Mexico.

Wilson Woods
2009-06-27 14:45:08 EST
Phxbrd wrote:
> "Ron Hamilton" <dh_ld@> wrote in message
> news:BMSdneB35Mts0tvXnZ2dnUVZ_ohi4p2d@earthlink.com...
>> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
>
>
> There is none.

Of course there is. Hammond knows there is, too.

To begin with, there is the clear interpretation of the phrase "subject
to the jurisdiction" given by the senators who debated the amendment
prior to voting on it. Sen. Lyman Trumbull, the chairman of the
judiciary committee, said this:

The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means
‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What do we mean by
‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody
else. That is what it means.


Then there is the passage from Elk v. Wilkins. Regarding the
citizenship clause found in section 1 of the 14th Amendment, Justice
Gray wrote:

The main object of the opening sentence of the fourteenth amendment
was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of
opinion throughout the country and in this court, as to the
citizenship of free negroes, (Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393;) and 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 and of the state in which they reside.

This section contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two sources
only: birth and naturalization. The persons declared to be citizens
are 'all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof.' The evident meaning of these
last words 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. And the words relate to the time of birth in the one
case, as they do to the time of naturalization in the other. Persons
not thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time
of birth cannot become so afterwards, except by being naturalized,
either individually, as by proceedings under the naturalization acts;
or collectively, as by the force of a treaty by which foreign
territory is acquired.

The court clearly understood that "subject to the jurisdiction" means
something much *more* than merely having to follow the laws of the
country while residing in or transiting through the country. The court
also clearly understood that an infant owes allegiance wherever his
parents owe theirs.

The real reason Hammond says "there is none" regarding the case against
birthright citizenship is that he /wants/ a regime in which people who
don't share American values can come here without restriction and
fundamentally alter our national character for the worse.

Wilson Woods
2009-06-27 14:49:30 EST
Reposted; a couple of important newsgroups were inadvertently left off
the first time.

Phxbrd wrote:
> "Ron Hamilton" <dh_ld@> wrote in message
> news:BMSdneB35Mts0tvXnZ2dnUVZ_ohi4p2d@earthlink.com...
>> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
>
>
> There is none.

Of course there is. Hammond knows there is, too.

To begin with, there is the clear interpretation of the phrase "subject
to the jurisdiction" given by the senators who debated the amendment
prior to voting on it. Sen. Lyman Trumbull, the chairman of the
judiciary committee, said this:

The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means
‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What do we mean by
‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody
else. That is what it means.


Then there is the passage from Elk v. Wilkins. Regarding the
citizenship clause found in section 1 of the 14th Amendment, Justice
Gray wrote:

The main object of the opening sentence of the fourteenth amendment
was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of
opinion throughout the country and in this court, as to the
citizenship of free negroes, (Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393;) and 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 and of the state in which they reside.

This section contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two sources
only: birth and naturalization. The persons declared to be citizens
are 'all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof.' The evident meaning of these
last words 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. And the words relate to the time of birth in the one
case, as they do to the time of naturalization in the other. Persons
not thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time
of birth cannot become so afterwards, except by being naturalized,
either individually, as by proceedings under the naturalization acts;
or collectively, as by the force of a treaty by which foreign
territory is acquired.

The court clearly understood that "subject to the jurisdiction" means
something much *more* than merely having to follow the laws of the
country while residing in or transiting through the country. The court
also clearly understood that an infant owes allegiance wherever his
parents owe theirs.

The real reason Hammond says "there is none" regarding the case against
birthright citizenship is that he /wants/ a regime in which people who
don't share American values can come here without restriction and
fundamentally alter our national character for the worse.

No_He_Can_Not
2009-06-27 16:12:35 EST
Ron Hamilton wrote:
> The Case Against Birthright Citizenship
>
> By Howard Sutherland
>
> http://www.amconmag.com/2004_09_27/article.html
>
> On June 28 [2004], the Supreme Court decided the case
> of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, holding that an American citizen
> confined in the United States as an enemy combatant has
> the right to contest his detention before a neutral
> decision-maker. Yaser Esam Hamdi, a Saudi, was captured
> by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo.
> Hamdi claimed American citizenship and the right to be
> transferred stateside. Federal authorities moved him to
> naval brigs in Norfolk and Charleston, where he sits.
>
> The Supreme Court ignored the threshold question that
> was before them: is Yaser Esam Hamdi an American?
> Writing for the majority, Justice O’Connor blandly said
> that Hamdi was “[b]orn an American citizen in
> Louisiana.” In dissent, Justice Scalia came closer to
> the truth, calling Hamdi “a presumed American citizen.”
> Hamdi was born in Louisiana, to Saudi parents briefly
> here because his father was working on a temporary visa
> for Saudi Arabia Basic Industries. While still an
> infant, Hamdi went home to Saudi Arabia and had nothing
> to do with the United States until he bore arms against
> U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001. An amicus curiae
> brief in his case, filed by the Center for American
> Unity, Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement, the
> National Center on Citizenship, and eight U.S.
> Representatives—including immigration-reform stalwart
> Tom Tancredo—asserts that Hamdi is not a U.S. citizen,
> presumed or otherwise. Maryland attorney Barnaby Zall
> argues persuasively that to deem Hamdi an American is
> to ignore the plain meaning of the 14th Amendment’s
> Citizenship Clause and the express intent of those who
> wrote and ratified it. The federal government
> misinterprets the Citizenship Clause as though the
> phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” (the
> jurisdiction requirement) were not there.
>
> Despite the Court’s evasion, this is no small matter.
> The government’s selective misreading grants birthright
> citizenship to anyone (except diplomats’ children,
> highlighting federal inconsistency) born on American
> soil, no matter who his parents are. Birthright
> citizenship lures illegal aliens, who know a U.S.-born
> child is, thanks to American immigration law’s
> family-reunification bias, an anchor baby who will be
> able to sponsor his relatives for residence and
> citizenship. They also know that anchor babies’ mothers
> are not deported. In 1993, the Los Angeles County Board
> of Supervisors reported that two-thirds of births in
> L.A. County hospitals were to illegal aliens, mostly
> Mexicans. Conservative estimates of illegal-alien
> births here, assuming an illegal alien population of
> between 8.7 and 11 million, run from 287,000 to 363,000
> per year.
>
> Not only Latin Americans have figured out Uncle Sam’s
> birthright bonanza. South Koreans have created a birth
> tourism industry. As the Los Angeles Times reported in
> 2002, Korean tour operators fly Korean mothers into Los
> Angeles and other American cities, there to give
> birth—in Korean-owned clinics with Korean staff—to an
> “American.” Websites like www.birthinusa.com advertise
> “from birth to citizenship.” Korean chaperones help get
> the babies California birth certificates and U.S.
> passports to take home. Junior can then dodge Korea’s
> draft—and sponsor his family in America if they feel
> like moving. Pledging allegiance to the Stars and
> Stripes has nothing to do with it.
>
> Federal laxity creates what Zall calls “drive-by
> citizenship,” debasing American citizenship by giving
> it to legions of aliens like Hamdi, who bear no
> allegiance to this country or connection other than the
> accident of birth here. Among other evils, this dilutes
> the citizenship of unquestionable Americans—children of
> American citizens—and encourages dual citizenship with
> attendant divided loyalties. Is this what those who
> ratified the Citizenship Clause intended?
>
> The Citizenship Clause was drafted to prevent freed
> slaves from being denied citizenship because they were
> not citizens at birth. It overturned the Supreme
> Court’s Dred Scott decision, which held that even
> U.S.-born freedmen were not automatically citizens.
> Nevertheless, the jurisdiction requirement was written
> into the clause to ensure that birthright citizenship
> would not become the law of land and that allegiance
> would remain a vital element of citizenship.
>
> In the 1866 Senate ratification debate, the Citizenship
> Clause’s proponent, Jacob Howard of Michigan, said it was
>
> 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 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.
>
> James Doolittle of Wisconsin queried Howard’s language,
> but not because he favored birthright citizenship.
> Instead he wanted it clear that Indians were excluded
> because they owed allegiance to their tribes. The
> Citizenship Clause’s drafters were careful to exclude
> Indians—deep-rooted in this land—from U.S. citizenship
> because they were not fully subject to the jurisdiction
> of the United States. It is inconceivable that they
> would countenance citizenship for Yaser Esam Hamdi just
> because he was born in Baton Rouge.
>
> Pennsylvania’s Edgar Cowan discussed citizenship’s
> limits. “If a traveler comes here from Ethiopia, from
> Australia, or from Great Britain, … he has a right to
> the protection of the laws, but he is not a citizen in
> the ordinary acceptation of the word.” Lyman Trumbull
> of Illinois, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a
> key drafter of the 14th Amendment, explained the
> jurisdiction requirement. “The provision is, that ‘all
> persons born in the United States, and subject to the
> jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means
> ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ … What
> do we mean by ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the
> United States?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else.
> That is what it means.”
>
> Maryland’s Reverdy Johnson, the only Democrat in this
> Reconstruction-era debate, gave Trumbull bipartisan
> support. “Now all this amendment provides is, that all
> persons born in the United States and not subject to
> any foreign Power … shall be considered as citizens of
> the United States.” Johnson emphasized that the
> jurisdiction requirement meant the same as the phrase
> “not subject to any foreign Power” in the Civil Rights
> Act of 1866, passed by the same Congress that ratified
> the 14th Amendment. The import of the jurisdiction
> requirement, affirmed by its drafters’ expressed
> intent, is that after dealing with the special case of
> freedmen the Citizenship Clause confers birthright
> citizenship only on citizens’ children.
>
> The Supreme Court honored the Citizenship Clause for 30
> years, holding that the jurisdiction requirement’s
> distinction between those who do and do not owe
> complete allegiance to the United States is a critical
> test of citizenship. In The Slaughter House Cases
> (1873), the Court held that the jurisdiction
> requirement was “intended to exclude from [the
> Citizenship Clause’s] operation children of ministers,
> consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign states
> born within the United States.” In Elk v. Wilkins
> (1884), the Court denied citizenship to John Elk, an
> Indian, because he did not owe complete allegiance to
> the United States. The jurisdiction requirement “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.”
> Justice Gray continued, “The evident meaning of [the
> jurisdiction requirement] 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.” It is impossible to square this
> interpretation with conferring citizenship on Hamdi or
> on any illegal alien’s child. And it is very hard to
> reconcile it with granting birthright citizenship to
> the children of legally resident aliens, who retain
> allegiance to their ancestral homelands.
>
> Unfortunately, the Court undermined the jurisdiction
> requirement in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)
> when Justice Gray, who had it right in Elk, concocted
> the theory that an alien in this country somehow gives
> his undivided allegiance to the United States and
> renounces all allegiance to his homeland for the
> duration of his residence. Gray’s Wong interpretation
> finds no support in the Citizenship Clause, the Senate
> debate, or the Court’s own precedents. It was a
> political expedient to avoid acknowledging that
> California-born children of Chinese parents legally in
> the United States, of whom Wong was one, were not
> automatically American citizens. The Court instead
> invented a right to citizenship for U.S.-born children
> of legally resident aliens. Not for the last time, the
> Supreme Court refused to apply the Constitution as
> written. Since Wong, the Court has accepted the case’s
> reasoning without examining it, exacerbating drive-by
> citizenship. With Hamdi the Court has ducked the issue
> again.
>
> Fortunately, we need not await the Supreme Court’s
> pleasure to enforce the whole Citizenship Clause and
> end drive-by citizenship. Section 5 of the 14th
> Amendment gives enforcement power to the Congress.
> Three bills exercising this authority are pending in
> the House. The best is H.J. Res. 42, sponsored by Rep.
> Ron Paul of Texas, to amend the Constitution to deny
> citizenship to individuals born in the United States to
> parents who are neither U.S. citizens nor persons who
> owe permanent allegiance to America. Although an
> amendment is not necessary, Paul’s resolution is
> faithful to the Citizenship Clause.
>
> Legislation enforcing the Citizenship Clause must also
> restore the traditional American rejection of dual
> citizenship. It should follow these principles:
>
> • Children of U.S. citizens are citizens, wherever born.
>
> • Children of an American and a foreign parent are
> treated as citizens until their 18th birthday.
> Then they must choose one citizenship; no dual
> nationality.
>
> • U.S.-born children of legally resident aliens are
> not citizens at birth. If their parents
> naturalize while they are minor dependents they
> may naturalize with them (assuming no criminal
> record). Otherwise they pursue naturalization, if
> at all, as do other immigrants.
>
> • U.S.-born children of illegal aliens are not
> citizens, period.
>
> Mass immigration is transforming America, and Americans
> have very little say in it. We must regain control over
> who shares the privileges and duties of American
> citizenship. Yaser Esam Hamdi’s only chosen involvement
> with this nation has been fighting with the Taliban
> against our troops. An America that accepts him as a
> fellow-citizen has no respect for its own
> citizenship—and an America that gives citizenship away
> to illegal alien and birth-tourist babies drains its
> greatest privilege, U.S. citizenship, of value.
well then convict that pile of shit as a traitor and hang him.
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