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Guest Column: Ending auto-birthright citizenship

August 18, 2010

By E.J. Pagel

Much has been speculated about the automatic citizenship of any child born within the jurisdiction of the USA. The issue is further complicated by whether the mother is illegal, the father is illegal, or both; if one is a U.S. citizen, if they are actually married, or if a “single” woman arrives just in time to have her child born here. Children born here to foreign ambassadors have always been citizens of their native country.

It is alleged that deportations break up families, but family members are free to move to the native country. And if not, whose fault is that? We’ve seen how strict other nations’ laws are. Presently, there are those in this federal government that enable illegal alien parents of babies born here to gain a fast-track to citizenship; hence the term “anchor babies.” They now have an advantage over legal immigrants who are making legitimate application to become U.S. citizens, and are waiting to be processed. It’s unfair and wrong, but apparently illegals know it is, and continue to do it anyway!

Because of the huge cost of illegal aliens in their states, California Congressman Brian Bilbray and Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce have suggested that language in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should be changed to end the “automatic birthright citizenship.” From Section 1.–“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 word here is “and.” Illegal aliens believe they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; otherwise, they would obey our immigration laws. Further evidence of this emerged when former Mexican President Vincente Fox stated that if the United States tried to enforce its laws upon his Mexican nationals here, it would be “a violation of human rights.” OK, haul us into the World Court and “prove” we don’t have the right to enforce our own laws.

I’m not aware of any language changes that have actually been proposed for the 14th Amendment, but it would first have to be approved by Congress, then ratified by three-quarters of the state’s legislatures, as would any new amendment. Constitutional scholars tell us that section was designed so that slaves, freed slaves, and their children would not be denied U.S. citizenship. They were brought here against their will. They did not sneak in, or overstay their visas.

The issue could be more simply resolved if the Supreme Court re-examined the 14th Amendment, as it did in the Plyler v. Doe ruling (457 457. U.S. 202 (1982)), which mandated that no school system may inquire about the immigration status of a student. The ruling also stated that children of illegal aliens are not entitled to automatic birthright citizenship, but at that time there was no way to determine who was here illegally.

Now, we have the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) database, which contains all the various authorization documents of all foreign nationals who are legally in the United States, and they are required to carry those documents with them at all times. So E-verify could and should be used now, but most Democrats oppose this.

If the Court were to revisit, clarify, and update that ruling, it could announce that from this day forward, no birth certificate will be issued, and babies and illegal parent(s) would be held for deportation. It would require adequate funding for ICE, and securing the borders, citing the Constitution requires the government to protect us from foreign invasion.

However, if the Supreme Court is dominated by justices with open-borders philosophy, it could either refuse to hear the case, or hear it…and rule that nothing is to change!

E.J. Pagel is the media secretary of the Rockford Area Libertarians, and a Minuteman.

From the Aug. 18-24, 2010 issue

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