Aug 11, 2010

Immigration Crackdown: Public evenly split on changing 14th amendment and the Case for Birthright Citizenship

Public evenly split on changing 14th amendment? just in from CNN:

As you may know, the Constitution says that all children born in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens regardless of their parents' status. Would you favor or oppose a Constitutional amendment to prevent children born here from becoming U.S. citizens unless their parents are also U.S. citizens?
Favor 49%
Oppose 51%
No opinion 1%
The public is just about evenly split on whether to repeal birthright citizenship. Hey, what's another Constitutional amendment between friends, anyway?
August 11, Washington Post, Opinion "The Plum Line"

The following OpEd article is an excellent review of the the Fourteenth Amendment and its interpretation by the Supreme Court.

The Case For Birthright CitizenshipProponents of repeal (of the 14th Amendment) argue that the 14th Amendment was passed after the Civil War to guarantee citizenship to freed slaves, and that it was never intended to grant rights to the offspring of illegal aliens. But this argument is a non sequitur. At the time of the adoption of the amendment, there was no category of "illegal alien" because immigration was unrestricted and unregulated. If you secured passage to the United States, or simply walked across the open border with Mexico or Canada, you could stay permanently as a resident alien or apply to be naturalized after a certain number of years. And if you happened to give birth while still an alien, your child was automatically a citizen—a right dating back to English common law.

... In the case of U.S. v Wong, in 1898, regarding the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1892, the Supreme Court ruled, 7 to 2, "The amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born within the territory of the United States of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States." To hold otherwise, wrote Justice Horace Gray for the majority, would be to deny citizenship to the descendants of English, Irish, Germans and other aliens who had always been considered citizens even if their parents were citizens of other countries. For more than a 100 years, the court has consistently upheld this analysis. August 11, Wall Street Journal OpEd by Linda Chavez, chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity in Falls Church, Va. and director of public liaison in the Reagan White House.

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