Birthright citizenship is conferred by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”
As America becomes inundated with millions of illegal aliens (estimated to number 10.8 million in 2009 by the Dept. of Homeland Security), birthright citizenship becomes increasingly questionable because of its association with anchor babies.
“Anchor baby” refers to a child born in the U.S. to illegal aliens. By virtual of his birthright citizenship, the child, when he reaches the age of 21, may then file for a US visa for his parents — and eventually other family members –through the legal principle of jus soli and the policy of family reunification. But saying that an anchor child can apply for immigration for his parents when he reaches adulthood is deceptive because many feel it is inhumane to deport violators of immigration laws with minor children who are legally American citizens. In practice, therefore, anchor babies do ensure continuing residence and eventual citizenship for their illegal alien parents.
The Pew Hispanic Center says there are 3.8 million illegal aliens with anchor children. A recent survey of patients from a Dallas-era hospital indicated “70 percent of the women who gave birth at Parkland hospital in the first three months of 2006 were illegal immigrants.”
When the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, the United States did not limit immigration and, by definition, had no illegal immigrants. Thus, the issue of citizenship for children born here of parents who are illegal aliens was nonexistent. Granting of automatic citizenship to children of illegal alien mothers is a recent and totally inadvertent and unforeseen result of the amendment.
There have been legislative efforts in the past toward ending birthright citizenship. Now that the historic November 2 elections delivered a Republican majority to the House, renewed efforts will be made.
Jeremy Duda of Arizona Capitol Times reports on Dec 28, 2010:
The 2011 legislative session will begin a few days early for two Arizona lawmakers who will be in Washington D.C. for the unveiling of legislation intended to end birthright citizenship.
Immigration hawks Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of SB1070, and Rep. John Kavanagh will attend a Jan. 5 press conference at the National Press Club to introduce model legislation that aims to force the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the longstanding interpretation of the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. Lawmakers from 14 states who plan to introduce the bill will attend as well.
Despite worries from the business community, lawmakers and others that the controversial proposal will turn the Legislature’s attention from more important issues, such as the budget and the economy, Kavanagh said he doesn’t expect the birthright-citizenship bill to be a distraction. “The budget and jobs will be the No. 1 priority, but we’ll still be able to deal with a lot of other important issues like illegal immigration,” the Fountain Hills Republican said.
Legislators in Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah plan to introduce birthright citizenship bills in 2011.