Birthright Citizenship: An Open Door Policy
It’s no surprise that illegal immigration is, well, illegal. At a time when employment rates are low, healthcare costs are high, and border security is questionable, Americans are increasingly frustrated by the federal government’s failure to enforce existing immigration laws. However, it’s not what’s illegal that have some Senate Republicans concerned.
Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UH), and Jerry Morgan (R-KS) have drafted legislation that would deny citizenship to children born to parents who are in the United States illegally. Under current law, any child born on American soil is automatically a citizen, regardless of the lawful status of his or her parents. The bill, if passed, would bar birthright citizenship unless at least one of the child’s parents is a U.S. citizen, lawful resident, or member of the armed services.
Opponents claim the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizenship to any person born in the America. However, such a view ignores the legislative intent of the amendment, as well as the important distinction between territorial jurisdiction and political jurisdiction. The latter basically requires that an individual owe allegiance to the United States. Illegal immigrants and their children simply do not meet the requirement, and thus such a claim has no merit.
It is reprehensible to use children as “anchors,” but as long as the loophole remains there will be individuals who enter the United States illegally and exploit it. America was founded by immigrants who came in search of a better life, and we should always welcome those who are willing to do the same lawfully. However, the door ought to be shut and locked for those whose first act in this great country is to defy our laws, manipulate our rules, and abuse our kindness.