Anchor babies, birthright citizenship, and the 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads in part:

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."

Babies born to illegal alien mothers within U.S. borders are called anchor babies because under the 1965 immigration Act, they act as an anchor that pulls the illegal alien mother and eventually a host of other relatives into permanent U.S. residency. (Jackpot babies is another term).

Post-Civil War reforms focused on injustices to African Americans. The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 to protect the rights of native-born Black Americans, whose rights were being denied as recently-freed slaves. It was written in a manner so as to prevent state governments from ever denying citizenship to blacks born in the United States. But in 1868, the United States had no formal immigration policy, and the authors therefore saw no need to address immigration explicitly in the amendment.

Senator Jacob Howard worked closely with Abraham Lincoln in drafting and passing the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery. He also served on the Senate Joint Committee on Reconstruction, which drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 1866, Senator Jacob Howard clearly spelled out the intent of the 14th Amendment by writing:

Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law 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. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."

The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" was intended to exclude American-born persons from automatic citizenship whose allegiance to the United States was not complete. With illegal aliens who are unlawfully in the United States, their native country has a claim of allegiance on the child. Thus, the completeness of their allegiance to the United States is impaired, which therefore precludes automatic citizenship.

The correct interpretation of the 14th Amendment is that an illegal alien mother is subject to the jurisdiction of her native country, as is her baby.

Over a century ago, the Supreme Court correctly confirmed this restricted interpretation of citizenship in the so-called 'Slaughter-House cases' [83 US 36 (1873)] and in [112 US 94 (1884)]. In Elk v.Wilkins, the phrase 'subject to its jurisdiction' excluded from its operation 'children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of foreign states born within the United States.' In Elk, the American Indian claimant was considered not an American citizen because the law required him to be '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.'

Congress subsequently passed a special act to grant full citizenship to American Indians, who were not citizens even through they were born within the borders of the United States. The Citizens Act of 1924, codified in 8USCSß1401, provides that:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
(b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe.

The original intent of the 14th Amendment was clearly not to facilitate illegal aliens defying U.S. law and obtaining citizenship for their offspring, nor obtaining benefits at taxpayer expense. Current estimates indicate there may be over 300,000 anchor babies born each year in the U.S., thus causing illegal alien mothers to add more to the U.S. population each year than immigration from all sources in an average year before 1965.

Australia rescinded birthright citizenship in 2007, as did New Zealand in 2006, Ireland in 2005, France in 1993, and the United Kingdom in 1983. This leaves the United States and Canada as the only remaining industrialized nations to grant automatic citizenship to every person born within the borders of the country, irrespective of their parents' nationality or immigration status.

American citizens must be wary of elected politicians voting to illegally extend our generous social benefits to illegal aliens and other criminals.

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