Birthright Citizenship Controversy Likely Headed for the Supreme Court

March 18, 2019

President Trump understands that border security is of utmost importance to our nation. He also voiced concern about various types of unconstrained immigration, which are exploited by Birthright Citizenship (BC). This touched off a firestorm of liberal opposition by proponents of BC. Thanks to the Muthana vs Pompeo case, BC may wind up in a Supreme Court Decision.

Muthana is the US-born daughter of a foreign diplomat. She left the country to join the Islamic State in Syria four years ago and now seeks to return claiming US citizenship. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that she is a terrorist and will not be admitted. The case involves the interpretation of the 14th Amendment regarding Birthright Citizenship.  

Caravans of immigrants cascading towards our border make compelling video. Less obvious are seducing immigration practices caused by debatable interpretation of the 14th Amendment. Birthright Citizenship, anchor babies, chain migration, and the disgraceful birth-tourism industry undermine the intent of our founders.  

John Eastman of the Claremont Institute has picked up the sword regarding interpretations of the 14th Amendment. He filed an amicus brief in the Muthana vs Pompeo case. The concept of Birthright Citizenship has never been heard by the Supreme Court.

Slavery was abolished after the Civil War in 1865 by the 13th Amendment. However, it failed to prevent states from denying former slaves the privileges and protections of citizenship. A pro-slavery Supreme Court ruled that citizenship was racial in the Dred Scott Decision, which held that people of African descent were not American citizens.   

To overturn the Dred Scott Decision, the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified to address specifically former slaves and children of slaves that were born after the Civil War. The first section states:

"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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; not shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; not deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The 14th Amendment had nothing to do with legal or illegal aliens or the children of aliens, or the children of diplomats, or birth-mothers who arrive on a temporary basis to give birth and return to home countries. The 14th Amendment was about the status of former slaves and the outrages they had been made to suffer.

Birthright Citizenship (BC) is currently interpreted to mean that any baby born in the United States is automatically a citizen. BC has become a magnet for illegal immigration. Babies born in the US to immigrants are called "anchor babies." As a U.S. Citizen, the child qualifies for benefits, including free education through high school, and in-state affordable tuition in state colleges. When the child turns 21, additional family members can join him through chain migration. Thus, the baby is an "anchor" for the entire family chain to legally come to the United States.

A birth racket tourism has been spawned by Birthright Citizenship.  Wealthy Chinese, Koreans, Turks, Venezuelans, and others from overseas engage maternity travel operators who orchestrate the arrival, stay, and hospital birth of pregnant women who give birth to a U.S. Citizen baby. These birth-mothers are mere sojourners in the United States for the sole purpose of giving birth to make their baby a U.S. citizen. The mother returns to their homeland with a newborn that could become an anchor baby, and return with all benefits of a citizen.

Advanced countries that had historically offered Birthright Citizenship abandoned it years ago; Canada and the U.S. are the only developed nations that persist in the practice. Undeveloped countries where life is not easy like Cuba and Argentina continue to offer birthright citizenship.

President Trump acknowledges the negative impact of Birthright Citizenship and chain migration on our nation. The Muthana vs Pompeo case is addressing this issue through the courts, rather than through Congress or an Executive Order. Judicial re-examination could be decided in the Supreme Court.

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The 14th and 15th amendments were passed to guarantee the rights of slaves and only slaves. Somewhere along the line a court misinterpreted the meaning to include any birth. It is ironic that the democrats fought these two amendments following the civil war and now are proponents. As a legal immigrant who went through all of the necessary screening I resent the way they are cheapening our citizenship.
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The internationally published writer is a former English teacher, stockbroker, and owner/president of a small corporation.  She is active with Republican Women Federated, The Coachella Valley Lincoln Club, The California Republican Party, and Armed Services YMCA- 29 Palms Marine Base.  She can be reached at