(OR: Where & how you are born matters.)
Several Candidates for President are beginning to talk about the citizenship of babys born in the USA of parents who are here illegally. Those who argue such a baby must be citizens are the same ones who tell us the minute before a baby is born it is not human. This is just a hint that their logic may be flawed.
To understand the issue, we must know it is not solved by the Constitution. Second, we must know and understand significant court comment on it. The main body of the Constitution is silent on anchor babies. In fact it left citizenship to the States. Citizenship becomes a part of the Constitution only in its amendments. The birthright issue comes to pass only because of the existence of the 14th Amendment. Its language, which some argue says children of illegals are citizens, is as follows:
“Section 1. 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.”
Obviously the above language does not mention children of illegal trespassers. At best it’s language is ambiguous when it says “ born or naturalized… and subject to….” What does “… subject to jurisdiction…” mean? If being born and naturalized was all that was meant then why condition that event, by “…subject to the jurisdiction thereof…”. Why was this condition added? Logic tells us that if we have no jurisdiction of an illegal, then we also have no jurisdiction of its baby seconds before it is born and right after. Illegals make illegals so to speak. The word jurisdiction must have meant something other than the power to arrest and deport. Let’s step back in time to learn the reasons the 14th Amendment was created in the first place. Certainly knowing what the writers had in mind should help logic and common sense.
Winning the Civil War was its cause. With the end of slavery three Constitutional Amendments were passed to hopefully clear up the citizenship issue of slaves. They are the 13, 14, and 15th.
Amendment 13: This simply removed Slavery and Involuntary Servitude and gave Congress (Not the States.) power to enforce it.
Amendment 14: This attempted to define Citizenship (see above) and specifically said no State could deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process and equal protection of the law. This reinforced the power granted Congress in the 13th. It went on to talk about apportionment and election of members of Congress. While at it the writers added that the US Gov. could not assume any debts of the Confederate States. Clearly the intent was the slavery issue.
Amendment 15: This was the final wrap up of the slavery issue by declaring a State could not deny votes based on race, color, or servitude.
Using common sense these three focused on slavery, its destruction, and feared resurrection. The issue of birth rights of illegal trespassers was not in the intent and was not in the mind of those who approved the amendments.
How did the Anchor Babe concept get pulled out of this ambiguous language? Well the Liberal members of our Supreme Court did the deed. The case most used as the source is “United States vs Wong Kim Ark in 1898”. The issue here was the citizenship of children born to people here legally, but not citizens. By the rules of interpretation this ruling should never have been applied beyond its facts. The Court did not have before it the issue of the parent’s illegality. Another case used as the fountain head is Plyler vs Doe (1982) where a footnote seemed to say that presence here legally was not relevant. Again it was an aside. It was not an issue clearly framed by the pleadings or otherwise before the court. This being so it should not be a ruling of the court.
The result is that there is no clear Court Case, interpreting the Constitution directly on the issue. At best, if the issue had been before the Supreme Court its ruling should have said the Constitution is silent on the matter. It is akin to Presiding Justice Roberts calling Obama’s Health Care, a tax. Justices sometimes pull issues out of thin air.
This means that Congress has the power to pass a law saying birth right means both parents, or one (If it wants.) must be legal citizens. Of course the pro-aggressives will appeal it, and finally, for once, the issue will be directly put to the Court.
Oh, yes finally the stock market is acting like a real market. Good luck.
PROTEST: FLY THE BETSY ROSS FLAG. It is the one flag where all the States supported the Constitution.
Rooster Bradford, gives up all rights to this article and seeks no compensation for its use. Aug. 2015