We’ve all heard the stats: currently, only the United States grants birthright citizenship to illegal aliens and 8% of babies born in the US are so-called “anchor babies” born of illegal aliens. In and of itself, this doesn’t constitute a crisis, but, for many of us, it does illustrate how far we’ve strayed from the Constitution.
Like all babies, “anchor babies” too are sweet and cuddly, and deserving of mother’s love and society’s protection. But automatically conferring citizenship on babies of illegal aliens is an ideologically-motivated perversion not only of internationally accepted legal norms, but, much more importantly, of the Constitution itself.

By nimbly mischaracterizing the motives of birthright citizenship opponents, many in the media and blogosphere—to include attorneys who should know better-- have irresponsibly misrepresented the framers’ intent and have reduced the level of discourse on this legitimate constitutional issue to that of ad hominem, race-baiting, specious legal citations, contrived legal justifications, and mindless pandering. Shamelessly seeking ideological and political supremacy, to these people the Constitution and the rule of law mean absolutely nothing. And for a nation which once prided itself as being a “nation of laws”, that is inexcusable.

During an interview with Mr. Trump last night, what annoyed me greatly was Bill O'Reilly's characteristically bombastic--and wholly erroneous--claim that "the 14th Amendment says that any person born on US soil is a US Citizen. Period".  Poppycock! He couldn't have carefully read the amendment at all to reach this specious conclusion. And the fact that even Judge Napolitano, a Libertarian jurist, a few days earlier asserted this revisionist and ignorant view is nothing short of bewildering and troubling.  But, this does underscore just how flawed and fallible jurists and seemingly bright, well-informed talking heads really are.

That said, for my own edification I decided to take the time to again review the actual words of the 14th’s framers, pertinent case law and the opinions of jurists and legal scholars on both sides of the question to determine the truth in this matter.

Here are my findings and conclusions:

First, while researching pertinent materials, I soon discovered that understanding the clear intent and meaning of the 14th Amendment was much simpler than anticipated. In fact, the meaning of the 14th was surprisingly straightforward. Lesson learned: if one simply abandons one’s ideological blinders for a moment and commit to an honest effort to objectively review a constitutional issue, clarity is nearly always one’s reward.

It also became apparent that from a strictly Constitutional standpoint, and despite many assertions to the contrary from both the left and the right, a constitutional amendment is NOT needed to deny US Citizenship to anchor babies of illegal entrants. In short, I was unable to find ANY convincing constitutional evidence that so-called anchor babies can legitimately and automatically acquire U.S citizenship. Thus, a simple act of Congress--and most certainly NOT an amendment to the Constitution—to clarify the original intent and meaning of the 14th Amendment is all that is really needed to resolve this issue once and for all.

Toward this end, introduced on April 2nd, 2009, and co-sponsored by 93 congressmen, inclusive of one lonely Democratic supporter, Mississippi’s Gene Taylor, HR 1868 (Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009) intended to amend section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that a person born in the US is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the US for citizenship purposes if the person is born in the US of parents, one of whom is: 1) a US citizen or national; 2) a lawful permanent resident alien who resides in the US; or 3) an alien performing military service in the US Armed Forces.” And if one simply reviews the original meaning of the 14th Amendment one can easily see that there was absolutely nothing at all revolutionary about this bill's language. In any event, the bill failed.

Intended to protect the rights of emancipated Negroes, the 14th Amendment specifically provided that “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.”

And as I very quickly learned, of central importance in this statement is the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”, something birthright citizenship proponents have consistently and very conveniently ignored.

To begin, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, co-author of the 14th Amendment, expressly asserted that “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.” And it is in this plain-spoken construction birthright proponents somehow discover ambiguity or a totally different meaning. Amazing!
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Under Section 1992 of the US Revised Statutes, the same Congress which adopted the 14th Amendment confirmed that “all persons born in the United States who are not aliens, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.”

In 1873, the US Atty Gen ruled the word “jurisdiction” under the Fourteenth Amendment to mean the absolute and complete jurisdiction. Aliens, among whom are persons born here and naturalized abroad, dwelling or being in this country, are subject to the jurisdiction of the US but only to a limited extent. Political and military rights do not pertain to them.”

Sen. Trumbell noted during the drafting of the 14th Amendment that it was the amendment’s goal to “make citizens of everybody born in the US who owe allegiance to the US,” and if “the negro or white man belonged to a foreign government he would not be a citizen.”

On March 1, 1866, Rep. James Wilson of Iowa, House Judiciary Committee, added that “we must depend on the general law relating to subjects and citizens recognized by all nations for a definition, and that must lead us to conclude that every person born in the US is a natural-born citizen of such States, except that of children born on our soil (jus soli) to temporary sojourners or representatives of foreign governments.” This statement served to nicely clarify Sen. Howard’s construction above.

John Bingham, framer of the 14th Amendment’s first section, stated that Sec. 1992 of the Revised Statutes meant “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the US of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of the Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”

And if we reach way back to our founders in search of a definition of citizens of a foreign power, Thomas Jefferson said “Aliens are the subjects of a foreign power.”

To a man, among the framers the premise behind “within the jurisdiction thereof” was that all children born to parents who owed no foreign allegiance were to be citizens of the US; thus, not only must a child be born on US soil (jus soli) but born of parents whose complete allegiance is to the US.

Subsequently, Sen. Howard further explained that “only thru expatriation, which could be accomplished thru law alone, and not thru any immigrant acting on his own outside the law—and certainly not by any act of birth alone—could an alien become a citizen.” This, of course, would mean that the alien/sojourner would need to affirmatively renounce his allegiance to his/her country of origin before s/he could be considered completely within the jurisdiction of the US.

Sen. Howard also stated the following: “…the word 'jurisdiction', as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the US, coextensive in all respects with the constitutional power of the US, whether exercised by Congress, the executive, or the judiciary; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the US now.” In effect, he was saying that an alien may, by treaty arrangements with his country of origin, avail himself of the protection of the US, much as sojourning US citizens in the alien’s country of origin would avail themselves of that country’s protection, but that an alien's physical presence in the US alone would not render him/her under the "complete jurisdiction" of the US. Simple enough.

The rationale behind not granting automatic citizenship can be easily illustrated by the fact that Indians could not be subject to the jurisdiction of the US because the US dealt with them through treaties. By logical extension, aliens sojourning in the US are extended privileges and protections by virtue of treaties in force with their countries of origin, much as American citizens are granted similar rights and privileges—but not citizenship--when sojourning in those countries. Logically, therefore, only if an alien voluntarily and affirmatively renounces his citizenship and expresses an intent to swear allegiance to the US may the alien, through operation of law (a formal naturalization process) be granted US citizenship. Thus, in a nutshell, since neither children of tourists/sojourners nor of diplomats born in the US can be US citizens, children of illegal entrants cannot be lawfully granted the privilege of US citizenship.

In 1867, George Yeaman, American Minister to Denmark, in his highly respected treatise on allegiance and citizenship and for whom the framers had great respect, asserted that “the idea of a double allegiance and citizenship united in the same person, and having reference to two separate, independent, and sovereign nations or governments, is simply an impossibility.” Thus, dual citizenship was also a no-no. (Take note, BHO.)

P. A. Madison, a modern day master of constitutional analysis, points out that “since illegal aliens are unlawfully in the US, their native country has a proper and primary claim of allegiance on the child. Thus, the completeness of their allegiance to the US is impaired, which therefore precludes automatic citizenship.” Slam dunk obvious, I’d say.

Also, Rep. Aaron Sargent, a representative from California during the Naturalization Act of 1870 debates, said the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause was not a de-facto right for aliens to obtain citizenship. Significantly, none of his contemporaries disputed that assertion.

Adding to this mix, here is a little case law since the 14th’s ratification.

In the Slaughterhouse Cases(1873), the Supreme Court observed that the 14th Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision by making all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction, citizens of the US; the ruling went on to point out “that [the 14th Amendment’s] main purpose was to establish the citizenship of the Negro” and that “the phrase ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, AND citizens or subjects of foreign states born within the United States", thus reinforcing Sen. Howard’s construction above. So, since they cannot be subject to US jurisdiction, children of citizens of foreign sovereignties and children of foreign ministers/consuls/ambassadors cannot be lawfully considered US Citizens. Makes perfect sense.

Then, in Elk v Wilkins (1884), the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not even confer citizenship on Indians—because they were subject to tribal jurisdiction, not U.S. jurisdiction. In effect, the court essentially stated that the status of the parents determines the citizenship of the childand not merely the fortuitous birth of that child on American soil. (Note: not until the Citizens Act of 1924 was U S citizenship granted to American Indians. As with many whimsical court rulings over the years, I was unable to understand the legal grounding for this reversal. Thus, it would seem that judicial arbitrariness is not an affliction peculiar to modern day American courts alone.)

In US v Wong Kim Ark (1889), the courts held that children born in the US of parents of foreign descent who, at the time of the child’s birth are subjects of a foreign power but who have a permanent domicile and residence in the US and are carrying on business in the US, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under a foreign power, and are not members of foreign forces in hostile occupation of US territory, become a citizen of the US at the time of birth. As expressed in the minority opinion, this decision violated the 14th Amendment. But, in any case, how many new illegal aliens have permanent domiciles in the US and how many of them are carrying on business in the US at the moment of their child's birth on US soil? I suspect precious few. (Note too that the parents of Wong Kim Ark were in the US legally. They were not illegal entrants.)

In Steel v Citizens for a Better Environment (1998), the court stated that “jurisdiction is a word of many, too many, meanings.” Au contraire! As can be clearly seen above, Sen. Trumbell and, yes, Sen. Howard, 14th Amendment co-authors, had long ago provided an unambiguous definition by declaring that “the provision is, that all persons born in the United States, and ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’’, are citizens. That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof. What do we mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof'? Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.” And this from the framers' themselves! (Clearly, majority jurists in the Steel v Citizens court didn’t bother to research the framers’ clear intent and meaning. And one must wonder if a neophyte, such as I, can easily deduce original meaning, why can't trained jurists? Could it be incompetence or do political agendas get in the way of constitutional law?)

Despite the clear meaning and intent of the 14th's framers, we fast forward to the somewhat enigmatic ruling in US ex rel. Hintopoulis v Shaughnessy (1982), which some bloggers and others have used to justify birthright citizenship. In that case, and out of whole cloth, somewhere in the ruling it asserted, almost unconsciously/unwittingly, that although a child born in the US to two illegal aliens was a US Citizen (????) that, nonetheless, “suspending the alien parents’ deportation based upon “the accident of birth in the US of their son would be to deprive others, who are patiently awaiting visas…” Thus, since the glancing allusion to the legality of birthright citizenship, though gratuitous—and erroneous—appeared in the text of this suspension of deportation decision, birthright proponents often blithely and excitedly cite this case to substantiate the legality of birthright citizenship. Grabbing at straws, I'd say.

Then, true to activist form, in Plyler v Doe (1982) the court, apparently without access to or proper reliance on the 14th framers’ erudition and written words, mysteriously ruled 5-4 that there is “no plausible distinction” with respect to “jurisdiction” between resident aliens who entered the country lawfully and those resident aliens who entered unlawfully. Wowee! Clearly a yawning violation of the framers’ clear meaning and intent. Seems judicial activism was as alive and well in 1982 as it is today.

To me, these two rulings which capriciously and arrogantly turned Thomas Jefferson and the framers of the 14th on their heads are clearly unlawful at worst, convenient contrivances at best.

When I explained all this on-line to an attorney who is also a strong proponent of birthright citizenship, this was her reply: “I disagree with your interpretation of the phrase ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof'. The first rule of statutory construction is that we don’t look to the drafters’ intent if the words are plain and unambiguous…If the drafters meant to include some allegiance test, they would have. They didn’t.” That sort of revisionism, gobbledegook, willful ignorance and dishonesty is, folks, what this country is up against. My rejoinder was civil, but to the point: “It wasn’t MY lowly interpretation. It was the framers’ interpretation. But, ignore original intent and meaning? A living constitution is like having no constitution at all. We can merely make it up as we go along and continue to hand-off an increasingly irrelevant document to the next generation. While I sincerely hope this isn’t what you have in mind, at this juncture I can see there’s really nothing more to discuss with you on this or any other constitutional issues. How very sad.”

Finally, based upon what I now understand, we must be faithful to the 14th Amendment framers’ clear intent and meaning—surely a tall order with so many political activists, globalists and social engineers infesting our courts these days. In the case of "birthright citizenship", Congress is constitutionally empowered to re-assert the original meaning of the the 14th Amendment, and that's precisely what it should do.

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Thanks for the link to Ms. Allen's bio. I had garnered that she was a Democrat.

As I understand it, not all of the Founders signed the parchment document at the same time on Aug. 2, 1776. I also understand that 5 signed later and 2 didn't sign at all.

I assume when you say they didn't tell the truth you're referring tp Ms. Allen and contemporaries.

Tif, first did I say I was a constitutional scholar? Like Hank, you assume a lot. You also assumed I didn't want to see the bio of the lady who did the research without even giving me a chance to weigh in.

Now, before I answer your question, what was the language the Declaration of Independence originally written in?
Tif, how many drafts were that we know of and how many of the Dunlap documents were printed?

My final statement stands on its on, above, and I will not change it.

Good morning and good night Ronald.

LOL Tif

No one is disputing that several drafts were made before Continental Congress approved, ratified, and signed the final draft of the 'Declaration of Independence' into law... earlier drafts or documents to the contrary, would be void as they would be superceded by the Declaration of July 4th, 1776... The only Declaration of Independence signed into law by all 13 Colonies... is the one we honor as the Declaration of Independence.


Several emissaries carrying documents and petitions for the redress of greviences between the colonies and England were sent to the King by the Colonies... However, these all failed to resolve the difference between the King and the Colonies. The result was the Revolutionary War and the creation of a formal Declaration of Indpendence... A Declaration sighting the reasons and authority for the colonies braking with England.  Other documents... of earlier or contemporanius issue, would be void... the official, ratified 'Declaration of Independence' is the approved work of the Continental Congress... agreed to by all 13 Colonies.

You're quite hostile when asked an honest question aren't you.That's very indicative of a conspiracist. What make you think that many of those with PhDs aren't patriots or haven't spent years researching the history of the Declaration and of the colonies? Is it again a conspiracist bent or pride?

Why do you want to curse modern day royalty of England when they aren't responsible for what their ancestors did? Haven't you read Ezekiel 18:20 which states, “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son.” What about 1 Timothy 2:1-4, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." Does you hatred extend that far that you'd deny that?

Now I see that you and Hank are related. Bother and sisters perhaps?

I want to challenge you to find the Jesus of the Bible and accept His Word. Nevertheless, I responded explicitly to what you wrote. But you seem unable to understand that madam.

By the way, there're pedophiles all around the world. What's sad in England, and some other European countries, is that authorities are too terrified to take aggressive action to stop rape gangs and such. Also, Home Sec.May has said child sexual abuse ran through British society like "a stick of Blackpool rock" and warned that the public did not fully “appreciate the true scale” of exploitation. did it reach up to someone in the Royal Family. some say so. But like in the US, crimes of the rich and powerful are often overlooked. Sadly that's the story of history.

By the way, I doubt you have respect for not only the Crown of England for sins of their ancestors, but also for anyone who disagrees with your views.

So Hank is your 1st cousin, once removed.

Tif...

What Black Rock in England... do you mean Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Birth Place of Mohammad?  If so, it is not in England.  Have a great day.

I take it by your reply that you're not a Christian.

"Your parent's first cousin is your first cousin once removed. The child of your first cousin is also your first cousin once removed: your grandparent is that child's great-grandparent. You can do the whole "removed" thing for every category of cousins—second cousin once removed, and so on."

https://www.bhg.com/health-family/reunions/activities/cousins-chart/

Now, do you need to learn some good old Southern manners MRS. Morgan?

MRS. Morgan, at least we know that you're not a lady. You can't even handle the truth with grace.

Maj. Benitez

You didn't ask which found father translated the Declaration. Also how was he lost in the first place? Also, you've refused to answer the question, which language was the Declaration originally written in. You response above is merely obfuscation.

There were 5 members of the committee that worked on the Declaration. They were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.

So as for language the Declaration was written in the LATE 18th century, it was not in the 15th, 16th, 17thg, or early 18th centuries. In addition, the language of the Royal Court in the late 1700s wasn't in the languages you state, Anglo-Norman, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Latin, Cornish, Anglo-Norman, Guernésiais, Jèrriais, Manx, or Irish, but rather closer to the English of King James. In British colonial America, reading was taught so that both males and females could read the bible, the King James Bible.

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Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by Tom StiglichPolitical Cartoons by AF Branco

ALERT ALERT

Fact Check:   'Joe Biden Claims ‘We Didn’t Lock People Up In Cages’

CLAIM: Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed, on immigration: “We didn’t lock people up in cages.”

VERDICT: FALSE. The “cages” were built by the Obama-Biden administration.

Univision moderator Jorge Ramos asked Biden at the third Democrat debate at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, why Latinos should trust him after the Obama administration continued deporting “undocumented immigrants.”

Biden claimed that the Obama administration’s policies were more humane than those of President Donald Trump: “We didn’t lock people up in cages,” he said.

In fact, the “cages” were built by the Obama administration to deal with a surge of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border illegally in 2014.

Originally, the Obama administration was “warehousing” children — literally — in overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities. Breitbart News broke the story of the surge, which was partly triggered by Obama’s policy of allowing illegal alien children who entered the country as minors to stay in the country (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA).

Above image credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File

The above photo was published by the Associated Press in June 2014, and the photo below is of Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, touring a Border Patrol facility with “cages.”


Above: Border Patrol officers escort Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Gov. Jan Brewer through the department’s Nogales processing facility for immigrant children. (Photo courtesy Barry Bahler/Department of Homeland Security)

The “cages” are chain-link enclosures in Border Patrol processing facilities that are meant to protect children from adults in custody. They are not permanent accommodations.

In mid-2018, as the Trump administration began enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy that stopped the “catch-and-release” policy of letting illegal aliens go after they were arrested. Detaining adults and children meant that children had to be processed separately; the enclosures prevented adults from harming children.

As Breitbart News reported at the time, children were not housed in “cages.” They were processed and then taken to shelters, where they were given medical care, toiletries, education, recreation, and counseling, and where staff attempted to find relatives or sponsors to whom they could be released.

Democrats began tweeting images of “kids in cages” to condemn the Trump administration. Journalists, too, shared those images.

One problem: they were taken during the Obama administration.

Public outrage at the images led President Trump to end the policy, and require families to be detained together.

Democrats keep repeating the mistake, however: in July, they had to delete a tweet that used an image from the Obama era and cited the “inhumane treatment” of children by the Trump administration.

Republicans argue that not detaining illegal aliens is actually the cruel policy, because it encourages migrants to undertake a dangerous journey, often guided by cartels and smugglers.

As Breitbart News’ Alana Mastrangelo noted recently:

But what’s worse than “cages,” however, are reports of migrant children also being handed over to human traffickers during the Obama administration — while Biden was vice president — according to the New York Times. Between October 2013 and July 2015 alone, nearly 80,000 unaccompanied children from Central American countries were detained by U.S. authorities.

It remains unclear how many of the tens of thousands of children were handed over to human traffickers — including sex traffickers — during that span of nearly two years, as those cases are reportedly not tracked.

“Others were ransomed by the very smugglers to whom their families paid thousands of dollars to sneak them into the United States,” reported the New York Times in 2015, during Obama’s presidency and Biden’s vice presidency. “Some lost limbs during the journey or found themselves sold into sexual slavery.”

Biden told voters in South Carolina last month that he would close all border detention facilities, guaranteeing that the migrant flow would continue.

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