The Corner

Re: 14th Amendment

As it happens, while I’ve been living it up at the beach, my research

director just released a report yesterday on births to

immigrants, which found that nearly 10 percent of all births in the United

States today are to illegal aliens. This makes the question of automatic

citizenship at birth another one of those vital issues no one wants to

talk about. There has never, in fact, been any decision to grant

citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegals — it just happened

through intertia. The Supreme Court did decide a case related to this, but

it held only that children born to legal immigrants had to be

granted citizenship. And the U.S.-born children of foreign diplomats aren’t

supposed to get citizenship, though there’s nothing really to stop them.

That having been said, my inclinations are in JPod’s direction (sorry Derb)

– automatic citizenship at birth radically simplifies matters. After all,

what would we do with the nearly 400,000 people born each year to

illegal alien mothers — if they simply inherited their parents’ status (or

lack thereof), then we’d quickly have millions of native-born illegal

aliens, an untenable situation. The answer is not changing the

interpretation of the 14th Amendment, but ENFORCING THE IMMIGRATION LAW.

Then, whether or not you had an automatic citizenship rule just wouldn’t

matter that much. So my suggestion to JPod and others who defend the

current citizenship practice to work for genuine immigration control. Oh,

and by the way, the White House has explicitly said that the President’s

“temporary” worker plan would keep birthright citizenship in place, making

it a de facto permanent immigration plan for any “temporary” worker who

manages to have a baby.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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