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Should U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants be denied automatic citizenship?


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  1. 14th Amendment states "All person's born in the United States ... and SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF..."
    The case can readily be made that if the parents are illegally here, that they and their off-spring are legally subject to the jurisdiction of the country of their citizenship.

    Every word in the Constitution is there for a reason so you can't just ignore a phrase because you want to.

  2. anyone born in the U.S. of A has the constitutional right to become automaticaly a United States Citizen.
    In GOD We Trust, they shouldn't be blamed, and like someone said Mexicans aren't the only ones. thier more in the media but check out european illegals, asian illegals. Lets be what we're fighting for overseas, our men and women shouldn't be dieing in vain. The borders should be controlled better more equipment and personnel

  3. Of even more concern to me than the confusion displayed by many veterans over this issue is their indifference to the entire immigration crisis. Like one of my neighbors said during a "meet and greet" session with a candidate seeking to replace my inept congressman in Wisconsin's 3rd District, too many veterans foolishly believe that "immigration doesn't affect me that much." That is a very dangerous assumption. The ideas and principles on which this republic was founded and for which so many Americans died to protect are under attack. When they are attacked, we as individuals are attacked. Incredibly, certain weak-kneed members of the Wisconsin Legion are considering ending the citizenship requirement for the Badger Boys and Girls State programs out of fear of being sued by the ACLU and their ilk. Citizenship is part of the Legion's Americanism "pillar." How can we be expected to go into classrooms to discuss "Americanism" if we have thrown away its main ingredient?

  4. One more comment in response to those who feel ending birthright citizenship would do nothing to reduce illegal immigration. I agree that it would not be the most important action. That would be passing the SAVE Act and mandating verification of all employees for all jobs, removing the jobs magnet for illegal aliens. But birthright citizenship does cause a lot of illegal aliens to be less likely to go home because they know it is rare that the government will deport illegal aliens if they have U.S. citizen children (unless the illegal aliens have committed other crimes). Pew Hispanic Center just reported that about 340,000 anchor babies were born last year alone. This is not a small problem. And it makes perfect sense for the American Legion to look at this issue because protecting the quality of U.S. citizenship is one of the Legion's responsibilities.

  5. I see quite a bit of confusion in the comments from my fellow veterans. First, no court has ever ruled on whether the 14th Amendment requires giving citizenship to the births of tourists and illegal aliens. Only nine people can say for sure what the 14th requires. Good Constitutional scholars can be found on both sides of the argument. That means we need the Supreme Court to rule. The best way to do that is to pass H.R. 1868 which does NOT change the Constitution but DOES change federal law to require that for a baby to gain U.S. citizenship it must have at least one parent who is either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien (legal immigrant). Then, let the Supreme Court rule on its constitutionality. By the way, every modern Developed nation in the world except Canada and the U.S. has already gotten rid of birthright citizenship (and the majority of poor countries don't have it either). It's time we got in step with the rest of the world on this one.

  6. What Constitution? We have no Constitution. In the last couple of months what we had left of a Constitution has been shredded. Federal judges find it to their liking to over rule anything or everything that is brought before them. Its not what the people want, its what the Feds want. Why even vote anymore. You vote it in, they throw it out. Judges should be part of the elected group and put on term limits also.

  7. Contrary to popular "progressive-liberal" opinion, the 14th Amendment does not grant American citizenship to anyone, other than those "persons" born of AMERICAN BORN parents. Indeed, the Founders, when establishing the process by which the president is elected, clearly set the standard that 1) he/she must be born in the USA....2) that they must have resided in the USA for at least 14 consecutive years....and 3) That he/she must be at least 35 years of age. And, it was clearly understood that to be a NATURAL BORN citizen....BOTH parents had to be American citizens.

    The the INTENT of the authors of the 14th Amendment, as noted in the legislative language and in the Congressional records, DID NOT IN ANY WAY grant "automatic citizenship" simply because one was physically born on U.S. soil. Indeed, they provided a list of exclusions....of which "aliens" are listed. Those who claim to know what the Constitution means on this subject are wrong. Citizenship is an HONOR! NOT A REWARD!

  8. Currently, the law is clear and we should all abide by the law. Nobody should deny citizenship to a baby born in the US. That being said, if a person or group takes "unfair" advantage of our Constituion we should decide as a country whether a change is needed.

    Changes can only be successful if people use the same meaning for the same words. There are so many people who will say that "illegal alien" is an exact match for "undocumented alien" or even "undocumented citizen". Illegal means illegal.

    We need to be careful not to confuse issues. All of us should care for people who need help. Remember - even in war we medically and humanely treat enemy wounded. But even in war, enemies have been released because our military could not care for them.

    You are either in the country legally or you are not. Give me your tired, your poor applies to appropriate legal immigration. The benefits of citizenship, even by proxy, should not be granted to anyone here illegally.

  9. Whoever is coming up with this garbage should be deported back to Iran.

    Show of hands. How many of you have noticed that those most eager to ignore the Constitution and the ones screaming loudest about the need to obey it are the same people?

    The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868. If I recall correctly it passed Congress on a strict party line vote; all Republicans voted for it, all Democrats voted against it. The President at that time was Andrew Johnson; LBJ had not yet been born.

    Know how most of the expectant mothers "sneak across the border to give birth"? On airplanes. Yep. Most are wealthy tourists from Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc. Very few are from Mexico.

    None of this flap about illegals, anchor babies, SB1070, etc does squat to secure the border. If they really cared about that the border state Governors would mobilize their militias along the borders. Nope, it's all just election year chin music aimed at gullible fools and ignorant bigots.

  10. It has always been the standard that you do not profit from the fruits of criminal activity. Entering this country is an illegal act. Anyone who aids or abets an illegal commits a crime. Nuff said.

  11. This COUNTRYwas created by europeans who were predominately white and migrated here a couple of centuries ago.....this LAND was inhabited by Indians after they migrated here many centuries ago...the only difference between the two groups is the timing.....Indians are also immigrants just at a different time period.....The USA was never THEIR country and, in fact, the Indians were many nations not just one homogenous group of people so the Indians didn't "own" the fact they disbelieved in ownership of land because they worshipped nature including the land and were predominately migrants throughout the region including present day Canada and exactly at what point in history do we start deciding who owns what?? I agree that any group of people can illegally immigrate and if they do they all should be prosecuted equally but let's face it...the largest group of illegals comes from's not a racial statement just a fact of the numbers

  12. The question says illegal immigrants. All of a sudden you say Mexico. They don't only come from Mexico. I don't condone illegals but when I was in school I remember when studying the constitution it said that anyone born in the US was automatically a US citizen. Perhaps we need to back to the American Indians and let them decide who should be a citizen of THEIR country.

  13. The problem with "Illegal" immigration is simple.....enforce the laws we have had of record forever. To say a child born in the U.S. is not a legal citizen does not undue the wrong of "ILLEGAL" immigration. We need to get serious and that does not mean at the southern border but 360degrees, all coast and land borders. Illegals enter the U.S. on Visitor/Tourist cards or with a Passport, however, who is checking to ensure they depart when the approved stay has terminated? How about folks that enter with a student Visa, who is checking to ensure they depart after graduation? You can enter any ethnic restaurant probably in the entire country and make a 100% check of all employees to include the owner. I think you will find a significant number do NOT have proper clearance to reside let alone work in the U.S...
    We need to enforce the laws we already have if we want to stop “illegal” immigration

  14. Those that immagrated here that were LEGAL were the ones who fought and bled for Amercia, these women who come here and drop babies at our expense, then apply for welfare and other benefits that we as tax payers pay with our hard work. what money they get goes back to mexico in money orders. If you feel this is the right thing to do then you are in the wrong country. The parents did not fight to defend this country, they call themselves mexican-americans, not AMERICANS. If that makes me a right wing consertative, then I am proud to be an AMERCIAN right-wing.

  15. Right-on Gunny. If you don't want to be called an American and obey the laws as they are written, go back to where you came from.

  16. I'm finding it difficult to be in the American Legion anymore. This question is skewed to the "right". I see a lot of conservative views and the Legion is leaning WAY over to the Right.

    I'm a member and a Volunteer Service Officer. I am here to help the Vets, not determine whether an illegal alien's child should have a right to be a citizen. Haven't we done enough to the Constitution? My right to freedom used to be guaranteed by the Constitution. At this point, the Constitution is just a list of guidelines.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

  17. I agree with alanmoor. The constitution says U.S. born persons are citizens of the U.S. Congress should go back and read all of the Constitution not just the parts they want to try and change (which by the way they can not do). Where would they be if their ancestors had not imigrated to this country? Just because their ancestors go way back doesn't mean the newer immigrants (legal or illegal) should be discriminated against regarding the issue of U.S. Citinzenship. Also the American Legion exists because of those citizens who fought for this country. Most of their ancestors were also immigrants. Do we know or care whether or not they were legal immigrants?

  18. The newer Comrade wanted to know why the American Legion cares - We are for God and Country - yes we are for Veterans, however, that also covers keeping our country well and cared for in the process. It was politicians that chanced to law about citizenship, somewhere back in LBJ time in office, to help, who knows what. This change has not helped the country or its individual states. It has only caused much of the country to be divided. While we at the local level do not get involved in politics, National can from their location see, hear and decide what is in the best interest of its VETERAN MEMBERSHIP and then lay out actions to take. I for one want more people to know what the Founding Fathers wrote in that great Consitution and undertand it when they that oath he mentioned. I'd like to see every high school have to have a class on the Constitution required to gradute!

  19. Having just joined the AL, I have to wonder why this organization is getting into whether the constitutional provision regarding who should be citizens needs to be changed. I thought this organization's intent was to work for veteran's and veteran's benefits.

    I thought one of the pillars of the AL was "to uphold and defend the constitution", which includes who is a citizen - at least that was the oath I swore when I was commissioned.

  20. The answers are terrible, too. It's all emotional feel good crap. The fact of the matter is that the 14th ammendment and subsequent case law has held that anyone born in the US is a citizen, including anchor babies. In the original debate over the 14th ammendment, the sponsoring senator argued that they would be excluded, but the language was never put in to enforce the exclusion.

    This question is rediculous. It's like asking if you think people should be allowed to own guns. It's in the constitution. Congress can't just all of the sudden decide to ban gun ownership. They don't have that power. Of course, this Congress seems to know no limits to its power. They act as if the constitution doesn't exist.

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