9 Things to Know About Birthright Citizenship

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from Heritage Foundation,

President Donald Trump’s announcement that he’s considering an executive order on birthright citizenship has raised questions and much interest in the 14th Amendment. Here are some the basic things you should know about birthright citizenship.

  1. Universal birthright citizenship is a misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment (“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.”) and is inconsistent with the intent of the amendment’s framers.
  2. Based on the legislative history at the time, the 14th Amendment’s framers intended to give citizenship only to those who owed their allegiance to the United States and were subject to its complete jurisdiction, primarily the newly freed slaves, who were lawful permanent residents.
  3. Owing allegiance to the United States and being subject to its complete jurisdiction means being “not subject to any foreign power” and excludes those only temporarily present in the country.
  4. Most legal arguments for universal birthright citizenship point to the Supreme Court’s 1898 decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, which challenged the government’s decision to deny re-entry to a U.S.-born child of foreign nationals who were legally present and permanently residing in the United States.
  5. Wong Kim Ark stands only for the narrow proposition that the U.S.-born children of lawful permanent resident aliens are U.S. citizens. It says nothing with respect to the U.S.-born children of illegal or non-permanent resident aliens.

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