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August 4th, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Video: Rethink the 14th Ammendment?

(CNN) – Some Republicans want to open up a new front in the immigration fight. They're calling for hearings on repealing the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to any child born in the United States. They say it has outlived its usefulness, arguing it was meant for the children of slaves but is now being used by illegal immigrants to obtain U.S. citizenship for their children. The White House is calling it a political ploy. Jonathan Turley, law professor at George Washington University, and Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez joined us on Wednesday's American Morning to discuss the issue.

Filed under: Politics
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. RonJB

    I am gratified to read the post by vegas01.
    But why is this not followed in practice?
    It seems the illegals or should I say foreign nationals aren't the only ones violating our 14th. The authorities issuing the birth certificates are not understanding these conditions of the law.
    Who needs to change the constitution? The amendment has conditions that are ignored, that's all. Can congress fix a small thing like that?
    Education is the problem, the facts need to be publicized.
    If the activists for illegals want them to still become US citizens, let them sponsor a few like I have. The burden should not fall on the tax payer due to misunderstanding the law of the land. Most Americans don't know there is more to the 14th than... every baby born here is automatically a citizen by birthright, and there are those who capitalize on that ignorance. Including congressmen.
    The shame is that all these years babies have been born here by misinformed mothers and their infants falsely granted the largess reserved for US citizens. And the magnet continues to draw them.
    They decide to conceive with men they don't like just because of the 14th. Russian and Chinese mothers buy travel plans to return home with a US citizen to tap into our treasury later on when needed. After Asia is through with us what will we have left? This charade is untenable. No other country is so stupid. Is that too strong a word?
    I brought this up at the immigration office where my wife checks in to keep her status legal with the latest papers. I mention to the lady how so many on TV speak on this but don't know what they are talking about. She agrees but is afraid to say anything.
    Maybe some could be legal residents without citizenship if they thought they were legally born long ago. People often forget that category.

    August 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  2. Willie o.Endsley, Sr.

    i would just like to know if you appeal the 14th amendment how will anyone born after 1860 proved they are a citizen or when did the govenment give out citizenship papers and who has any other than those who applied to become citizens. i don't recall any documents other than a birth certificate and the census and don't know if that proves you are a citizen since it was designed just to count the people. so before they open a can of worms here many of those opposing citizenship of others may just have to check their family history since i don't know how far back you going to have to go and there aren't a lot of records proving anything like that if being born here don't do it !

    August 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  3. dick fitzwell

    We may be poo-poohing this a bit prematurely. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone. Allow yourself to smile for a moment about the ramifications and possibilities of that.

    Okay, you can stop smiling now. Seriously. Stop. STOP!!!

    August 6, 2010 at 6:29 am |

    Bruce-You said all that needs to be said on this issue. Thanks.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  5. vegas01

    Reviewing the 14th amendment and comparing it to actual practices will reveal we are not adhering to the amendment. The 14th amendment sets two requirements for gaining citizenship: 1) born or naturalized in the US, 2) being subject to the jurisdiction thereof. Note, born in the US alone does not establish citizenship. To gain citizenship, you must also be subject to the jurisdiction of the US. The Supreme Court has ruled the question of whether a child born in the US is subject to the jurisdiction thereof is determined based on the parents' status at the time of the child's birth. If either parent was a legal resident of the US, (citizen or immigrant as defined by immigration law) then the child is subject to the jurisdiction of the US and having met both condition is a citizen of the US. Visitors and illegal aliens do not meet the requirement of being subject to the jurisdiction of the US, and therefore children born to parents of which both are illegal aliens or mere foreign visitors, are not citizens of the US. Officially recording births became common practice only in the 20th century. Various forms of records of birth exist, but by failure to consider the relationship between "birth certificates" and the 14th amendment has resulted in a practice that issues a birth certificate, rather than another form of record such as a certification of birth or record of birth, to ALL children born in the US. Since a birth certificate is supposed to be acceptable as proof of citizenship, those should only be given where both conditions of the 14th amendment are met, and citizenship actually exists. The other documents usable for recording births are not recognized as acceptable proof of citizenship, and therefore are the appropriate type of record for births where citizenship is not applicable due to not meeting both requirements set forth in the 14th amendment for citizenship. All this talk about "changing the 14th amendment" to deny citizenship to children of illegal aliens is farce, the amendment does not grant citizenship to them now. What would require a change of this amendment would be to establish citizenship based on birth in the US alone without meeting the requirement to be subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  6. Smith in Oregon

    Who cares what the Republican Potty'ticians want, especially from the utterly corrupt States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona, South Carolina, Utah and Texas? If they were a majority in power they'd either rewrite the 14th. constitutional amendment or illegally go around it like the depraved and utterly corrupt Bush-Cheney often did with various constitutional and legal statues. The Republican Potty of NO has no ideas and no help but loads of racist and heartless solutions to strike back at America's first Black President, how original!

    Today's federal judge ruling that Prop. 8 was Unconstitutional is another huge blow against the entire Republican Potty. The Republican Potty's day's are coming to a well deserved racist and bigoted END.

    August 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  7. Zack

    I doubt they've thought this through. After all, the whole legal basis of corporate "personhood" derives from the 14th Amendment- the thing that makes PACs, corporate campaign contributions, corporate "rights" to privacy, and so on legal. The implicit threat a repeal of the 14th would pose to big business, as distasteful as it may sound, will ensure that no serious Republican politician will touch this.

    August 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  8. stephen pelser

    If there is a change in the 14Th Amendment, that "Born in the USA" shall be determind by ANOTHER Law, then each current Born in the USA citizen must be sent back. Why? Most of our ancestors were not naturalized or born in the USA. The exception is the American Indian, the only true citizen. Congress should becareful as this could overload the Justice Branch of our Government. The Supreme Court has spent over 100 plus years defending this Amendment.There are more items that Congress should be doing .

    August 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  9. robin leclerc

    if the parents are here illegally the child is not a citizen and must leave with the parents...our country is a mess because these illegals have come here and put a strain on our systems and then send money they make here back to mexico!.... they march in the streets and have the audacity to protest how they are treated...making demands....americans are sick of it....come here the legal way ...we have no problem with that...otherwise boot their asses out!

    August 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  10. bruce mccoy

    Born in america should give citizenship to only those who are here legally and permanent residents or children thereof.

    August 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  11. tina earle

    No, we should not amend the constitution. Evidenced, by children born to US citizens, in foreign countries, become a dual citizen of the US and their birth country. We should not reward illegal behavior however, and should terminate parental rights of illegal immigrants and put the children up for adoption, and deport the immigrant back to their country. That would be a great deterrent for entering the US illegally, if there was a risk of you losing your child.

    August 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  12. howie

    the far right and teabaggers scream daily about how Obama was stepping all over our Constitution by trying to get us all affordable health care... but now its ok the butcher our Constitution to promote their racist agenda by cutting out the 14th amendment??? where was their outrage when bush/cheney hacked our Constitution apart to allow illegal wire taps on American citizens warrantless wire taps.... the republicans and teabaggers are hippocrates of the highest order!

    August 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm |