American Morning

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January 7th, 2011
09:36 AM ET

Changing the 14th amendment

Section 1 of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution reads:

"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."

The amendment guarantees that if a person was born in the United States they are automatically granted  "birthright citizenship." Although the amendment was adopted in 1868 it has become a hot button issue in recent years.  In 2010 alone  "anchor babies" has set off a political firestorm and it is carrying over into 2011.

House representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, wasted no time in Congress yesterday making this a political topic of the year introducing, "The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011" to the House floor that would repeal birthright citizenship. Representative Steve King explains his position on American Morning.

Filed under: Immigration • Politics
soundoff (12 Responses)

    It is obvious from the video and TJ's words and body language that he has his own antagonistic agenda.
    Representative King from Iowa and TJ both know that the 14th Amendment was to ensure equality to slaves that were brought to America against their own free will. It was a good thing then but was never intended to include open amnesty to the world.
    Clearly, to sit by and watch the financial impact to the southern states like California, who is already bankrupt but unwilling to address the issues of overflowing borders etc, is to be indifferent to reality and stupidly ignores the long range impact on America.
    You cannot close your eyes to American families need for jobs, child care and education.
    Mexico needs to solve their own corrupt government and all its problems and America needs to defend the death, destruction and security along its southern border with Mexico. You simply cannot have it both ways.

    January 9, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  2. Domingo Arong

    I agree. This is all about a change back to status quo–changing the citizenship clause with the text the U.S. Congress used in the original Naturalization Act of 1790, so that the opening words of the clause will now read to reveal their true hidden intentions:

    “All free white persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States, and no white person shall be allowed to marry anyone other than another white person.”

    January 9, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  3. kiara

    mr.king what kind of drug are you taking,because you have to be,to dream up such a bill,come up with a job bill,that is what we put you there for.

    January 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  4. Jerry

    The 2 court cases in question DO NOT account for what is happening now. The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" says everything... If you are not here legally, you are NOT subject to American jurisdiction... You have no voting right, are not taxed, and can't give American citizenship to your illegal other country child... Ambassadors and tourists having children here do not become Americans... WTF?

    January 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  5. Delaware Bob

    This is the best news I have heard since the DREAM Act went down in flames again. It was an early Cgristmas gift for Americans.

    Illegal aliens have made America the dumping ground for all their illegal alien children, then we have to school them and give them free medical care.
    If this don't start right up, refresh and it should start.

    If CNN reads this commentm do America a big favor and follow up on these stories. Maybe you will start to see the destruction these illegal aliens are causing America.

    American are fed up with this illegal immigration. whenthere are 12-20 million illegal aliens in this Country, you can call that an INVASION!

    Let's go through this one more time. It is against the law to enter this Country ILLEGALLY. Correct? OK. However, if you do come into this country ILLEGALLY and have a child, we will reward that child with a U.S. birth certificate and make him or her a citizen of the United States, pay for the birth and get the child on welfare so the mother can get money to stay in this country...and that's not ALL! We will school that child and the child will get food stamps, the child will get FREE school lunches, and that's not ALL! The mother and the child can have FREE healthcare and get into public housing, and that's not ALL! The more children you have, the more money you will get. But keep in mind, it is against the law to enter this country ILLEGALLY! Do I have that right? OK. How do you feel about Birth Tourism?

    You have my e-mail address, CNN, if you want to talk, let me know!

    January 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  6. Patches

    This is simple, people:

    "“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."

    If you are illegally in a country, that country does not recognize you. If the country does not acknowledge your presence then you are not "subject to their jurisdiction". Why? Because to them, you don't exist.

    Now, to use the excuse of the Civil War Era of slavery and injustice to minorities is an insult to the millions who have and still endure racism. The 14th was made to right a wrong of injustice. No one is "forcing" today's illegals into the USA. No one put them on a boat or bus and forced them. They choose to come here – illegally. Their reasons are irrelevant. They could have stayed in their country, but they don't want to be in their country. Not our problem. It's called Revolution and/or Civil War if your country is so bad you must flee it in the millions. Nearly all laws in the USA are meant to be interpreted by "The Spirit of the Law", not "The Letter of the Law". Nice try, illegals. That excuse isn't going to fly.

    Anchor babies are real and "time consuming" is a farce. The illegal parents take advantage of the babies "rights". Also, lets be real. How many will the baby, when older, betray the USA and "harbor, aid and accomplice" persons committing felonies against the USA. AKA, house them, hide them from the authorities, employ them, etc. Can we say treason anyone? Treason – "a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state."

    Lets take another look. Roughly 500,000 persons illegally immigrate to the USA per year. That is a Battalion Of Illegal Immigrants per DAY. That means every MONTH the USA is invaded by a force just smaller than the size of our troops in Iraq. WOW. Also note, 10% of Mexico's population (about 70% of all illegal immigrants) have illegally immigrated to the USA – Est Approx 10M+ which = 10% Population of Mexico @ 107M.

    Imagine is the Chinese sent 10M people (Less than 1% of their population) to the USA in one year and they all had kids that week. WOW. 10 Million new citizens who can vote in 18 years just like that.

    Once again, people try to blind and distract others with the present to hide real motive of the future. Doesn't anyone know the 13 Chapters of The Art of War? Open your eyes.

    If the Taliban openly sent 100 pregnant women to the USA illegally and gave birth, do you really want to give the kids USA citizenship? They go back home, get married, come back in 20 years and now we potentially have 200 sleepers legally here. Just an example. Think outside the box.

    So how do I propose to solve this? What solution forces the criminals to admit they are just that – criminals – if they try to argue my proposed solution? What can we do to still appease the foolish sheep (the public) who don't understand how massive this is and still be "humane"? By taking the middle road to close this exploited loophole.

    Amend the 14th or have the Supreme Court recognize this part of the 14th means, “Lawfully present in the USA.” In this case, nothing really changes per se. If you are lawfully here on vacation (as shown by your passport stamp/record of lawful entry) and give birth, fair enough. If you lawfully immigrate and give birth, fair enough. All you need to do is clarify and patch the hole. The point is LAWFULLY.

    Let no argument which involves breaking the law to enforce another be valid. To do so is a contradiction of the very system they want upheld.

    January 7, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  7. Terry Watts

    If we remove Jus Soli, and go with Jus Sanguinis, what metric will be used to determine who gets to be a Citizen and who doesn't? Color, race, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin???

    January 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  8. Glenn Koons, LB, Ca.

    Rep. King has the right idea. Now to get liberal Dems to stop looking at illegals as their new voting base after they have aborted many minority babies so now they need to add Illegals. That is the way libs think. I hope the GOP keeps the issue alive and forces a vote whether the Bamster vetoes it or the Senate drops it or not. The public has to be educated on Consti issues since progressives twist the Const, and do not rely on it to push their socialist agenda.

    January 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  9. Name*david

    The legislative history of birthright is pretty clear and it may apply to babies of illegals but not to non citizen parents.using children to try and gain citizenship is wrong and should be addressed by stricter laws against illegals.......they should not be hee illegally long enough to have a pregnancy.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  10. Weedstomper

    Our country cannot afford not to change this amendment with illegals flooding our country draining our states of money's taking advantage of our health care and food program's placing legal citizens as second class care Obama care is nothing but a ploy to give illegals free medical help at the American dime while the legals do without .

    January 7, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  11. chilidog99

    The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. You can ot change it through congresional legislation. Thus, Steve Kings bill is ILEGAL and ILEGAL IS ILEGAL. What part of that doesn't King understand?

    January 7, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  12. Natasha

    I am appalled at the behavior, ignorance, and arrogance of some of the members of the Republican party. They are hiding their hate of people of color and ignorance of the constitution behind their office. If they took time to study their history then they would know why this amendment was ratified.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:48 am |