The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes to us from Chad Kent about the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Mr. Kent writes and speaks about the Constitution in such a way to make it “simple and fun.” He had the audacity to state that it does not really matter what you or I think about illegal immigration because “it has absolutely no impact on the meaning of the 14th Amendment. Whether you love the idea of birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants or you hate it – it doesn’t matter.
“Truth is truth and the 14th Amendment means what it means. That’s what I intend to cover in this post.
“With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the relevant part 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.’” (Emphasis mine)
Mr. Kent explained the fact that belief by the “mainstream media and the political class in Washington, D.C.” does not make a truth. They are “dead wrong” in their belief. He then proceeded to give two reasons why they are wrong. All persons must meet two requirements before they are guaranteed citizenship in the United States by our Constitution: (1) “The person has to be born or naturalized in the United States AND” (2) “The person has to be subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Both conditions must be met in order for a person to be a citizen of the United States.
Continuing his explanation, Mr. Kent asked a question: “What did the framers of this amendment mean by `subject to the jurisdiction thereof’?” He quoted two former Senators who helped to write the amendment. Senator Lyman Trumball of Illinois: “Not owing allegiance to anybody else.” Senator Reverdy Johnson of Maryland: “… not subject to some foreign Power.”
Then Mr. Kent summarized: “So in order to be guaranteed birthright citizenship a personal has to be born in the United States and owe no allegiance to any foreign country. Obviously, people who come into this country illegally owe at least some allegiance to their home country – and so would their children. Because of that, the children of illegal immigrants do not meet both of the requirements necessary to be guaranteed citizenship by our Constitution.”
Mr. Kent quoted “one of the primary authors of this part of the 14th Amendment”: “This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of embassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.” (Emphasis mine)
Closing Mr. Kent stated: “So according to one of the people responsible for writing this clause, it was not intended to give birthright citizenship to `foreigners’ or `aliens’ – and without question the children of illegal immigrants would be included in at least one of those categories.”
I agree with the conclusion of Mr. Kent. The Fourteenth Amendment does not guarantee United States citizenship simply because a person is born on United States soil or in United States air space or on the water surrounding the United States. Any child born here must have at least one parent who is in the United States legally and subject to our laws in order to be considered a true citizen of the United States. Those of us who understand this principle must continue to make it known; otherwise, our nation will be filled with residents who are “subject” to other nations and possibly willing to undermine our own. We must declare the “truth” of the Fourteenth Amendment!