Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Birthright Citizenship

I believe that the best way to control illegal immigration is to amend the United States Constitution to change the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to it. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment – the part that pertains to immigration and naturalization – states: “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.”

Let’s pull this statement apart in order to understand the whole better. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States….” is very plain and easy to understand. I don’t think an explanation is required for understanding.

The next phrase “… and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” This phrase is also simple and easy to understand for people who understand the context used by the framers of the amendment. This amendment was written and ratified in an effort to insure that former slaves were considered as legal citizens of the United States and not to open our borders to any person who wants to sneak in.

The intent of the two principle authors of the Citizenship Clause in Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment is evident in their own words. Jacob Howard, Senator from Michigan, noted that the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” did not include American Indians who had tribal nations and “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.” Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull added that “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” meant “not owing allegiance to anybody else.”

The words of the two men who wrote the Citizenship Clause are in plain language: Any child born on United States soil to parents who are citizens of another nation or who are not here legally does not have a birthright to citizenship in the United States.

I wrote my feelings about this incorrect interpretation to my then Senator Ted Stevens about five years ago. He answered my letter with a statement that the Constitution would need to be changed – as though it was an impossibility to change the Constitution. I was pleased when I read that conservatives in the House of Representatives were proposing to add another amendment to restore the original intent of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Something obviously need to be done because “more than 20 percent of all children born in the United States are born to those who have entered the United States unlawfully, and who are by any authentic definition of the Fourteenth Amendment, NOT subject to the jurisdiction of the United States because they are not citizens” (Mark Alexander at

A child born in the United States to a diplomat has no birthright to citizenship even though that diplomat is here legally. Why would a child born to someone who is here illegally have a birthright citizenship? The desires of the liberals and progressives to give citizenship to children of illegal aliens are not consistent with either the 1866 Civil Rights Act or the Fourteenth Amendment.

I believe that we will never have secure borders in our nation until we do something concrete about the Citizenship Clause. I urge you to support an amendment that would do away with birthright citizenship for the children of people who enter our country illegally.

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