John C. Eastman, law professor at Chapman University School of Law and also director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, presents a convincing case that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not require citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. Writing today on NationalReview.com, he details the legislative history and intent of the amendment, as well as the sparse case law, and concludes that children of illegal aliens born on U.S. soil are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in the way intended by the 14th Amendment, and therefore not automatic citizens.
As soon as Donald Trump called for a change in the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause that gives automatic U.S. citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil, even when the mother is an illegal alien or a foreign tourist, open borders advocates such as the Wall Street Journal attacked with the false charge that Trump wanted to “repeal the 14th Amendment.” An honest debate would be over the question: what does the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause mean and require?
Professor Eastman’s laborious analysis of the debate over the 14th Amendment shows that the “jurisdiction” clause refers to persons such as aliens (or Indians at that time) having allegiance to some government other than the United States. He concludes:
“So, truth be told, the 14th Amendment does not need to be repealed in order to fix the problem of birthright citizenship of illegal immigrants. It just needs to be understood and applied correctly.”
“Birthright citizenship, as currently practiced, allows those who continue to owe allegiance to a foreign power to demand American citizenship for their children, unilaterally and as a result of their illegal conduct.”
Posted 8/24/15 by Margaret Hull