A Reader Says That Anchor Babies Are Only Partially Subject To The Jurisdiction Of The United State(And Thus Shouldn't Be Citizens)
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02/06/11 - A Law-Abiding Reader Reports That The Police Keep Questioning Him, Instead Of Actual Criminals (It's Probably Safer)

From: A Reader [Email him]

In the 14th Amendment, the dependent clause in the first sentence specifies "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof".  How does this play out with Mexican citizens being exempt from the death penalty and now exempt from life in prison?

If an "anchor baby" later commits the capital crime of high treason and they evade capture and slip back across the border, they are home free.  Mexico will not deport them.  But if I did the same I would be deported back to face justice. So the anchor babies are in most cases subject to our jurisdiction, but in some critical extreme cases, they are not. The anchor babies are "partially" subject to the jurisdiction thereof.  Does that count?

James Fulford writes: Mexican citizens are only "exempt" from death or life imprisonment if they can make it across the border, and have to be extradited from an uncooperative Mexican government. But there is a point there—as Allan Wall has pointed out, Mexico claims certain kinds of jurisdiction over its illegal sojourners in America, and thus they undercut the argument that "anchor babies" should be considered American citizens.

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