Birthright Citizenship
March 12, 2007, 10:15 PM
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In my post below on Family Disunification, I meant to point out that, of course, there's no reason why the US Government has to grant automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. Most countries don't do this, and the Constitution does not require it.

Howard Sutherland pointed out years ago that the Fourteenth Amendment wasn't designed for this purpose, and that Congress could stop this automatic citizenship by legislation, if it wanted to.

I mention this because the Governor of Washington State is suing for the right to give health care to infants without checking their citizenship, which she's required to do by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, passed by Congress in an attempt to stop the financial hemorrhage. She says its the Constitution that's making her do it.

Almost all of the 8,000 babies born to poor immigrant mothers in Washington each year have qualified for prenatal care from the state. The state provides care based on the assumption that the children are U.S. citizens. That's because children born on U.S. soil - even if the parents are illegal immigrants - are granted citizenship status.

"It's about a baby born in the United States and thus is a United States citizen, and is entitled to equal treatment under our Constitution," Gregoire said. "The baby needs to have these routine medical checkups and preventative medical care without delay."[Our View: Babies deserve health care The Olympian, March 12, 2007]