For the first time in 10 years, the issue of Birthright Citizenship was in the forefront on Capitol Hill this week when the House Immigration Subcommittee held a hearing on Wednesday. The hearing sought to determine if Birthright Citizenship is the right policy for America, but it focused less on the policy question, and more on whether or not it's a Constitutional mandate via the 14th Amendment. The panelists told the Subcommittee that only with a law passed by Congress could the courts offer an interpretation.The important thing is to get this on the front burner, because that gets it in the public eye, and helps to educate people, even if a particular legislative proposal fails at this time. It would also be great to make this a matter of discussion in the 2016 elections.
[House Panel Urges Congress to Pass Birthright Citizenship Legislation, By Chris Chmielenski, Numbers USA, May 1 and 4, 2015]
Rep. Steve King's (R-Iowa) Birthright Citizenship bill, H.R.140, would require at least one parent of a child born in the United States to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident for the child to be "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" and therefore receive automatic citizenship.There’s also a bill in the Senate, S.45, with the same goal, sponsored by Senator Vitter of Louisiana.
Of course, at the House Immigration Subcommittee there was an SPLC rep to testify.
Panelist and President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen, argued that everyone in the United States is subject to U.S. laws and therefore "subject to the jurisdiction", but both Dr. John Eastman, Founding Director for the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, and Lino Graglia, a University of Texas law professor, argued that the phrase would simply be redundant if it meant all persons in the United States, so it must serve a purpose.Here’s how Dr. Eastman put it:
Dr. Eastman made a distinction between those who are within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and those who owe allegiance to the U.S. "Think of it this way: foreign tourists visiting the United States subject themselves to the laws of the United States while here," Eastman wrote in his prepared statement. "An Englishman must drive on the right side of the road rather than the left, for example, when visiting here. But they do not owe allegiance to the United States, they do not get to exercise any part of the political power of the United States, and they cannot be tried for treason if they take up arms against the United States."Good explanation, and the jurisdiction clause needs to be brought up again and again.
Dr. Eastman also explained why the issue is such a hot topic in the modern immigration debate, calling Birthright Citizenship the third largest magnet for illegal immigration after jobs and welfare services.Of course, we can expect the globalist and Razistas to fight this tooth and nail.
Center for Immigration Studies Legal Policy Analyst, Jon Feere, backed up that claim in his testimony. "Every year, 350,000 to 400,000 children are born to illegal immigrants in the United States. To put this another way, as many as one out of 10 births in the United States is now to an illegal immigrant mother," Feere wrote in his prepared statement. "[U]nder [Pres. Obama's] DAPA program (the Deferred action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program), it would provide benefits to illegal immigrants who gave birth here and allow them to 'stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.'"
The question of whether or not the policy of granting automatic citizenship is good or not wasn't discussed extensively, but Rep. King did note that if his legislation were passed and signed into law, he expected a legal challenge. In defense of their positions, most panelists referred to a Supreme Court decision or Senate transcripts from more than a century ago, so Feere argued that Congress should act and put the issue to the test. "Some Administration decided to give them a Social Security number and a passport and no one really knows when," Feere said. "I think Congress hasn't addressed the problem, and as a result of not addressing it, we're relying on floor statements from 100 years ago. We're relying on a footnote from a Supreme Court case in 1982. I think some clarification from Congress would help a lot."Dr. Eastman point out the way it should be, and would be, even in the Age of Obama, if our Congress would defend its prerogatives.
"Congress has the power over naturalization; it's a plenary power, and that means you get to set the policy of how large or small or how restrained or unrestrained our immigration into this country is going to be.”Is your congressman and are your senators educated on this topic?