Birthright Citizenship is the practice of granting U.S. citizenship to children born in the United States, including those born to illegal aliens. The practice is based on a misunderstanding of the first sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868), which reads, "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."
How to deal with the children of illegal immigrants was not an issue in the era when the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted. The purpose of the amendment was to assure that former slaves were granted full civil rights, including the right to vote. Given this context, the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" can reasonably be interpreted to mean that the child cannot be considered a citizen of a foreign power and is thus under exclusive American jurisdiction.
Children born to foreign diplomats while in the United States do not thereby become American citizens. American Indians were not granted citizenship by the Fourteenth Amendment, but rather by the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.
In 1898, the U.S. Supreme Court cited the Fourteenth Amendment in the citizenship case of Wong Kim Ark, an American-born ethnic Chinese whose immigrant parents were never naturalized. The vote was 6 to 2.
Some 380,000 children are born in the United States each year to illegal-alien mothers, according to U.S. Census data. A 2017 Congressional Budget Office report estimated that 4.5 million anchor babies lived in the U.S. – even greater than the number of children born in the U.S. every year.
No law exists that forbids the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from deporting the illegal-alien parents of children born in the U.S.
- The holding is, "A child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China but have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States and are there carrying on business and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States, by virtue of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
- Anchor Babies NumbersUSA.com
- Binder, John (December 26, 2017). CBO: At Least 4.5M Anchor Babies in U.S. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Binder, John (December 28, 2017). Anchor Baby Population in U.S. Exceeds One Year of American Births. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 28, 2017.