Congress to Address Anchor Baby Issue without Amendment?

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Reported at One News Now:

Congress to address ‘anchor baby’ issue?

A Republican congressman says the new Congress will hold a series of hearings on the issue of “anchor babies” as it works to end the controversial practice of awarding automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

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Each year an estimated 750,000 babies are born to illegal immigrants, some of whom have crossed the border for the express purpose of insuring American citizenship for their offspring.  No one is able to accurately state the number of children who have gained citizenship in this way, but

Politifacts in a story trying to debunk this claim of intentional delivery to obtain citizenship states that:

Fact-checking the claims about ‘anchor babies’ and whether illegal immigrants ‘drop and leave’

According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, a think tank that has done extensive research on immigration policy, 3.8 million undocumented immigrants have at least one child who is a citizen. “Most children of unauthorized immigrants — 73 percent in 2008 — are U.S. citizens by birth,” the center says. That’s up from 63 percent in 2003.

These statistics suggest not only that the number is large, but is also growing.

To offer a concrete example, we found a 2006 article from the Dallas Morning News about Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, a safety-net facility for poor residents. As many of 70 percent of the roughly 16,000 women giving birth annually at the hospital were immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally, according to one survey cited in the story.

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The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, in part:

Section 1. 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Some clarification from the 14th Amendment blog;

by Fred Elbel

The phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was intended to exclude American-born persons from automatic citizenship whose allegiance to the United States was not complete. With illegal aliens who are unlawfully in the United States, their native country has a claim of allegiance on the child. Thus, the completeness of their allegiance to the United States is impaired, which therefore precludes automatic citizenship.

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The jurisdiction phrase is the pertinent issue. Are people who illegally breach our national borders automatically under the jurisdiction of the United States?  If they are not, then our Constitutional rights do not apply, will not provide protection, and ultimately preclude their inclusion.

This would open the legality of the regulation of Citizenship, without amending, the Constitution.  I, for one, pray that our legislators see the reason and logic of this approach.   Does it really make sense that one could obtain Citizenship in the greatest country in the world by simply walking across it’s border illegally?  Does any other country reward invaders by bestowing Citizenship upon them?

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