Tancredo's Unconstitutional Proposal

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From 2008 Central:
Tancredo is trying to keep the immigration issue alive. At his news conference Wednesday, he unveiled an immigration bill that would crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and limit citizenship to children born to at least one parent who is also a U.S. citizen or lawful resident.
Wait a minute. Wouldn't that be unconstitutional? From the 14th Amendment:
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.

He isn't proposing an amendment. He thinks it would be constitutional to do this. How so? I had to Google around to find his explanation, but here it is. He relies heavily on "and subject to the juridiction thereof", claiming that children of illegal immigrants aren't subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. I can think of lots of things that the contrast between those under U.S. jurisdiction and those not could come to, but the idea that children of illegal immigrants are not under U.S. jurisdiction is one of the least likely. Doesn't it raise problems for enforcing laws if illegal immigrants aren't under U.S. jurisdiction? Then why would their children not be?

Update: This post is about Tom Tancredo and the constitutionality of his proposal. Comments should be about that.

1 Comments

Currently, the Constitution defines a citizen as someone who is born here. Tancredo is simply advocating a change to ensure that no one becomes a citizen unless one of their parents is already a citizen. This is by far a more reasonable way of determining citizens.

Of course, he is mistaken if he thinks this could be done through legislation. It would have to be done by an amendment. Furthermore, the amendment would need a clause "grandfathering in" those who, prior to the amendment's ratification, had become citizens simply by being born here.

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