[Rushtalk] [Fwd: Original intent of the 14th Amendment]

Carl Spitzer cwsiv at juno.com
Fri Nov 2 23:53:01 MDT 2018

Original intent of the 14th Amendment

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

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to
the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the
State wherein they reside."

Babies born to illegal alien mothers within U.S. borders are called
anchor babies because under the 1965 immigration Act, they act as an
anchor that pulls the illegal alien mother and eventually a host of
other relatives into permanent U.S. residency. (Jackpot babies is
another term).

The United States did not limit immigration in 1868 when the Fourteenth
Amendment was ratified. Thus there were, by definition, no illegal
immigrants and the issue of citizenship for children of those here in
violation of the law was nonexistent. Granting of automatic citizenship
to children of illegal alien mothers is a recent and totally inadvertent
and unforeseen result of the amendment and the Reconstructionist period
in which it was ratified.

Free!Post-Civil War reforms focused on injustices to African Americans.
The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 to protect the rights of
native-born Black Americans, whose rights were being denied as
recently-freed slaves. It was written in a manner so as to prevent state
governments from ever denying citizenship to blacks born in the United
States. But in 1868, the United States had no formal immigration policy,
and the authors therefore saw no need to address immigration explicitly
in the amendment. 

In 1866, Senator Jacob Howard clearly spelled out the intent of the 14th
Amendment by stating:

"Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject
to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a
citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons
born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the
families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the
Government of the United States, but will include every other class of
persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all
doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States.
This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and
legislation of this country."

This understanding was reaffirmed by Senator Edward Cowan, who stated:

"[A foreigner in the United States] has a right to the protection of the
laws; but he is not a citizen in the ordinary acceptance of the word..."

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.

Supreme Court decisions

The correct interpretation of the 14th Amendment is that an illegal
alien mother is subject to the jurisdiction of her native country, as is
her baby.

Over a century ago, the Supreme Court appropriately confirmed this
restricted interpretation of citizenship in the so-called
"Slaughter-House cases" [83 US 36 (1873) and 112 US 94 (1884)]13. In the
1884 Elk v.Wilkins case12, the phrase "subject to its jurisdiction" was
interpreted to exclude "children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of
foreign states born within the United States." In Elk, the American
Indian claimant was considered not an American citizen because the law
required him to be "not merely subject in some respect or degree to the
jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their
political jurisdiction and owing them direct and immediate allegiance." 

The Court essentially stated that the status of the parents determines
the citizenship of the child. To qualify children for birthright
citizenship, based on the 14th Amendment, parents must owe "direct and
immediate allegiance" to the U.S. and be "completely subject" to its
jurisdiction. In other words, they must be United States citizens.

Congress subsequently passed a special act to grant full citizenship to
American Indians, who were not citizens even through they were born
within the borders of the United States. The Citizens Act of 1924,
codified in 8USCSß1401, provides that:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at
(a) a person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction
(b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo,
Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe.

In 1898, the Wong Kim Ark Supreme Court case10,11 once again, in a
ruling based strictly on the 14th Amendment, concluded that the status
of the parents was crucial in determining the citizenship of the child.
The current misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment is based in part
upon the presumption that the Wong Kim Ark ruling encompassed illegal
aliens. In fact, it did not address the children of illegal aliens and
non-immigrant aliens, but rather determined an allegiance for legal
immigrant parents based on the meaning of the word domicil(e). Since it
is inconceivable that illegal alien parents could have a legal domicile
in the United States, the ruling clearly did not extend birthright
citizenship to children of illegal alien parents. Indeed, the ruling
strengthened the original intent of the 14th Amendment.

The original intent of the 14th Amendment was clearly not to facilitate
illegal aliens defying U.S. law and obtaining citizenship for their
offspring, nor obtaining benefits at taxpayer expense. Current estimates
indicate there may be between 300,000 and 700,000 anchor babies born
each year in the U.S., thus causing illegal alien mothers to add more to
the U.S. population each year than immigration from all sources in an
average year before 1965. (See consequences.)

American citizens must be wary of elected politicians voting to
illegally extend our generous social benefits to illegal aliens and
other criminals.

For more information, see:

1.   P.A. Madison, Former Research Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The
UnConstitutionality of Citizenship by Birth to Non-Americans (February
1, 2005)

2.   Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D., Esq., Illegal Aliens and American
Medicine The Journal of the American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 10
Number 1 (Spring 2005)

3.   Al Knight, Track 'anchor babies', Denver Post (September 11, 2002)

4.   Al Knight, Change U.S. law on anchor babies, Denver Post (June 22,

5.   Tom DeWeese, The Mexican Fifth Column (January 27, 2003)

6.   Anchor Babies: The Children of Illegal Aliens (Federation for
American Immigration Reform)

7.   Tom DeWeese, "The Outrages of the Mexican Invasion" (American
policy Center)

8.   P.A. Madison, Alien Birthright Citizenship: A Fable That Lives
Through Ignorance The Federalist Blog (December 17, 2005)

9.   Dr. John C. Eastman, Professor of Law, Chapman University School of
Law, Director, The Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional
Jurisprudence, Dual Citizenship, Birthright Citizenship, and the Meaning
of Sovereignty - Testimony, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on
the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims
(September 29, 2005)

10.   William Buchanan, HR-73 -- Protecting America's Sovereignty, The
Social Contract (Fall, 1999) - includes discussion of the related Wong
Kim Ark 1898 Supreme Court case

11.   Charles Wood, Losing Control of the Nation's Future -- Part Two --
Birthright Citizenship and Illegal Aliens, The Social Contract (Winter,
2005) - includes discussion of the related Wong Kim Ark court case

12.   U.S. Supreme Court ELK v. WILKINS, 112 U.S. 94 (Findlaw, 1884)

13.   U.S. Supreme Court Slaughter-House cases ('Lectric Law Library,
1873) http://www.lectlaw.com/files/case30.htm

Next: Misinterpretation     Home Author: Fred Elbel

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