Should the U.S. Maintain Birthright Citizenship?
Birthright citizenship is the granting of citizenship to anyone born in a country or born to parents who are citizens of a country. The American debate revolves around children born in the United States whose parents are undocumented immigrants. While some believe the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution‘s promise of birthright citizenship applies to everyone born in the United States, others believe the Constitution does not (or should not) apply to those whose parents are not citizens. For more on immigration, explore the ProCon debate.
“We will take action to end the idea that the children of illegal aliens are entitled to birthright citizenship if they are born in the United States. Dangling the prize of citizenship to the future offspring of illegal immigrants is a major driver of illegal migration. It is also inconsistent with the original understanding of 14th Amendment, and we will force the courts and Congress to finally address this failed policy.”-
Ron DeSantis, “Mission Stop the Invasion: No Excuses,” rondesantis.com (accessed Aug. 31, 2023)
“For the 5 million people who’ve entered our country illegally, I am against birthright citizenship. For those that are in this country legally, of course, I think we go according to the Constitution, and that’s fine. It’s the illegal immigration that we have to make sure that just because they get here if they have a child, you’re just building on the problems … if you’re making those children’s citizens and then allowing them to stay because of that.”-
Lindsey McPherson, “Nikki Haley Says Children of Undocumented Immigrants Should Be Denied Birthright Citizenship,” themessenger.com, July 2, 2023
“For a period of time, I think it’s [ending birthright citizenship] going to be necessary…. I’ll actually go one step further on this, Abby [Phillip, CNN interviewer], is that I don’t think someone just because they’re born in this country, even if they’re a sixth generation American should automatically enjoy all the privileges of citizenship until they’ve actually earned it. So one of the things I’ve said is that every high school student who graduates from high school should have to pass the same civics test that every immigrant has to pass in order to become a citizen of this country.”-
Prem Thakker, “Vivek Ramaswamy Calls to Take Away Young People’s Right to Vote,” newrepublic.com, July 7, 2023
“Under Biden’s current policies, even though these millions of illegal border crossers have entered the country unlawfully, all of their future children will become automatic U.S. citizens. Can you imagine? They’ll be eligible for welfare, taxpayer-funded health care, the right to vote, chain migration and countless other government benefits, many of which will also profit the illegal alien parents. This policy is a reward for breaking the laws of the United States and it is obviously a magnet helping draw the flood of illegals across our borders. … As has been laid out by many scholars, this current policy is based on an historical myth and a willful misinterpretation of the law by the open borders advocates.…
As part of my plan to secure the border on Day 1 of my new term in office, I will sign an executive order making clear to federal agencies that under the correct interpretation of the law, going forward the future children of illegal aliens will not receive automatic U.S. citizenship.”-
Donald Trump, truthsocial.com, May 30, 2023
Not Clear or Not Found
Editors’ Note: Christie voiced opinions both in favor of and against birthright citizenship within 11 days during his 2016 presidential campaign.
“[Birthright Citizenship is] in the Constitution. And I don’t think that we should be looking to change it.”
“I think all this stuff needs to be reexamined in light of the current circumstances. [Birthright citizenship] may have made sense at some point in our history, but right now, we need to re-look at all that.”-
Rebecca Kaplan, “Chris Christie Calls Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan ‘Too Simplistic,’” cbsnews.com, Aug. 23, 2015
Emily Atkin, “Why Chris Christie Says We Should ‘Reexamine’ the 14th Amendment,” archive.thinkprogress.com, Aug. 12, 2015