Bill O’Reilly argued with Donald Trump over Trump’s belief that the anchor baby law could be overturned without a constitutional amendment. Andrea Tantaros said O’Reilly was wrong about the issue in a Wednesday appearance on a Fox show called Outnumbered. When she appeared on O’Reilly’s show later in the evening, he concluded that he was right based on a 1985 ruling, INS v. Rios-Pineda.
Is Bill O’Reilly right?
The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “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.”
It was however only intended for blacks who were deprived of their right to citizenship by slimy racists. It was later extended to Native-Americans by an act of congress.
The amendment guaranteed that freed slaves would have all the privileges of citizenship by providing: “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.”
The drafters had no intention of conferring citizenship on children of aliens who just happen to be born in the U.S.
The author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: “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.”
In INS v. Rios-Pineda (1985), the Court said in dicta, or language not directly part of the holding in the case, that children born in the United States to illegal immigrants are citizens. The Court had ruled in Plyler v. Doe (1983) that another part of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, does apply to illegal immigrants because they are “persons within the jurisdiction” of a state. This is a different legal standard than that used for the Citizenship Clause.
The right defined Plyler v. Doe was merely a footnote and it was the basis for the 1985 case.
Out of nowhere, in 1982, Justice Brennan slipped a footnote into his 5-4 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, asserting that “no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.” (Other than the part about one being lawful and the other not.)
Americans have the right to decide who becomes a citizen. It must be in our control, especially given the welfare state we currently have in place.
The most recent judge to weigh in on the issue as to whether a constitutional amendment would be necessary to change the policy is Judge Richard Posner who remarked in a 2003 case that “Congress would not be flouting the Constitution if it amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to put an end to the nonsense.” He explained, “A constitutional amendment may be required to change the rule whereby birth in this country automatically confers U.S. citizenship, but I doubt it.” Posner also wrote, that automatic birthright citizenship is a policy that “Congress should rethink” and that the United States “should not be encouraging foreigners to come to the United States solely to enable them to confer U.S. citizenship on their future children.”
Numerous congressmen have proposed laws to change the alleged right but other congressmen have said it might not survive a constitutional challenge and suggested a constitutional amendment. Therefore, they’ve done nothing.
Senate Joint Resolution 6, introduced on January 16, 2009 in the 111th Congress, proposes such an amendment; however, neither this, nor any other proposed amendment, has yet been approved by Congress for ratification by the states.
States have threatened to pass state legislation to stop it but critics argue that the child or parents could immediately sue the state for discrimination and that the federal courts would immediately force the state to issue the birth certificate.
An absurd report by an organization called the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) in 2012 asserted that revoking birthright citizenship would be bureaucratic, expensive, would result in a national ID card, and would not slow illegal immigration.
The Center for Immigration Studies disputed these conclusions, asserting in its own 2012 report that the NFAP’s claims were “unsupported”, that a bureaucratic overhaul would not be necessary, and that ending automatic birthright citizenship would not cost parents money, result in a caste system, or create stateless children.
One thing is certain, if we don’t do something, the uncontrolled immigration which is distorting our immigration law will continue.