Tuesday, April 28, 2015

House Hearing on Birthright Citizenship

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, holds a hearing entitled “Birthright Citizenship:  Is it the Right Policy for America?"   For analysis, see this article from The Hill.  As the title of the hearing suggests, the hearing's goal seems to be to place into question the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship provision: "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."

Three of the four witnesses agree that birthright citizenship is a "policy" matter, not something guaranteed by the Constitution.


  • Founding Director
    The Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
  • A.W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
    Testifying in his personal capacity
  • Legal Policy Analyst
  • President
    UPDATE (Apr. 29):  Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement today as House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Subcommittee held a hearing on the possibility of eliminating the birthright American citizenship guaranteed under the 14th Amendment:

    “Evidently, there is no American principle too sacred not to be surrendered in Republicans’ race to pander to the most radical, anti-immigrant corners of their party.  Today’s hearing is an appalling Republican effort to reverse one of our most fundamental constitutional guarantees: people born on American soil are Americans.

    “House Republicans that refused to give the American people a vote on comprehensive immigration reform are giving a hearing to one of the most loathsome, xenophobic proposals in recent memory.

    “The Republicans’ unconscionable assault on birthright citizenship dishonors our history, betrays our future, and insults millions of proud first-generation American citizens.  The American people deserve better than such a vile effort to narrow the definition of citizenship in our country.”



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