Friday, November 6, 2015
Birthright Citizenship and Children Born in the United States to Alien Parents: An Overview of the Legal Debate
In "Birthright Citizenship and Children Born in the United States to Alien Parents: An Overview of the Legal Debate," Alexandra M. Wyatt for the Congressional Research Service reiterates the conventional wisdom about the proposed statutory elimination of birthright citizenship:
"Bills have been introduced since the early1990s to deny birthright citizenship to persons born in the United States to aliens other than lawful permanent residents. While a few proposals have suggested constitutional amendments, most seek to change the birthright citizenship rule by statute. It would likely fall to federal courts to determine whether such a statute could be upheld as constitutional. The weight of the legislative history of the Fourteenth Amendment, the analysis and discussion in Wong Kim Ark, the statements in various cases defining “jurisdiction” more often on the basis of territory rather than undivided allegiance, and the embrace of the prevailing birthright citizenship interpretation by more than a century of subsequent law, would probably factor against the constitutionality of a statute limiting birthright citizenship. Nevertheless, the scope of the guarantee of the Citizenship Clause remains a legal question of great interest and importance to many."
Read the report at Download CRS birthright citizenship 10-28-15