H.R.1868 - Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009

To amend section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth. view all titles (2)

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  • Official: To amend section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth. as introduced.
  • Short: Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009 as introduced.

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Displaying 1-30 of 140 total comments.

raysmock 07/28/2009 4:32am
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in reply to Waytwofast May 30, 2009 8:54am

“and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was added to overcome court decisions such as The Dred Scott Decision and other language in laws denying citizenship to freed slaves born in the US. But children born to individuals in the US who are foreign diplomats or have visitors visas are not citizens because they are not subject to the laws of the US.
The current interpretation goes back to s court case in the 1890’s whereby a person born in the US to Chinese workers who were not citizens but remained loyal to the Chinese Emperor was refused reentry into the US after his parents returned to China.
But ask illegals who they are loyal to, The US or their home country. Most would say their home country. Therefore, are they really subject to the jurisdiction. Ask their children. They are loyal to the country of their heritage.
This bill needs to be passed. It would stop illegal immigration overnight.

dcornwall 07/28/2009 4:40pm
in reply to Teri Jun 09, 2009 9:21pm

You cannot amend a Constitutional amendment with a statute. You would need to use the process of Constitutional Amendment found at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/ to amend or repeal the 14th Amendment. That process states that an amendment can only be “proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.” Once it is proposed, the amendment would then have to be ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States).

I’m glad for this process, because this bill would put us in the same camp as Kuwait where there have been multiple generations born in that country w/o gaining citizenship. Many Americans condemned that back in 1990 and it’s not the right thing to do now.

donnyshaw 05/29/2009 8:05am

Here’s the relevant section of the 14th amendment:

“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.”


qldaustralia 09/29/2009 11:34am
in reply to Fyreseer Jun 01, 2009 2:38am

I have not thought about this issue this way, only that it blatantly violates the 14th amendment (unless you make it do acrobatics). In 2007, over 1 million people became Legal Permanent Residents (http://bit.ly/4u4FyG) & under this legislation their children would be ineligible for citizenship, regardless of how long their parents have lived in the states.

As far as social welfare benefits, the POWRA made immigrants ineligible for most benefits until they have been in the US for 5 years; an undocumented person is not eligible for most benefits (including TANF, what people usually call welfare).

Regarding children of undocumented immigrants – should kids be punished for the parents’ decision to enter the US illegally, regardless of whether the parents planned to have kids here or not? Could you really look a child in the face and tell them they don’t deserve food b/c their parents violated civil law? Lord help us as a nation if our citizens could actually do that.

fgjames 05/30/2009 1:49pm

I fully support this bill. It will help stop pregnant women from entering illegally for the purpose of trying to have their baby in the US.

Teri 06/09/2009 9:50pm
in reply to AlphaOmega May 30, 2009 1:02pm

We wouldnt have to amend our constitution if illegals werent taking advantage of our legal system. Illegal immigrants come to our country just to have their children so that their children can be automatic citizens. Thats their unalienable right? What about those of us who here legally, work our whole lives and play by the rules? Or how about those who come through our immigration process legally? What about their rights? No other country in the world allows this not even Communist Russia.

Locke1689 05/02/2010 5:34pm
in reply to raysmock Jul 28, 2009 4:32am

>But children born to individuals in the US who are foreign diplomats or have visitors visas are not citizens because they are not subject to the laws of the US.

Mostly false. Except for foreign diplomats, specifically foreign attaches and ambassadors, all people on US soil are subject to US law. Those are the only exceptions. To make it clear, *unless one is the appointed representative of a foreign government, acknowledged by the US State Department, all people on US soil are considered subject to the legal jurisdiction of the United States.

Teri 06/09/2009 9:21pm
in reply to Waytwofast May 30, 2009 8:54am

Way to Fast,

The bill does not violate the Constitution, it is amending an amendment. (the 14th amendment). Thats what amendments are for, to amend (adjust, change, update, etc) the laws that become outdated. Read history. This amendment was put into place shortly after the civil war in order to protect newly freed slaves, not to allow illegal immigrants to come here to have their children so they become automatic citizens. (If we wanted open borders there would be no need for immigration laws right?) These illegal immigrants have chosen to use out laws against us to their benefit. Why would you want to allow that to continue?

yvikrant 06/01/2009 9:48am

This bill should be passed such that the law is applicable retroactively going back to Christopher Columbus, who was the first illegal immigrant. Citizenship must be cancelled retrocatively to all descendants of illegal immigrants dating back to Christopher Columbus, even if the descendants are born in America.

jtbull46 11/02/2009 9:03am
in reply to Teri Jun 09, 2009 9:21pm

Thank God another patriotic american. I agree the 14th amendment was written to protect newly freed slaves it was not meant to be exploited to leach off our country because they are from a hole in the wall. The only way to keep them out is to make is as uncomfortable as possible here. Then there is no reason to come. The illegals act like we owe it to them and they thumb their noses at us. That is in addition to not attempting to learn our language.

Liberals just want to keep birthright citizenship because they dont want the latino vote to go agaisnt them and they figure the voters will vote liberal.

I think anyone who supports illegal immigration ( including anchor babies) is a traitor to this country.

epritchardoc 07/28/2009 5:12am
in reply to Waytwofast May 30, 2009 8:54am

I’m sorry but I disagree about violating the 14th amendment. I doubt very seriously that our framers anticipated that people from other countries (like Mexico, which was totally different back then where territory is concerned) were going to sneak into the US so there unborn children would be citizens upon birth and thus giving them (the illegal parents) access to our Social Security, health care, etc. I think this bill clarifies what the framers intended.

People who come to the US illegally for the purpose of giving there children citizenship in the US are nothing short of sneak thieves. There are NO circumstances (child or not) that should be an exception to this rule. Who knows, maybe we could actually cut down on some of the illegal crossings and, dare I say, deaths in the deserts from sneaking in to the US.

Americafirst 05/31/2009 8:39pm
in reply to iali May 31, 2009 10:06am

Take your race card home.
Race has nothing to do with Citizenship.

Watchemoket 07/14/2010 12:00pm
in reply to Americafirst Aug 02, 2009 7:54pm

As I replied to another poster above, that phrase does not mean ‘subject’ in the same sense as ‘citizen’ – it refers to a person being required to obey the laws. If the drafters intended the Amendment to mean what you claim, they would have said “and A subject thereof”.
This differentiates ordinary people from those here with (for example) diplomatic immunity. An Ambassador (and his/her family) are NOT “subject to the jurisdiction” of the US or any state. A foreign Ambassador’s child, born in the US, would NOT become a US (or state) citizen by operation ot the 14th Amendment.

beanwarrior 06/03/2009 5:17am

This bill makes perfect sense. Once everyone born in the US was an american do to the difficulties of transportation at the time. Parents left their countries to immigrate to the US and took weeks or even months to get here. So a child “conceived in transit” had no ties to the home country.
Now anyone takes a plane and a few hours later are in the US.
Drops the kid, gets an anchor to stay.
The right to citizenship most be earned, and the bill makes for a clear modern definition of the requirements.

I am all for it.

Maybe it will even reduce the amount of people tha come to the US to accidentally have children here and have the american tax payer stuck with the bill.

apache01 07/28/2009 5:36am
in reply to Waytwofast May 30, 2009 8:54am

Oh, is that right? Well, let me ask you this then. Two illegals heading for the US border, mother pregnant and about to drop, both KNOWING they don’t have documentation to be here at all, but trying to cross the border Illegally, they get 5 miles from the US Border when the mother delivers her child, but they proceed on and stop at the first town they come to on American soil and tell the people there the child was born on US soil. Should any of them be given citizenship and full rights? Not just no, but HELL NO! If they aren’t citizens, then their child aint either! They are all just here visiting!!!!!!!!!! Like any German, or European tourist just over here on vacation, or as they say it, on Holiday!

chalam 05/31/2009 4:20am

The bill needs to be more comprehensive. What about children of parents who are legally in the US and are awaiting then Permanent residency? or are in long term PhDs?

MariaNJ 04/29/2010 7:39pm
in reply to Waytwofast May 30, 2009 8:54am

The problem we are now facing with illegal immigration and anchor babies has gotten out of hand. When the 14th Amendment was passed they did not foresee the abuse it will create with illegal aliens of today. So the 14th Amendment needs to be amended to avoid abuse of anchoring babies. Amending it to stop the abuse of anchoring babies is not violating ones civil rights.

CandyMorency 04/30/2010 12:59pm
in reply to Teri Jun 09, 2009 9:50pm

Pity to you that Russia hasn’t been communist since 1991. I believe that they should be considered “born abroad” and deported if their parents are here undocumented – i.e. they have NO pending citizenship status and lack a green card/Visa.

moattorney 04/28/2010 5:31pm

A court only tries to determine what the framers intended when they “interpret” the Constitution. If a constitutional provision is clear from the plain meaning, a court should just apply it, not interpret it. (Standard, conservative legal theory). The 14th amendment is pretty clear, if your born in the u.s and subject to its jurisdiction, you’re a citizen. Why is the “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” phrase in there? I’m not sure. Anybody who’s on U.S. soil is subject to its jurisdiction. If you commit a crime in the U.S., you are subject to U.S. (or, individual state) prosecution, and punishment, under U.S. (or, invididual state) laws and procedures, none of which is possible unless the court has personal jurisdiction, which it does. Same thing with a civil issue, you injure someone negligently, the court of the state where it happens has subject matter jurisdiction over the suit and personal jursidiction over you.
This bill is patently unconstitutional.

spoopryme 05/30/2009 3:36pm

Fury24, im not trying to start a fight here, but if a childs parents do something illigal, and the parents are sent away to prison for many years, the child is also being punished for what the parents did.

alphaomega, i agree with you. there is a system in place to alter ammendments to the constitution, and if something like this passes it will only open the door to more, similar abuses. however, labelling people who try and circumvent the system communists is a tad confrontational, as nazi socialists or just downright liars and thieves could do something similar without being communist…

Waytwofast 05/30/2009 8:54am
in reply to donnyshaw May 29, 2009 8:05am

For the first time on this website I have had to thumbs down a “Republican” bill. The 14th Amendment is clear on this: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.”

14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Ratified: July 9, 1868

This bill I feel will violate the constitution of the United States. The Constitution did not discriminate on a child or other person due to their parents citizenship status.

If a child of illegal parents is born here in the United States, than that child is a legal citizen, however what this bill should be doing is eliminating the automatic citizenship status for the parents; as they are not legal citizens, but are parents of a legal resident.

I believe this bill violated the Constitution, and I hereby stand against it.

qldaustralia 09/29/2009 11:40am
in reply to epritchardoc Jul 28, 2009 5:12am

“I doubt very seriously that our framers anticipated that people from other countries…were going to sneak into the US so there unborn children would be citizens upon birth and thus giving them…access to our Social Security, health care, etc.”

How about this:

“I doubt very seriously that our framers anticipated that people from other countries…were going to sneak into the US so there unborn children would be citizens upon birth and thus giving them…access to our land, our resources, our sources of food, etc.”

We were founded by “undocumented immigrants” (or “illegals”) – who stole from others and murdered them to get what they wanted. Yet you don’t think they would mean that people should become citizens in the very manner they became citizens? Interesting.

akscjun 05/29/2009 3:49pm

bill doesn’t say anything about children born to LEGAL IMMIGRANTS who are waiting for their green card and citizenship. Looks like short sighted bill.

lwlangway 08/12/2009 1:35pm
in reply to Teri Jun 09, 2009 9:21pm

here here. This has been the biggest loophole that has compounded the number of illegal immigrants in this country. There is a high percentage of pregnant women from Mexico that come here illegally just to have their child so they can stay. Look at what’s going on with Calif and some of the other border states.

chrisso 06/02/2009 2:01pm

This bill is a great effort to stop people from abusing the system. It’s such a great feeling going to the the market and seeing illegal aliens with American children filling up grocery carts full of food and then handing the cashier a WIC card. I remember when I could afford to purchase that much food. I guess those were the “good-old” days. I really can’t understand how my fellow Americans can support people who are hurting decent, hard-working Americans? I have lost jobs due illegal aliens. I pay a ton of taxes due to illegal aliens. My hospitals are closing due to illegal aliens. My schools are overcrowded due to illegal aliens. By the time many of the American supporters of illegal aliens realize that it has hurt your family, it will be too late to correct.

Concern4Constitution 06/15/2009 9:11am
in reply to Fyreseer Jun 01, 2009 2:38am

My opinion is that programs that are paid for by citizens and taxpayers are to be used for the benefit of citizens and taxpayers.

Is there a way to allow for the citizenship of the child without rewarding the illegal manner in which they received it? Wouldn’t limiting services to legal residents greatly reduce the incentive to enter the country illegally?

KISS 05/31/2010 8:39am
in reply to qldaustralia Sep 29, 2009 11:37am

You obviously have internet skills, so it appears you choose to be stubborn. You can easily find stats on anchor babies and chain migration.


amystoddard 04/25/2010 11:34pm

The “anchor baby” industry needs to be pounded.

I’m am American citizen currently living in S. Korea while my husband has temporary assignment for a Korean automaker. I’m learning from Canadian friends who have been in Korea for 6 years, love living here, work hard as educators and pay taxes. They will NEVER have the chance to be Korean citizens. Ever. Their clients are wealthy Koreans. They enlightened me on the booming “anchor baby” industry among wealthy S. Korean women. The Korean education system is brutal…long hours for kids who achieve substandard proficiency when compared to US schools. Korean women want their kids to have 1) US Education and 2) Avoid participating in Korean military. 3) Be able to bring the fam when the kid reaches 21.

You can argue all day long about “natural citzenship,” but when I learn of services in Los Angeles that facilitate these actions, I get furious.

Check out these articles:

Teri 06/09/2009 9:54pm
in reply to spoopryme May 30, 2009 3:36pm

Amen. I got your back on this one Spoopryme.

MariaNJ 04/29/2010 8:09pm
in reply to raysmock Jul 28, 2009 4:32am

You’re absolutely right. Majority of illegal aliens refuse to read and write English , wave their homeland flag and you call that patriotic to their new country? It’s clearly stating they are only here to free load on our services, benefits and monetary gains. They refuse to assimilate with other nationalities but their own. why would i allow my tax money to them? This is unfair and a slap to the constitution.

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