Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, Judiciary
Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims
(Sept. 29, 2005) contends that the Citizenship Clause of the 14th
Amendment has been misconstrued as mandating birthright citizenship.
Rather, the clause was a codification of the 1866 Civil Rights Act,
which quite clearly exempted from the automatic citizenship provisions
children of parents who owed allegiance to a foreign power - i.e.,
those who were in the U.S. only temporarily (and particularly those who
were in the U.S. illegally). This was the understanding of those who
drafted and those who ratified the 14th Amendment, and was confirmed by
the Supreme Court in the first two cases to address the clause. In
1898, the Court reversed course, though, holding that the Clause
mandated birthright citizenship, resulting in a repudiation of the
principle of bilateral consent as the foundation for citizenship. Read More.
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HT: Hugh Hewitt
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