Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If You're Born in the US Does that Make You a Citizen?

As anxiety in the US rises the issue of birthright citizenship has come up for debate. When the 14th amendment was passed after the Civil War, it officially and explicitly gave citizenship to anyone born within the boundaries of the US. The amendment was meant to address the freed slaves, but over time many immigrants have taken advantage of this clause for their own children. Some mothers cross the US border from Mexico just to go to the hospital to have their children. Also, any illegal immigrant who's children are born stateside will be citizens.

So why do we have this stipulation in the Constitution, the highest law in the land? We are a nation of immigrants, all of us, except for Native Americans originally came from somewhere else. Our ancestors all came here to get their slice of the American Dream. It is a principle so fundamental to our country that we put into the Constitution, one of the most difficult legal instruments to modify, It has only been amended 27 times in our 234 year history. By contrast the Texas constitution has been amended over 450 times.

The challengers of Citizenship-By-Birth hope to challenge the principle in the Supreme Court, however, this has been tried many times before and has never passed muster. The only way this right could be changed would be by Constitutional amendment, a process so cumbersome, there is little chance of it happening.

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