“A policy of granting birthright citizenship to children born here of illegal aliens is not merely unreasonable and harmful, but irrational and self-contradictory, a matter of both punishing and rewarding the same conduct.”

-Lino A. Graglia, A. Dalton Cross Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law (8-25-2015)-


Birthright Citizenship is being misinterpreted to mean that all people, born on American soil, are automatically granted citizenship.

To include those children born of illegal aliens, and or legal status residents, such as green card holders. This is not true. If this was true, then historically, Native Americans would not have been excluded from citizenship.

The Fourteenth Amendment says,

“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.”

Technically, this can be construed to extend to Native Americans because, tribal land is that of a sovereign nation. Illegal aliens, and even those aliens with documented permission, do not automatically give birth to American citizens. Why not? Due to the fact that their parents are not naturalized citizens.

They have not terminated allegiance to their home country, thus do not fall within the complete jurisdiction of the America. Therefore their children, by default, are citizens of their parents’ country of origin, only.

This is not to say the waters are not muddied with Supreme Court rulings, divided courts, and footnotes in dictums which contradict each other. Compounded by the fact that a former Supreme Court Chief Justice said,

“We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is” (Charles Evan Hughes).

Whoa! Those are powerful worlds that have extensive ramifications beyond birthright citizenship. For the time being birthright citizenship is the topic at hand, particularly among our Presidential candidates.

Some of whom are Congressional members capable of, and who are, putting forth proposals to end the practice of bestowing US citizenship to anybody who happens to be born here of parents who remain citizens of another nation and subject to the jurisdiction thereof. In fact, there is a federal judge, Richard Posner, who thinks this can and should be done.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Graglia’s article can be accessed via the link here, and is well worth your time to read.

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