Anchor Babies and the 14th Amendment

Now that the elections are all the buzz, debate over anchor babies being legal or illegal heats up. And, while everyone is pointing to the 14th Amendment to try to understand and define debate, things in the end are still confusing for many.

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. – The Constitution of the United States, Amendment XIV, Section 1.

Upon first read, one could draw the conclusion that ‘anchor babies’ are citizens of the United States. However, there has never been a clear definition from the Supreme Court. Never. But, the debate must go on.

As Alabama’s Jeff Sessions said, “I’m not sure exactly what the drafters of the (14th) amendment had in mind, but I doubt it was that somebody could fly in from Brazil and have a child and fly back home with that child, and that child is forever an American citizen.”

The intentions of the Founders were never to allow this sort of activity. They clearly laid out a path for which people could legally become citizens. Which brings us to the other end of the debate.

First, the parents of the anchor babies are here illegally. It would be another thing if they had gone through all the right channels to be here leagally and were going through the process of becoming citizens. Then, their babies would have the legal right to become naturalized. However, simply being here illegally and having a child by way of taxpayer money, should not make the baby a legal citizen.

Second, the 14th Amendment says clearly that if you are a citizen of the United States, you are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Which, would only make the child legal, not the parents. And this could lead many down a fine line. One that could award custody of the legal child to the state and send the parents back to their original country of origin. A fine line indeed.

While there are many things within the debate of anchor babies and the 14th Amendment, the legallity could only be decided by the Supreme Court. But, that doesn’t rule out heated debates as November quickly approaches.

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