Amending the Constitution to Defend Citizenship

WeThePeopleby Jon N. Hall    11/4/15
Politicians across the political spectrum want to amend the Constitution. Donald Trump wants an amendment to clarify the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment. Hillary Clinton wants an amendment to override the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. On August 28, Breitbart ran an interesting article by John Nolte headlined “Why the Media Supports Hillary’s Constitutional Rewrite and Hates Trump’s”:

The media wants Citizens United strangled because they want to go back to the days where they enjoyed a monopoly on political speech. The media wants to go back to being the only for-profit corporations allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to affect the outcomes of elections.

Let’s face it: The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, NPR, etc., are all left-wing super PACs disguised as news outlets.

Trump wants to change an outdated Amendment that is being abused by illegals to undermine our entire country.

Hillary wants to restrict political speech.

Those calling for amending the Constitution should take into consideration the fact that the last amendment, the 27th, was passed by Congress in 1789 but not ratified by the States until 1992. Consider: in 1992 it had taken 203 years, the entire history of our nation from our first elected government, to ratify an amendment that no one with half a brain would find the least bit controversial, but the 26th Amendment, the amendment that took the least time for ratification, all of 99 days, was a mistake.

Over the last 102 years, exactly nine amendments have been passed by Congress and ratified by the States. And the first of these, the 18th, was repealed by the 21st, so there’s really been only seven. Over the last 51 years, only two amendments have been passed by Congress and ratified. And the last of these two, the 26th, was ratified more than 44 years ago.

Amendment is a rare and huge undertaking, so idle noise about amending away something like the Citizens United decision is just campaign blather. In today’s America of “administrative law,” federal bureaucrats create more “laws” on a slow day than the federal and state legislatures have in our entire history through the amendment process. In deeply divided America, amendment should be reserved for changes that have broad agreement.

One amendment that might have broad agreement is … Donald Trump’s idea to clarify the so-called “birthright citizenship” in the 14th Amendment’s Citizenship Clause.

Under the current interpretation of that clause, any woman, regardless of her nationality, who gives birth on U.S. soil, will have brought forth a U.S. citizen. In fact, there’s an entire industry, “birth tourism,” devoted to timing the childbirth of foreigners so that it coincides with being in the U.S. American citizenship is also given to the newborns of women who are not here on tourist visas, but who are here illegally.

Granting citizenship to children born to foreigners who happen to be in America at the time of their birth is one of the main magnets of “illegal immigration.” It’s an incentive to breaking our laws; just walk across the border and head to the nearest hospital and voilà: you have your anchor baby with U.S. citizenship and can now go on public assistance and bring in the rest of your family. What chumps we Americans are to let our government do this to us!

If you’re concerned about “illegal immigration” (invasion, actually), then you must get serious about destroying the magnets, the incentives, to coming to America illegally. “Birthright citizenship” is one of those magnets. Some think that a simple statute would be enough to fix this problem, or that a president might unilaterally change it. But what is really needed is an amendment, as that would override case law and any debates that legislatures had when passing the 14th Amendment. An amendment would also protect the change from any future statute and executive action.

Regarding citizenship, American law should be like Jewish law: matrilineal. That is, you’re not born a Jew unless your mother’s a Jew. Likewise, the amendment to clarify the 14th should confer automatic citizenship only on children born to women who are U.S. citizens. The citizenship of the father should be of no consideration. (To confer citizenship on children born to foreign women who have been inseminated by American men would be messy, necessitating DNA tests and lawsuits. Such a provision might spawn a whole new industry similar to “birth tourism.” Forget it.)

Conferring citizenship automatically on the children of foreign nationals just because they’re here during childbirth is not an unalloyed blessing, it has its issues. One issue is America’s citizenship-based taxation, (a system used by only one other nation: Eritrea). It’s conceivable that the IRS could go after the income of someone who may have spent but one day in America, just long enough to be born. (Recently, Americans have been renouncing their citizenship just to free themselves from our godawful tax system.)

Another issue is dual citizenship. (An editorial in the Los Angeles Times headlined “The problem of dual citizenship” is worth reading.) Many nations provide for dual citizenship, but it’s a bad idea. Perhaps some nation will confer citizenship on anyone who sets foot on their soil, and then claim a right to tax their incomes. When foreigners give birth in the U.S., their children are often born with dual citizenship, or a second nationality. But a newborn’s citizenship and nationality should be singular and the same as its mother’s.

The subtitle of Ann Coulter’s latest book, ¡Adios, America! (2015), is “The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole.” (Here’s an excellent review by Jay Nordlinger.) On page 37 in the section “Abraham Lincoln Freed the Mexicans,” Coulter writes:

… the Fourteenth Amendment was part of the Reconstruction amendments after the Civil War … The soul and exclusive purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to stop Democrats from nullifying the entire Civil War by continuing to deny citizenship rights to newly freed slaves.

But Democrats like the current dispensation, because they assume the influx of foreigners will be Democrats. Democrats want a permanent underclass, which would be their political base. So in the debate on whether to pass and ratify an amendment to shore up citizenship, it would be interesting to hear how Democrats defend the status quo. Let them go on record opposing Mr. Trump’s amendment; let them run for reelection on that opposition.

The Democrats’ interpretation of the Citizenship Clause is an utter negation of America’s self-determination; it allows U.S. citizenship to be determined by the whims of foreigners and lawbreakers. Defending his ideas on these matters to NBC’s Chuck Todd, candidate Trump summed it up succinctly: “Chuck, we either have a country, or we don’t have a country.”


Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City. • (854 views)

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15 Responses to Amending the Constitution to Defend Citizenship

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    In theory, ending birthright citizenship could be done by a law passed by Congress to explain that illegal aliens and tourists don’t benefit from this (as indeed they never should have). Of course, it would eventually end up in the courts, so ultimately it would depend on which side of the bed Anthony Kennedy got out of that morning.

    One thing we need is an amendment banning this regulatory law. Only Congress can make laws; unfortunately, we need an amendment to prevent bureaucrats from doing so in the guise of “interpreting’ vague laws. (According to Eric Lurio’s Cartoon Guide to the Constitution, this was originally proposed for the Bill of Rights, but they mistakenly thought it was unnecessary.)

  2. SkepticalCynic SkepticalCynic says:

    In a nation that wasn’t as broken and splintered as we are, fixing the birthright citizenship thing would be a slam dunk. We have way too many people that are ignorant, confused, don’t understand right from wrong nor up from down or even if they are male or female anymore. This is the direct cause of electing a non-citizen commie Muslim as president and the country is paying a heavy price for it.
    I know I will be labeled every derogatory name people can call me but I would like to propose a big change. In the same manner that we make people take a test and prove they can drive before we give them the OK for them to drive on our roads. Dental hygienists, as well, have to study and take tests to show that they have the ability to scrape the goop off of our teeth without harming us. Numberless other jobs have to prove that they are qualified to do their work before we license them.
    So-o-o-o,

    Why on God’s precious Earth don’t we have some kind of test that VOTERS have to take and pass to prove they are qualified to pick the ones that run this country for us? Is that asking too much or should we go to asylums and push them into the voting booths for the sake of everyone having a say in those who are elected?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I believe the Democrats already do that, or something like that.

      As for Barry Screwtape Obama, he is a citizen unless he was expatriated when his mother married an Indonesian (and even then, I suppose he could have been repatriated when he came back). Nor is he a Muslim; Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, has no room for self-idolaters. Commie, on the other hand, I’ll grant you.

      • Rosalys says:

        “Nor is he a Muslim.”

        Probably true, but perhaps we can grant Mr. Cynic a little slack here, because Obama has surely bent over backwards to appease Muslims; though whether it is because he is a true believer, or merely wishes to fundamentally change the country he so vehemently hates, is a matter for some debate. I strongly suspect the latter, because as you say, Tim, “Islam…has no room for self-idolaters.” Zero worships the god of Obamanism.

    • Ronald J. Ward says:

      Aside from blaming Obama for the long list of things he had or has nothing to do with and aside from tbe reality of your hate infested and bigoted rant of ignorance, yes, requiring literacy test is a bit much.

      • Mr. Ward — What list of things re Obama? Where did that come from? We try to have calm, accurate discussions here where we give specifics and avoid being abusive. The facts speak loudly enough.

        • Rosalys says:

          It appears that Mr. Ward is a “rabbit” and a troll. There is no arguing with this type. It is no use trying to have a meaningful discussion with him, because that is not his purpose. With this type you just state the facts and move on.

          And Brad, please don’t be too quick to exercise your option of deleting Ronnie Troll’s comments (as you threatened in a recent comment on another article – unless, of course, he becomes obscene) because, though unenlightening, Ronnie Troll at least provides occasional comic relief.

        • Ronald J. Ward says:

          It isn’t surprising that I’d be chastised for calling out such blatant hyperbole and bigoted attacks while you’d obviously side with the writer of such frothing venom spewage.

          It’s indeed an interesting age when so-called conservatives defend their undefined positions with ” electing a non-citizen commie Muslim as president” while advocating literacy test.

          Or, do you not believe Obama is an American citizen or a communist or a Muslim (as if his religion actually mattered anyway). Perhaps you buy into the concept that Obama was planted in the country, slipped in as a new born by radical terrorist in order to raise and indoctrinate him and groom him to become POTUS in order to “transform” America to their liking?

          Of course, people of reasonable sanity don’t really buy into such buffoonery yet here you are actually defending or at best, refuse to deny it. Why? Why would you not denounce the utter nonsense of ScepticalCynic of saying “we have way too many people that are ignorant, confused, don’t understand right from wrong nor up from down or even if they are male or female anymore” BECAUSE of Obama?

          Sure, I have been disappointed of Obama on several fronts but such regurgitation of vile stupidity and debunked birther accusations is far from an attempt of “try to have calm, accurate discussions here where we give specifics and avoid being abusive. The facts speak loudly enough”.

          I mean, in any realm of reasonable discussion, precisely where did that come from? Want an adult conversation? How about why today’s so-called conservatives continue their unfounded birther claims and how it pertains to Lee Atwater’s admission of perfecting the “Southern Strategy”?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Well, troll, you actually do raise some questions here. It’s a fact that Obama’s upbringing was oriented toward Islam and communism. Of course, your straw man about a conspiracy is clever; one can believe Barry Screwtape Obama is a communist with a cultural preference for Islam without believing in any conspiracy to put him there.

            As for birthers, I wonder if they’re any more numerous on the right than truthers are on the left. And how many on your side believe oil prices are set for the benefit of the GOP? How many really think the Bush White House exposed Valerie Plame and that “Bush lied, people died”?

            • Ronald J. Ward says:

              It’s an amazing phenomenon for you to post such an argument while calling me a troll.

              Regardless, truthers and oil prices are a non sequitur in the birther argument. Your trolling distraction somewhat assumes that those who cry fowl of invading Iraq are akin to those that believe in a government conspiracy that flew planes into the twin towers. It then tries to suggest the birthers are of such rarity, all while distancing yourself from denying the very birther issue.

              To be clear, Osama bin Laden orchestrated the attacks on 9/11. President Bush and Dick Cheney mislead the country into attacking a country that did not attack us. And the GOP and Fox News has been on an all out mission to keep the birther scam alive and well for political gain, despite the fact that it has no merit on any front.

              There’s really no comparison or associations of these issues. Yet your sophomoric gibberish wants to portray me as the culprit of trollism?

              To use your very own quite often attempt of rubber/glue tactics, good job!

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I would appreciate if if you would provide an actual instance of a significant figure at either Fox News or the Republican Party who actually pushed the birther theory (and Donald Trump doesn’t count). By contrast, Demagogues were quite happy to endorse Michael Moore’s mockumentary Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004.

  3. Ronald J. Ward says:

    I would appreciate if if you would provide an actual instance of a significant figure at either Fox News or the Republican Party who actually pushed the birther theory

    I’d appreciate someone of reasonable knowledge of political realities to challenge me. You are obviously profoundly or willfully ignorant. I seriously have no time for either.

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