The 14th Amendment does not grant birthright citizenship to everyone born in the United States. In order to assume that it does, a person has to actually ignore what it says. The Supreme Court set the precedent of birthright citizenship by misinterpreting the 14th Amendment. Poor education about our history and government ensures that We the People never get uppity over this unconstitutional misinterpretation. The purpose of the 14th Amendment was to give citizenship to former slaves who were in the United States through no fault of their own.
The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868. If it granted citizenship for no reason other than being born on U.S. soil, you would think that the U.S. would have started granting birthright citizenship in 1868, right? Wrong. They didn’t, because that isn’t what the 14th Amendment says. As a matter of fact, two years prior to its ratification, Senator Jacob Howard explained the actual intent of the 14th Amendment. He said:
“Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”
The key to inheriting birthright citizenship is being subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Foreigners are subject to the jurisdiction of the countries they are citizens of. We deport illegal aliens back to the countries that they are subject to the jurisdiction of. If they were subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, then they would have all privileges and rights that go with that jurisdiction including voting, enlisting in our armed forces, and running for public office. Not being part of our jurisdiction, they are ineligible. They can do so in their home countries. The Supreme Court held to this in the 1884 Elk v. Wilkins case. They decided that the children of foreign ministers were not granted birthright citizenship based on the fact that they weren’t subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
And American Indian was not granted citizenship, because his parents weren’t completely subject to U.S. jurisdiction, being also subject to an Indian nation. If an American Indian was not granted American Citizenship by birthright after the 14th Amendment was ratified, then we can certainly conclude that birthright citizenship isn’t granted to foreigners by the 14th Amendment. Congress didn’t grant citizenship to American Indians until 1924!
It wasn’t until 1898, 30 years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment, that a case came in front of the Supreme Court that changed things. Keep in mind that the 5th Clause of the 14th Amendment specifically gives congress the power to enforce the 14th Amendment, not the Supreme Court.Read More