Should everyone born in the United States automatically become a citizen? It’s a constitutional and political question that probably will get some attention as the current presidential campaign unfolds. But as we shall see, let’s don’t all hold our breath for too long, now.
The birthright citizenship debate was recently brought up in Congress when David Vitter and Steve King introduced legislation that would restrict who is considered a U.S. citizen by birth.
And on Wednesday, GOP candidate Chris Christie told a radio program that he would reconsider qualifications when it came to birthright citizenship. And you understand we expect nothing more from Gov. Christie.
“I think all this stuff needs to be re-examined in light of the current circumstances,” Christie said. “[Birthright citizenship] may have made sense at some point in our history, but right now, we need to re-look at all that.”
One of Christie’s rivals, John Kasich, told CNN this week that he’s reversed his position on birthright citizen, which he wanted to end for illegal immigrants as a member of Congress. “I think we need to get over that. I’m not for it anymore. Let these people who are born here be citizens and that’s the end of it. I don’t want to dwell on it,” he said. What! Well no warm fuzzies here for John Kasich.
The statute proposed by Vitter and King directly tackles a constitutional barrier involving citizenship rights for anyone born in the United States or its incorporated territories.
“It’s astounding that we’re allowing foreign citizens to exploit the loopholes of our immigration system in this manner, and Congress has the obligation to stop it,” Vitter said in a statement that accompanied the legislation in March, which is stalled in Congress. “This practice comes down to a fundamental misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment, and we can stop the massive problem with some simple clarification.”
Specifically, the first sentence of the 14th Amendment reads, “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.”