Birthright citizenship controversy likely headed to Supreme Court

Muthana is the US-born daughter of a foreign diplomat. She left the country to join Islamic State in Syria four years ago, and now seeks to return, claiming US citizenship.

By DARLENE CASELLA
March 15, 2019 05:13
3 minute read.
Muslim in a burka.

Muslim in a burka. . (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

 
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President Donald Trump understands that border security is of utmost importance to our nation. He also voiced concern about various types of unconstrained immigration, which are exploited by birthright citizenship (BC). This touched off a firestorm of liberal opposition by proponents of BC. Thanks to the Muthana v. Pompeo case, BC may wind up in a Supreme Court Decision. 

Muthana is the US-born daughter of a foreign diplomat. She left the country to join Islamic State in Syria four years ago, and now seeks to return, claiming US citizenship. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Muthana is a terrorist and will not be admitted. The case involves interpretation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution regarding birthright citizenship.  

Caravans of immigrants cascading toward our border make compelling video. Less obvious are seducing immigration practices caused by debatable interpretation of the 14th Amendment. Birthright citizenship; anchor babies, chain migration, and the disgraceful birth tourism industry undermine the intent of our founders.  

John Eastman of the Claremont Institute has picked up the sword regarding interpretations of the 14th Amendment.  He filed an amicus brief in the Muthana v. Pompeo case. The concept of birthright citizenship has never been heard by the Supreme Court. 
Slavery was abolished after the Civil War in 1865 by the 13th Amendment. However, it failed to prevent states from denying former slaves the privileges and protections of citizenship. A pro-slavery Supreme Court ruled that citizenship was racial. Its Dred Scott Decision held that people of African descent were not American citizens.   

The 14th Amendment overturned that decision, and was ratified to specifically address former slaves and children of slaves who were born after the Civil War.

The first section states: “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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The amendment had nothing to do with legal or illegal aliens or the children of aliens, or the children of diplomats, or birth mothers who arrive on a temporary basis to give birth and return to their home countries. The 14th Amendment was about the status of former slaves and the outrages they had been made to suffer. 

Birthright citizenship is currently interpreted to mean that any baby born in the US is automatically a citizen. BC has become a magnet for illegal immigration. Babies born in the US to immigrants are called anchor babies. As a US citizen, the child qualifies for benefits, including free education through high school, and in-state affordable tuition in state colleges. When the child turns 21, additional family members can join him or her through chain migration. Thus, the baby is an anchor for the entire family chain to legally come to the US. 

A birth tourism racket has been spawned by BC. Wealthy Chinese, Koreans, Turks, Venezuelans, and others from overseas engage maternity travel operators who orchestrate the arrival, stay, and hospital birth of pregnant women who give birth to a US citizen baby. These birth mothers are mere sojourners in the United States for the sole purpose of giving birth to make their baby a US citizen. Mother returns to their homeland with a newborn who could become an anchor baby, and return with all benefits of a citizen. 
Advanced countries that had historically offered birthright citizenship abandoned it years ago. Canada and the US are the only developed nations that persist in the practice. Undeveloped countries where life is not easy, like Cuba and Argentina, continue to offer birthright citizenship.

President Trump acknowledges the negative impact of birthright citizenship and chain migration on our nation.    Muthana v. Pompeo is addressing this issue through the courts, rather than through Congress or an executive order. Judicial reexamination could be decided in the Supreme Court. 

The writer is a stockbroker, the owner/president of a small corporation, and a former English teacher. She is active with Federated Republican Women, the Lincoln Club, and the California Republican Party. Darlenecasella@msn.com.

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