What ‘Subject to the Jurisdiction Thereof’ Really Means

by P.A. Madison on September 22nd, 2007

[Updated 8/24/2015 to make more readable]

Because the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendments first section was to end the denial of those fundamental rights that belong to all United States citizens by virtue of their citizenship under Article IV, Sec. II of the U.S. Constitution was imperative to first define citizenship of the United States. Otherwise, a State could refuse to recognize newly emancipated slaves as citizens by withholding the right to sue, make contracts, due process, purchase property, etc. in any State they ventured into Therefore, the Fourteenth Amendment acts to recognize all persons as citizens who do not owe allegiance to some other government when naturalized or born.

Perhaps the first most important thing to understand about national birthright is that there was no national birthright rule applicable within the States prior to the year 1866. One will look in vain to find any national law on the subject prior to this year, or even any mention of the right to citizenship by birth under the United States Constitution. The reason for this is because the authority remained with each State to make rules that distinguished alien from citizen.

The distinction was important because aliens could been prevented from owning property, voting, inheritance, doing business, etc.

Madison made it clear rules of who is a citizen or alien properly belonged with each State when addressing a contested South Carolina Election of Rep. William Smith in the House of Representatives in 1794. Madison said the question of whether Rep. Smith had been a citizen of the United States for seven years at the time of the declaration of independence rested entirely with the Constitution of South Carolina:

From an attention to the facts which have been adduced, and from a consideration of the principles established by the revolution, the conclusion I have drawn is, that Mr. Smith was, on the declaration of independence, a citizen of the United States; and unless it appears that he has forfeited his right, by some neglect or overt act, he had continued a citizen until the day of his election to a seat in this House. I take it to be a clear point, that we are to be guided, in our decision, by the laws and constitution of South Carolina, so far as they can guide us; and where the laws do not expressly guide us, we must be guided by principles of a general nature, so far as they are applicable to the present case . . . It were to be wished, that we had some law adduced, more precisely defining the qualities of a citizen or an alien; particular laws of this kind have obtained in some of the States; if such a law existed in South Carolina, it might have prevented this question from ever coming before us.

After the Revolution, States retained only those portions of common law that were applicable to their local circumstances. In England at the time, the general rule – not a hard rule since could be suspended when required by the King – every person born within the Kings allegiance and within any of the King’s realms or dominions was considered a natural born subject under the maxim every man owes natural allegiance to the King whom may have been born in any of his realms or dominions. This natural allegiance was perpetual and difficult to severe or alter (Once a English subject, always a English subject) and was found odious in this country (America went to war against this “natural allegiance” in 1812).

In early America the common law rule of “natural allegiance” was discarded as well as the rule of automatic citizenship to children born to aliens regardless of their condition. Other differences that differed from the common law were the general rule children born to transient aliens or temporary sojourners remained alien. Early states also required of aliens who desired to become domiciled within their limits to first renounce any allegiances to other governments and pledge their allegiance solely to the State. Therefore, a child born to domiciled alien parents was “born within the allegiance” of the State even if the parents had not yet been naturalized would be considered a citizen of the state and a United States citizen.

Moreover, when an issue of aliens and citizenship went before the courts it meant some State had neglected to enact laws on the subject, thereby forcing the courts to adjudicate citizenship under common law rules of place of birth. This is exactly what happened with the State of New York in 1844, forcing the State to later withhold automatic citizenship of children born to “transient aliens” by statute. *

Conceivably, Congress could had from the beginning attempted to include a defined local birthright rule – whether due to place of birth or parentage – but would have found, just as the Thirty-Ninth Congress had discovered, to be no simple matter as individual States had differing opinions over who should, or should not, be their citizens.

As a rule, the nation considered only those patriotic immigrants who came here for the exclusive purpose to settling amongst us, bringing with them wealth, like habits and customs as those worthy to become part of our society. And more importantly, those willing to renounce all prior allegiances to their country of origin and swear exclusive fidelity to this one.

Paupers, vagabonds and imperialist were universally despised.

The Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause differed from the common law rule in that it required owing complete allegiance only to the United States in advance rather than automatically bestowed by place of birth, i.e., only children born to parents who owed no foreign allegiance were to be citizens of the United States – that is to say – not only must a child be born but born within the complete allegiance of the United States politically and not merely within its limits. Under the common law rule it did not matter if one was born within the allegiance of another nation.

Under Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes the same Congress who had adopted the Fourteenth Amendment had enacted into law, confirmed this principle: “All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.

Who are the subjects of a foreign power? Thomas Jefferson said “Aliens are the subjects of a foreign power.” Thus, the statute can be read as All persons born in the United States who are not alien, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.

Sen. Trumbull stated during the drafting of the above national birthright law debates that it was the goal to “make citizens of everybody born in the United States who owe allegiance to the United States,” and if “the negro or white man belonged to a foreign Government he would not be a citizen.”

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (39th Congress), James F. Wilson of Iowa, confirmed on March 1, 1866 that children under this class of aliens would not be citizens: “We must depend on the general law relating to subjects and citizens recognized by all nations for a definition, and that must lead us to the conclusion that every person born in the United States is a natural-born citizen of such States, except that of children born on our soil to temporary sojourners or representatives of foreign Governments.”

Framer of the Fourteenth Amendments first section, John Bingham, said Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes meant “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” If this statute merely reaffirmed the old common law rule of citizenship by birth then the condition of the parents would be entirely irrelevant.

During the debates of the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause, both its primary framers, Sen. Jacob Howard and Sen. Lyman Trumbull listened to concerns of including such persons as Chinese, Mongolians, and Gypsies to citizenship. Additionally, Sen. Fessenden (co-chairman of the Reconstruction Committee) raised the question of persons born of parents from abroad temporarily in this country – an issue he would not have raised if Congress were merely reaffirming the common law doctrine – and of course, the question of Indians.

A common mischaracterization of the debates says Senators Trumbull, Cowan and Conness suggested both the Civil Rights Bill and the Fourteenth Amendment would make children born to Chinese or Mongolian parent’s citizens regardless of the condition of the parents. However, this is an erroneous conclusion because they were discussing concerns over whether “race” of the parents could play a role. They were not suggesting locality of birth alone was to be the sole requirement of citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment. Additionally, this discussion appeared before the chief authors, Senators Lyman and Howard, provided the proper intended operation of the language.

Sen. Trumbull attempted to assure Senators that Indians were not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. Sen. Johnson argued that Sen. Trumbull was in error in regards to the Indian’s not being under the jurisdiction of the United States. This must have raised concerns with Howard because he strongly made it known that he had no intention whatsoever to confer citizenship upon the Indians under his amendment, no matter if born within or outside of their tribal lands.

In Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment (1998) the court said “jurisdiction is a word of many, too many, meanings.” Therefore, it is important to discover the operational meaning behind “subject to the jurisdiction” as employed under the Fourteenth Amendment rather than assuming its meaning from other usages of the word jurisdiction alone. Both Sen. Trumbull and Sen. Howard provide the answer, with Trumbull declaring:

The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What do we mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.

In other words, it isn’t local jurisdiction the Fourteenth Amendment recognizes but only the lack of owing allegiance to some other nation because the United States only recognizes those who are ‘true and faithful’ alone to the nation. As will be explained shortly, only acts under the laws of naturalization can remove an alien’s allegiance to some other country under United States law.

Additionally, Trumbull argued Indians could not be subject to the jurisdiction for the reason the United States deals with them through treaties. This is also exactly how the United States deals with aliens from other nations as well; they enter into treaties with outer countries to define legal rights of their citizens while within the limits of the United States and vice versa. Example: A treaty with China prohibited the United States from naturalizing Chinese citizens.

Sen. Trumbull further added, “It cannot be said of any Indian who owes allegiance, partial allegiance if you please, to some other Government that he is ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.'” Sen. Jacob Howard agreed:

[I] concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word “jurisdiction,” as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, coextensive in all respects with the constitutional power of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now.

This remark by Sen. Howard places this earlier comment of his on who is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” into proper context: “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.”

What Sen. Howard is saying here is citizenship by birth is established by the sovereign jurisdiction the United States already has over the parents of the child, and that required that they owe allegiance exclusively to the United States – just as is required to become a naturalized citizen. It does not require a leap of faith to understand what persons, other than citizens themselves, under the Fourteenth Amendment are citizens of the United States by birth: Those aliens who have come with the intent to become U.S. citizens, who had first complied with the laws of naturalization in declaring their intent and renounce all prior allegiances.

Sen. Trumbull further restates the goal of the language: “It is only those persons who come completely within our jurisdiction, who are subject to our laws, that we think of making citizens…” Note that Trumbull does not say temporarily within our jurisdiction, but “completely within our jurisdiction”.

He of course is talking about the laws of naturalization and consent to expatriation by the immigrant in order for him to come completely within the jurisdiction of the United States and its laws, i.e., he cannot be a subject of another nation. Without this full and complete jurisdiction, any foreign government can intervene on behalf of their own citizens while they visit or reside within the United States – just as the United States is known to do on behalf of U.S. citizens within other countries.

Any citizen owe the same quality of allegiance to their nation of origin as does their country’s ambassador or foreign ministers while within the limits of another nation unless they freely decide to renounce their allegiance in accordance to law. In other words, it would be preposterous to consider under the meaning given to “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” that a French subject visiting the United States was not a subject of France, but a complete subject (politically) of the United States while within the limits of the nation without first consenting to expatriation.

The United States has always, as a matter of law, considered new arrivals subjects of the country from which they owed their allegiance. As a matter of law, new arrivals were recognized as bearing the allegiance of the country of their origin, and the only way that could change is through the voluntarily act of expatriation. No more is this evident then with the recording of the certificate of intent to become a citizen of the United States:

James Spratt, a native of Ireland, aged about twenty-six years, bearing allegiance to the king of Great Britain and Ireland, who emigrated from Ireland and arrived in the United States on the 1st of June 1812, and intends to reside within the jurisdiction and under the government of the United States, makes report of himself for naturalization according to the acts of congress in that case made and provided, the 14th of April anno domini 1817, in the clerk’s office of the circuit court of the district of Columbia, for the county of Washington: and on the 14th of May 1817, the said James Spratt personally appeared in open court, and declared on oath, that it is his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince, &c.

Those who were not qualified under naturalization laws of the United States to become citizens of the United States would be unable to renounce their prior allegiances and consent to the full jurisdiction of the United States as needed to become a citizen. This is how children born to Indian’s and Asians were prevented from becoming citizens themselves under the language chosen.

What changed after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment? Not much really. States adopted laws that excluded either “transient aliens” or those not bona fide residents of the State. New York by 1857 had already a code that read, “All persons born in this state, and resident within it, except the children of transient aliens, and of alien public ministers and consuls, etc.” This code overturned the court ruling in Lynch v. Clarke (1844) where the court was forced to consider the English common law rule in regards to children born of aliens because New York had no laws on the subject at the time.

Additionally, the District of Columbia, California, Montana and South Dakota adopted identical language as New York. States could enact such laws because “transient aliens” could not be considered “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. The State of Connecticut adopted a law that read, “All persons born in this State . . . except aliens, paupers, and fugitives from justice or service, are and shall be deemed to be citizens of this State, owing it allegiance and entitled to receive its protection, until they shall have voluntarily withdrawn from its limits and become incorporated into some other State or sovereignty as members thereof.”

Such State laws were not contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment for the simple reason they merely deny citizenship to those born whom another sovereign claims as its own, i.e., denial of citizenship to those born owing allegiance to another sovereign conforms with the constitutional definition given to “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

In the year 1873 the United States Attorney General ruled the word “jurisdiction” under the Fourteenth Amendment to mean, which Justice Gray would recognize in Elk v. Wilkins years later:

The word “jurisdiction” must be understood to mean absolute and complete jurisdiction, such as the United States had over its citizens before the adoption of this amendment… Aliens, among whom are persons born here and naturalized abroad, dwelling or being in this country, are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States only to a limited extent. Political and military rights and duties do not pertain to them. (14 Op. Atty-Gen. 300.)

House Report No. 784, dated June 22, 1874, stated, “The United States have not recognized a double allegiance. By our law a citizen is bound to be ‘true and faithful’ alone to our government.” There is no way in the world anyone can claim “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” affirms the feudal common law doctrine of birth citizenship to aliens because such doctrine by operation creates a “double allegiance” between separate nations.

Aaron Sargent, a Representative from California during the Naturalization Act of 1870 debates said the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause was not a de-facto right for aliens to obtain citizenship. No one came forward to dispute this conclusion.

Perhaps because he was absolutely correct.

* The phrase “transient aliens” was generally used to refer to aliens other than “domiciled aliens” who had taken their oath of allegiance and other requirements who were citizens or subjects of another country who could be in the country for any number of reasons, such as a stopover on an international trip, school, work, etc., who had no intent of becoming citizens or were unable to by law or treaty.

Related Was U.S. vs. Wong Kim Ark Wrongly Decided?

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149 Responses | Leave a Comment
  1. The Mexican Majority Future says:

    Poor babies.

    The U.S. Constitution wasn’t “intended” to apply to Black people either.

    Times change. Get over it.

    Stop living in the 18th century.

  2. Bob Bradshaw says:

    The argument that the United States had not recognized double allegiance is the most persuasive case against automatic birth citizenship I’ve seen yet. I gather when Sen. Howard proclaimed the clause to be virtue of “natural law” he meant born to fathers who were already a citizen of U.S. This would also be the rule of law of nations.

    There is something awfully “fishy” about the conclusion found in wong kim ark.

  3. Michael says:

    “I’ll tell you right now”¦I am not a US Citizen because of where my parents were born (they were born in the USA). I am a Citizen because of where I was born!!!”

    Brian, I’ll tell you right now if your parent are U.S. citizens and you were born in Germany (not on a U.S. military base) THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE A GERMAN CITIZEN! Idiot!

    Michael,83 U.S.Army-173d Airborne Brigade-“Ëœ65-“Ëœ71 Vietnam (Honorable Discharge, 14 campaign streamers, 4 unit citations, Purple Heart, & a Distinguished Service Cross)

  4. Michael says:

    Oh, I forgot, what is up with this:

    “”Brian, 30 male, US Navy submarines 1999-2003 (honorable discharge 2003).

    Is that suppose to mean something here? Who cares?

    Oh, let me try and impress everybody! So you sailed around the world in a U.S. submarine!

    Michael,83 U.S.Army-173d Airborne Brigade-’65-’71 Vietnam

    (Honorable Discharge, 14 campaign streamers, 4 unit citations, Purple Heart, & a Distinguished Service Cross)

  5. Michael says:

    In Reply to Brian:

    Your rebuttal makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Did you even comprehend anything P.A. Madison wrote?

    “So what was to be the premise behind America’s first and only constitutional birthright declaration in the year 1866? Simply all children born to parents who owed no foreign allegiance were to be citizens of the United States – that is to say – not only must a child be born within the limits of the United States, but born within the complete allegiance of the United States politically and not merely under its laws.”

    Did you miss this part? Born to parents who owed no foreign allegiance”. Like Mexican citizens who enter our country illegally. Did you read the following passage?

    “Framer of the Fourteenth Amendments first section, John Bingham, said Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes meant “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” If this statute merely reaffirmed the old common law rule of citizenship by birth then the condition of the parents would be entirely irrelevant.”

    The intent of the original framers is that the parents must be in the country legally. Very simple concept.

    Throughout the debates, the wording was carefully chosen for the sole purpose of deciding who you are awarded citizenship. The whole purpose of the 14th was to ensure that you were not granted automatic citizenship by the simply being born on U.S. soil. It is very simple, if your parents are not citizens and you have entered the U.S. illegally, then your children are not U.S. citizens.

    “This whole thing is silly, because illegal aliens don’t come here to have babies, they come here to take jobs away from Americans. A physical wall with armed enforcement would do more than changing the 14th amendment.”

    This statement by you is the most ignorant comment I’ve ever heard! That is exactly why they Hispanics come across our Southern border. Are you going to try and say that the

    “anchor child” is not a valid concept? Additionally with the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, the child may sponsor other family members for entry into the United States when he or she reaches the age of twenty-one. Do your research before posting such stupid remarks. Without automatic citizenship granted to these “anchor children”, the motivation to sneak across the border and have 5-6 children is lost. There would no longer be the hope that eventually the children could sponsor the illegal family members.

    “I’ll tell you right now”¦I am not a US Citizen because of where my parents were born (they were born in the USA). I am a Citizen because of where *I* was born!!!”

    Exactly why we are even having this discussion. The intent is too make sure that your parents were U.S. citizens before you would be granted citizenship.

    “The children have a RIGHT to be here, because they were BORN here. This is THEIR land”

    Again, if their parents are not citizens, they do not have a right to be here. That was the primary intent of the original framers of the 14th. What are you just very slow or what?

    How did it become their land?

    So lets say that you were on duty at sea for six months and I moved into your home, then it would become mine because you weren’t there to stop me?

    “That’s American Soil. It’s stained with the blood of free Americans who fought so others could be free. Anyone who’s born here should also be a free American.”

    I just love this argument! I’m a veteran and I didn’t fight to allow 12 million illegal Hispanics to sneak across our border and pop-out 5-6 children and then be awarded citizenship for their parents criminality.Once again, that is the whole point behind the 14th, they put restrictions on who would be automatically conferred with citizenship.

    It is a very simple concept, if you are born here to U.S. citizens, then you are a U.S. citizen. If you are born here to illegal Mexican parents, then you are a Mexican citizen and Mexico is your land, not the U.S.

    It is because of idiots like you that we have over 12 million illegal aliens here.

  6. Brian says:

    Perhaps I didn’t make clear in my previous post: I am against illegal aliens. I support a physical wall along our border with Mexico. However, I also support the 14th amendment.

    PA Madison wrote:

    “Aaron Sargent, a Representative from California during the Naturalization Act of 1870 debates said the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause was not a de-facto right for aliens to obtain citizenship. No one came forward to dispute this conclusion.

    Perhaps because he was absolutely correct. ”

    I agree, but if you’re born on US Soil, you are NOT an alien.

    PA Madison repeatedly talks about loyalty being associated with where one was born, which defeats his argument, because if he is correct, people born on US soil to illegal aliens would be loyal to THE UNITED STATES.

    This whole thing is silly, because illegal aliens don’t come here to have babies, they come here to take jobs away from Americans. A physical wall with armed enforcement would do more than changing the 14th amendment.

    I’ll tell you right now…I am not a US Citizen because of where my parents were born (they were born in the USA). I am a Citizen because of where ****I**** was born!!!

    If a man is convicted of murder, are his children sent to prison also??? I don’t think so!!

    The principle in question is that the United States of America is a free country, the most free in the world, and the greatest in all of history. Why would a great and free nation say that people born on land under her control are not also free???

    In my opinion, if an illegal alien has children on US soil, and is discovered to be here illegally, she faces a decision: go home alone, or go home with her children. The children have a RIGHT to be here, because they were BORN here. This is THEIR land.

    A friend of mine, a Mexican-American who was born here and whose father was born here (although his grandfather was not), and whose father has a purple heart from World War II, said to me, “this is how my dad put it. Take some dirt from over there into your hand. That’s American Soil. It’s stained with the blood of free Americans who fought so others could be free. Anyone who’s born here should also be a free American.”

    It is the PARENT who has no right to remain.

    Illegal aliens have no more right to be here than I would have a right to be in Mexico without permission of the government down there.

    Their children who were born here, however, were born as free Americans, this is their land, and that is how it should be.

    They are natural born Americans!!!

    –Brian, 30 male, US Navy submarines 1999-2003 (honorable discharge 2003).

  7. Barb says:

    In Reply to Aaron – you guys are wasting your time:

    Bravo… Excellent on-point intretpretation of the 14 th Amendment. The citizenship clause is often over-broadly interpreted without regard for historical context, “jusridiction”, US and individual states, “due process”, nauturalization law, and expatriation. You clearly pointed out the original intent of the amendment in providing citizenship to slaves and their US born children. Without the 1866 context and evolution of immigration & naturalization laws, it’s easy misinterpret the 14th.

  8. Rachelle says:

    In Reply to Alex:

    Talk about ignorance!

    I seriously hope you are not referring to the United States

    as ” Mexicans” being here first. Everyone in the whole freakin United States know that it was the NATIVE Americans that were living in the United States”first”. The only reason Mexicans were living here before the early settlers was because they slaughtered thousands of Native Americans for thier land. And the Mexicans were

    interbreeding with Spainards, yes that even includes Aztecs and it was the spainards that slaughtered thousands of Mexicans, and Aztecs, and raped the women.

    I would suggest to you that you should pick up a book or even a map! because Arizona is occupied by Navajos, New Mexico is occupied by Apaches, Colorado is occupied by the Utes, and California are occupied by Saboba etc. America was nver the republic of “Mexico” the whole four corners are surrounded by Indian Reservations you idiot!

    So the next time you decide to get off on someone about “Incorrect Ignorant Facts” I suggest you better get your facts straight first.!

    By the way it was also the Navajos that fought in the world War 2 ( code talkers) because it the Natives that are the”first american citizens” so it was thier right to fight for thier country.

  9. Tom says:

    In Reply to Brian:

    Because of the mismanagement of our borders over the last 20 years this invasion of illegal trespassers is impinging on legal Americans rights and benefits. For you to sit there and tell me someone can drop an anchor baby here and then be allowed to reap our benefits that we have paid in to for decades tells me you are a frigging moron!! Let me break into your house and eat from your fridge’, use all the hot water, let me invite my friends in, take you kids clothes and give them to my kids and see how long before you get pissed. Oh yeah, you may cut the grass or flip a burger to help out but we don’t need that. This only helps the business man make more profit to buy a BMW or have a summer home. When one person breaks the rules for personal gain the rest of us pay.

  10. Harry James says:

    In Pennsylvania, the constitution states that “all men are born equally free and independent,” not born citizens of the COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. As far as the term “citizen” in the United States is concerned the court in State v. Manuel 122 N.C. 122 – See 14 Corpus Juris Secundum Sec. 4 states:

    “…the term ‘citizen,’ in the United States, is analogous to the term ‘subject’ in the common law; the CHANGE of phrase has resulted from the CHANGE in government.”

    Not many are aware but a “citizen of the United States” is a citizen of the United States federal government which is a foreign corporation with respect to the states.

    A “citizen” is a member of a political community who has “submitted himself” to the “dominion” of the government of that political community.

    Amendment 14 is dealing with “persons” not men or mankind. All “men” are born equally free and independent. For a man to become a person liable or subject to the government of the United States he must knowingly “submit himself” to the dominion of that government. If he does he is a “subject” and no longer a free and independent sovereign. As such he cannot complain about the government or the debt. To whit:

    Amendment 14, Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned….”

    “The citizen cannot complain, because he has VOLUNTARILY SUBMITTED himself to such a form of government. .. he OWES ALLEGIANCE to the two departments, so to speak, and within their respective spheres [i.e. jurisdictions] MUST PAY THE PENALTIES.

    Two departments? Executive and Legislative? What happened to the judicial? Are the courts now only administrative courts of the Executive branch?

    115 U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) A post 14th amendment Supreme Court case.

    If you look at the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union you will see two classes mentioned – the free Citizens IN the state, and the free inhabitants OF the state. Both had the same privileges and immunities but they were different in some way. Perhaps it was the type of “civil rights” they had?

    In Constitutional Law we find the following:

    “Civil rights” are such as belong to every citizen OF the state or country, or, in a wider sense, to all its inhabitants, and are NOT CONNECTED WITH THE ORGANIZATION OR ADMINISTRATION OF GOVERNMENT. OR, as OTHERWISE DEFINED, civil rights are rights appertaining to a PERSON in virtue of his citizenship IN a State or community. Rights capable of being ENFORCED or redressed in a civil action. ALSO a term applied to to certain rights [really government ascribed rights/privileges] secured to citizens of the United States by the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments to the constitution, and by various acts of congress made in pursuance thereof. State of Iowa v. Railroad Co. C.C.Iowa, 37 F. 498, 3 L.R.A. 554 Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th edition, page 1487

    There appears to be “free Citizens OF the state” and “subject/citizens IN the state” The former has no allegiance to the government of the political community, the latter is subject to all its laws.

    Aliens, owe a local allegiance only during their temporary or permanent residence “in the state” or particular territory under the jurisdiction of the government of the state.

    Domicile and residence are not synonymous terms.

  11. ggg says:

    “That means legislative “intent” is largely irrelevant to me””we don’t apply the intended law, we apply the law that was actually passed.”

    This is a nonsense application of the phrase “original intent.” The phrase has nothing to do with the law that was “intended” but rather with the intent of the law. Original intent does not concern itself with what a legislative body began with only to ignore what it ended with.

  12. Craig says:

    “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”

    Interesting to find Bingham stating natural born citizens are defined by the allegiance of the parents. This actually makes more sense then linking natural born with native born.

    American law for most of our history recognized any person born of an American father in another country to be an natural born American citizen. So if mere presence on foreign soil had no bearing on the matter, why does some think it would in this country?

    Very strange.

  13. JimAZtec says:

    In Reply to Zeebo: As federal statutes have long recognized, you can be within the jurisdiction but not a subject of the jurisdiction. I am subject to jurisdiction of the United States because I can be compelled to go to Iraq, but an alien cannot be compelled to enter the service and shipped off to Iraq.

    I reside within the jurisdiction of several judicial courts, yet I am not the subject of either. Only through process of law can I be made a subject of either jurisdiction… its not an automatic claim.

  14. Zeebo says:

    Why do you say that “subject to” is any stricter than “under?” I don’t think that is supported by the context you’ve provided.

    At any rate, you seem to support the notion that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is somehow rendered superfluous or redundant if it grants citizenship to anyone born here. But that’s not the case. This clause clearly exempted Indians (who didn’t gain automatic citizenship until 1924), and still exempts children born to diplomats serving here because those people weren’t subject to U.S. jurisdiction, by and large. Someone living in the U.S. is.

    I would have no problem if we decide to change the law to explicitly exclude children born to illegal aliens. But we should accomplish that by changing the law, not by a court decision that gives a new meaning to the 14th Amendment. And make no mistake, it would be a new meaning. Congress has had 110 years to correct the Supreme Court’s reading of the 14th Amendment, and hasn’t done so. Changing it now in the courts would simply be another example of rule by judicial fiat.

    Anyway, I enjoy the discussion. 🙂


  15. JimAZtec says:

    In Reply to Zeebo:

    Well, even if you do not want to look at intent you still have to explore the meaning on the words in the context used. First and subsequent naturalization laws never recognized persons within the limits of the United States as automatically being under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Title XXX: “Any alien who was residing within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States…”

    This implies being within the limits of the United States does not automatically translate to being under the jurisdiction of the United States. The 14th amendment goes further, it demands persons to be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, not under or within.

    So saying jurisdiction means merely presence would run counter to how the word was used in federal statutes since the adoption of the constitution. A dictionary meaning has to be read in the context of federal jurisdiction over people within a state as far as federal jurisdiction is defined, or withheld, under the Constitution.

  16. Zeebo says:

    I consider myself an originalist, like Justice Scalia. That means legislative “intent” is largely irrelevant to me–we don’t apply the intended law, we apply the law that was actually passed. We apply the text. If we want to know what ‘jurisdiction’ meant in 1866, if it is the least bit confusing or unclear, we should look it up in a dictionary from that era and then give the term its fairest, plainest meaning.

    We don’t need to run around consulting floor debate or correspondence between Senators in this case, anymore than we need to do that with any other law. That’s how we get activist decisions.

    Just my two cents.


  17. JimAZtec says:

    In Reply to Alex:

    The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo did not cede any of Mexico’s territory over to the United States in return for recognition of human rights, land ownership, and respect for language and culture.

    Mexico sold its claims to the US for $15,000,000 as it tried to do before the war. Mexico only claimed the territory for a brief period of time. When California became a state it only recognized “white Mexicans” of european dissent in its constitution.

    Mexican citizens in Calif. did not automatically become citizens of the United States, they had to elect to become. Most returned to Mexico, leaving only established land holders to elect to become US citizens.

  18. Alex says:

    I have to disagree, respectfully, with Doris. If anything is clear, it is that she is ignorant of a lot of facts, both in geographical and historical terms. “Mexicans” born in the U.S. or Mexican- Americans who have been here for more than six (6)generations are U.S. citizens. I say (6) generations because that would bring us close to approximately 1848, the year the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, it signaled the end of the Mexican American war, and it ceded much of Mexico’s territoy over to the United States, in return for recognition of human rights, land ownership, and respect for language and culture. Doris- please pay attention to this: The treaty that was signed, between the two “war-ing” nations also gave automatic United States Citizenship to Mexicans north of the rio Grande- The Treaty was signed in 1848…you used 1866 as some sort of reference to the Civil War, with some to slavery and the childrens of slaves. Again, this would be incorect. Your statement about some lack of invitation towards Mexicans, to come here, borders on both xenophobia, and abject ignorance of the geopolitical situation in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Nevada, parts of Colorado and Utah, all of which were under the Domain of the Republic of Mexico, since it’s independence from Spain- Mexican War of Independence(1810-1821). Without going in to too much detail…. Mexicans were here “First”, before white settlers moved WEST, in the name of “Manifest Destiny”. If there was ever a term for “Illegal Aliens”…’Folks’ who as Doris put it (No one forced the ******** to come here, nor did we invite or welcome them) …”it would certainly fit a people from a foreign place, wanting to appropriate land through extralegal means, including “warfare”, in the magnitude and scale of theft that has hardly ever been repeated in ‘World History’. So Doris, understand this: Not all Mexicans are illegal aliens. Mexican Americans have fought side by side next to white Americans since the Second World War- Korean War- Vietnam, and especially now in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are American Citizens, and have been since 1848. Many of whom are not only citizens, but even more patriotic, than the likes of you Doris, because I seriously doubt that you have ever enlisted in the U.S. armed forces, I assume this becuase of your uneducated banter. And by the way Mexican Americans pay Federal, State and City Taxes, like everyone else. Please pick up a book sometime, and do not rely exclusively on the FOX Network for all your facts, as that, may make you grow bitter, and even more ignorant.

  19. Derek says:

    And what if you believe that you have allegiance to God. A foreign soveriegnty?

  20. Aaron - you guys are wasting your time says:

    In Reply to all: What P.A Madison didn’t point out in this article, that you all are debating over, is that the current way the USFG interprets the 14th amendment, makes the amendment out to be redundant.

    Let me break it down for you guys. The wording is as follows: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…” Let’s rewind and look at “born or naturlized in the US.” the way we currently look at it now in the US is as follows. Everyone here born on US soil is a citizen of the US, period.

    Now let’s fast forward to “and…” Why put ‘and’ here if they already knew that the non-citizens and citizens alike were under the US jurisdiction? See how the USFG has made the 14th amendment redundant.

    The correct interpretation of the 14th amendment is under the way P.A. Madison defined it. It really wasn’t him at all either, it was the co-authors of the amendment.

    The way you can correctly interpret this amendment is by looking through the binoculars of proper context and historical background. There was no such thing as an ‘illegal alien’ back then, but the co-authors still grasped the concept to reject people like them by wording the amendment the way they did.

    No learned man at that time would have put a redundant clause in a federal law. Unless the clause wasn’t redundant but in fact establishing a greater truth about citizenship. That truth is consentualism between the government and the person. remember the founding fathers made sure to establish this and the co-authors of the 14th amendment upheld that turth in the amendment. ‘Subjects’ (the crown’s view of ‘citizens’) had a perpetual allegiance to the throne (by way of jus soli) by mere place of birth. The US’ view of citizenship not subjectship was based on the consent of the governed, meaning you must renounce all other allegiances to any other foreign power to become a citizen of the US and the US has to accept your allegiance. That is the basis behind consentualism.

    That’s why it is so essential to look at the expatriation act when trying to understand anything about citizenship. The way the USFG looks at citizenship currently is a total 180 of historical precedent. We hold more to the throne’s viewpoint on ‘subjectship’ rather than the founders viewpoint on ‘citizenship’ by arbitrarily and perpetually giving citizenship to the babies who hold allegiance to their parents who hold allegiance to their foreign governments with no way to stop the perpetual cycle.

    to help you understand Brian look at it this way. It’s a chain of command. The lowest person is the child of the family, the highest person is the USFG. The chain is as follows: A baby born is subject to their parents; the parents are subject to the State in which they reside; the State is subject to the USFG. You cannot deny this fact. This is the crux of any argument of the advocates who argue for automatic birthright citizenship: The baby has allegiance to their family and their family has allegiance to their foreign government because they have not officially (through law) renounced their (meaning parents) citizenship.

    I hope this distilled the arguments you had and it gave a better understanding from where P.A. Madison is coming from.

  21. JimAZtec says:

    In Reply to Brian:

    “The author of this post is wrong to imply that where your parents came from has any effect on your citizenship.”

    Came from? There was no impression that it mattered where “parents came from.” Howard, Trumbull and Bingham stated it was the allegiance that mattered, and even a partial allegiance to another government didn’t qualify.

    Lay off the crack, dude.

  22. Brian says:

    Well, I too am against illegal aliens. But certainly NOT Mexican-Americans who were born here or immigrated legally. Those are Americans.

    The author of this post is wrong to imply that where your parents came from has any effect on your citizenship.

    The only way you could be born within the borders of the United States and not be subject to its jurisdiction is if you were born land which is subject to someone else’s jursidiction. So where would that be? A FOREIGN EMBASSY.

    For example, if your mother is about to give birth to you, and she steps onto the Mexican Embassy in Los Angeles, California, and you are born at that embassy, you’re not automatically an American citizen.

    If an illegal alien sets foot on American soil and their baby is born here, that baby IS AND SHOULD BE an American citizen.

    Some of you guys should think about what you’re saying:

    How could you possibly think that someone born to illegal aliens on American soil is not subject to American jurisdiction? If that were the case, we couldn’t deport the parent for being an illegal alien!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if they aren’t subject to our jurisdiction, that also means our laws don’t apply to them!!!!

    by the logic some of you are using, if someone was born to foreign tourists on US soil, who are here legally but not citizens, the child wouldn’t be a US citizen, because their parents on not citizens. That’s stupid.

    ok, have you seen the show Jericho on CBS? In that show, American traitors set off nuclear weapons, destroying many major US cities (DC was nuked, but NYC stopped the nuke). The Vice President became the President, but a senator from a Flyover State claimed himself to be the president and formed a rival country, The Allied States of America, consisting of all states west of the Mississippi. This rival country is a dictatorship that takes away the 2nd amendment and executes people randomly for unjust reasons. The original USA remained with the eastern states. Texas observed all this and decided to be neutral and a separate country. A CIA guy had tried to stop the attack but was unsuccessful; he had penetrated the group of traitors undercover and was given a nuke but of course refused to set his off because he was a good guy. The CIA guy and Jake, the dude who drove trucks in Iraq, deliver the suitcase nuke to the Texas embassy, to prove that the bomb came from Russia and that the nuclear blasts in that show were set off by American traitors and not Iran. Jake says “my friend has been shot, we need medical assistance. we seek political asylum” and the Texas Army National Guard guy says “this is not a hospital, this is SOVEREIGN TEXAS SOIL!”

    Point being, if you’re born on SOVEREIGN AMERICAN SOIL, you’re an American.

    The framers of the 14th amendment put in the “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” to make it clear that if you’re at the Mexican embassy AND THEREFORE NOT SUBJECT TO AMERICAN JURISDICTION, you would not be an American.

    But anyone who is born within the borders of the United States, and not on a foreign embassy or on international jurisdiction (such as the United Nations building), is an American. Also, if you’re born in international waters, or in the air above international waters, on a US Navy commissioned vessel, or a civilian ship flying the US flag (registered in the USA), or an aircraft registered in the United States, you’re still on US soil.

    That’s how it should be, because we a free country, and no one born here should be subject to foreign tyranny. Long live the American Revolution!!!

    –Brian (us navy submarines vet 1999-2003)

  23. Doris says:

    To me, it is quite clear that this law was not written to become a “blanket policy”. It was written in 1866 just after the end of the Civil War. This was written to insure that former slaves and their children would be American Citizens, and rightly so. The slaves were brought to America against their will. No one forced the Mexicans to come here, nor did we invite or welcome them (except maybe for big business). They came here ILLEGALLY and are continuing to do so. They do not deserve to be American Citizens (ANY FORM OF AMNESTY!) nor should their children be considered American Citizens. We, the American citizens are being penalized, while the illegals are being rewarded! I for one am VERY PO’D at having to foot their bills, ie. food stamps, the VERY COSTLY education of their usually VERY LARGE FAMILIES, and their medical care! There are literally millions of TRUE AMERICAN CITIZENS, the people who built this country, the middle class, the backbone of this country who cannot afford medical insurance, but the US hospitals cannot deny medical care to any illegals or they can face a HUGE FINE! They can turn away a LEGAL AMERICAN CITIZEN who is uninsured. Also the Constitution grants the right to a peaceful protest to LEGAL AMERICAN CITIZENS. What right do these ILLEGALS have to be out in our streets protesting and waving their Mexican flags! As I see it, they have added NOTHING to OUR COUNTRY. They are “bleeding” the American taxpayers who are already barely keeping our heads above water with increasing home heating costs, gasoline costs, and rising food costs. The only people benefitting from their being here is BIG BUSINESS! The home foreclosures in this country are horrendous! Who does the government bail out, the banks, of course! The very institutions who caused this problem. What our government has done to stop illegal immigration amounts to trying to put out a house fire with a garden watering can! Wake up all of you sympathizers, your children will have to bear even more of a burden than we are facing now!

  24. Mel says:

    In Reply to LM David:

    Right on David. This is a misguided law and should be amended to insure that only Legal Citizens children have that right.

  25. jeff says:

    In Reply to Donna:

    Donna, you are very correct when you say we must

    speak out loud and often on the subject of illegal immigration and the custom of granting citizenship to nearly every newborn.

    Finding your voice and using it is a civic responsibility and a requirement for participating it a democracy to keep it vital and meaningful.

    jeff in ct

  26. jeff says:

    In Reply to Manny:


    I too believed that the U.S. Constitution applied and offers its benefits and safeguards to citizens only. In recent years, I have even thought it also includes those persons here with legal status, meaning persons who entered the country legally and in the process of becoming a permanent resident or naturalized citizen.

    I never would have dreamed that a sense of entitlement be granted to anyone, especially here without legal status, to share and get the same rights and privileges as citizens and maybe those here with legal status.

    I mean what’s the point if you basically say that if you are within the borders of the continental U.S. or it’s possessions, you qualify for full protection and enjoy all rights. There woud seem to be no distinction between a visitor or resident and a citizen!

    I would like to think there is a difference but it seems that the prevalent view among lawmakers is that all persons in our country are owed civil rights and liberties same as citizens!

    Is this your take too? I would love to converse with a legal scholar and Constitutional expert to answer this question in the context of Today’s culture and society.

    Do you think a resident in the United States, not here with legal status, is protected by the Constitution and entitled to its benefits?


  27. ammouth says:

    Senator Jacob Howard, the author of the citizenship clause, made the most precise statement about the character of the limitation contained in the “jurisdiction” clause:

    “[E]very 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 agreat desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”

  28. Joe Doe says:

    Well, after reading all of the comments, I am convinced that children of illegals are not citizens under any law, and to be a citizen of the USA, you have to be first a citizen (recognized) as a citizen of a state. I dont think any states recognizes people here illegally as citizens and birthright is determined by the citizenship of the father, and then mother in case of fathers death>

  29. jane doe says:

    So, please explain this statement….

    A certificate is a “paper establishing an ownership claim.” – Barron’s Dictionary of Banking Terms. Registration of births began in 1915, by the Bureau of Census, with all states adopting the practice by 1933.

    Birth and marriage certificates are a form of securities called “warehouse receipts.” The items included on a warehouse receipt, as descried at §7-202 of the Uniform Commercial Code, the law which governs commercial paper and transactions, which parallel a birth or marriage certificate are:

    -the location of the warehouse where the goods are stored…(residence)

    -the date of issue of the receipt…..(“Date issued”)

    -the consecutive number of the receipt…(found on back or front of the certificate, usually in red numbers)

    -a description of the goods or of the packages containing them…(name, sex, date of birth, etc.)

    -the signature of the warehouseman, which may be made by his authorized agent…(municipal clerk or state registrar’s signature)

    Birth/marriage certificates now appear to at least qualify as “warehouse receipts” under the Uniform Commercial Code. Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th ed. defines:

    warehouse receipt. “…A warehouse receipt, which is considered a document of title, may be a negotiable instrument and is often used for financing with inventory as security.”

    Since the U.S. went bankrupt in 1933, all new money has to be borrowed into existence. All states started issuing serial-numbered, certificated “warehouse receipts” for births and marriages in order to pledge us as collateral against those loans and municipal bonds taken out with the Federal Reserve’s banks. The “Full faith and Credit” of the American people is said to be that which back the nation’s debt. That simply means the American people’s ability to labor and pay back that debt. In order to catalog its laborers, the government needed an efficient, methodical system of tracking its property to that end. Humans today are looked upon merely as resources – “human resources,” that is.

    Governmental assignment of a dollar value to the heads of citizens began on July 14, 1862 when President Lincoln offered 6 percent interest bearing-bonds to states who freed their slaves on a “per head” basis. This practice of valuating humans (cattle?) continues today with our current system of debt-based currency reliant upon a steady stream of fresh new chattels to back it.

  30. Larry says:

    Any child born to Mexican citizens abroad is a Mexican citizen.

  31. Giorgio says:

    I want to thank you all for giving me this unique opportunity of reading the most intelligent and most respectful blog ever found on the net. That being said, here is my only query:

    Is the new born child (in US from Mexican parents) also citizen of the Mexican State and of Mexico itself?

  32. Mark in Florida says:

    Everyone, not just on this site, and including law websites, have missed the most important section of the U.S. Constitution: Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, states in part, “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not to exeed ten Miles square..) (this would also include territories or the property that houses a fort or arsenal). They can only legislate (make laws) for that district only. Not in the 50 states. The district is called the UNITED STATES. The Fourteenth Amendment is very clear, if you were born in the UNITED STATES you are a U. S. citizen and if that same citizen lives in one of the 50 states, they are also a citizen of that state. What the amendment does not cite is, if you are born in one of the 50 states you are a Citizen of that state only. The reason this is not cited is because the Constitution only deals with federal situations in the ten Mile square district. I have found that all federal statutes (laws) are written perfectly as long as you keep in mind their lawful area of jurisdiction. If you were born in one of the 50 states, you are not lawfully a U. S. citizen, and if you have erroneously claimed to be a U. S. citizen you have committed a federal crime. Read Title 18, part 1, chapter 43, sec. 911 of the U S Code. How many People have made this mistake? The federal govt. forces the People to claim U. S. citizenship by requiring the states to require Driver Licenses for U. S. citizens. Licensing of any type is not required of Private state Citizens (the People). Do the research and you will agree. The People are free! U. S. citizens are slaves.

  33. Carson says:

    Quote ‘What “Subject to the Jurisdiction Thereof” Really Means’

    It means you are subject to the jurisdiction there of as opposed to living outside of the law like the illegal invaders do.

  34. Jay Shipley says:

    Unfortunately, this is only ONE of the immigration issues that has been swept under the rug for too long. I think that the way our government has handled the illegals in this country….PERIOD….is deplorable. I say the “anchor baby” and the illegal parent should be deported as soon as its’ born, with their hospital bill in THEIR hands, not ours. Too many border town doctors have been reporting that a pregnant woman, never seen in the USA before, suddenly shows up, in labor….and the babies are born within our borders. When I can stand in El Paso, TX, and throw a rock into Juarez, Mexico….without any visible fence….I think we’ve seen enough political leniency here people. I’m all for….DEbunk the lies, DEport the illegals, DEtoxify our society, DEny amnesty, DErail anything other than enforcement, DEfend our constitution! Personally, I’m FOR all the Mexican lovers to get deported to Mexico as well! Bye bye to ACLU and BUSH! Or, should I say “Adios”????

  35. Free Bird says:

    I agree!

  36. DesertHeat says:

    My Dear Friends in Freedom:

    The web discussion on this issue is quite interesting, and whether or not the framers of the Constitution or the authors of the 14th Amendment used or did not use common law as their guide is not relevant. What is important is that the language used must be understood by us as being the “common” expressions of that day based upon the National and Political environment of the times. Let us not get into challenging the wisdom or the merits of a very long debate and the legislative discussions that occurred in the mid 1860’s, especially since it was conducted by men who were very learned about things such as the law and the difficult chore of ending not only slavery, but addressing involuntary servitude, civil rights, voting rights and a host of other issues that were necessary for the granting of citizenship and sufferage to millions of black human beings….who were now Citizens of the United States.

    Let us also remember that when the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act and other such “liberating” amendments and Statutes were passed, there were a number of Southern States that had yet not been readmitted to the Union and for good reason. Many State Constitutions still held that blacks were slaves and property and that before they could be readmitted, such language had to be removed. Several more reluctant States required the use of Military Commisioners to ensure that their State Constitution met the Federal Standard.

    There are many people today who choose to wear blinders when interpreting the 14th Amendment and then there are those who understand the ralationship between the authors of the 14th Amendment and the history that was taking place right before their eyes.

    To be sure, the legislative history of the 14th Amendment, as well as the 13th, 15th and 16th amendments reflect that the term “persons” more often than not meant citizen and that it also meant a deliberate elevation of the black people from their former self re slaves and property….to full human “persons” and subsequently “citizens” of the United States.

    No one has yet been able to show me a Court decision based on a law passed by the Congress of the United States that clearly states that children born of Illegal Alien parents are Citizens of the United States. Past practice, as is the case and the argument used to bestow citizenship on anchor babies by the ignorant and the revisionist history buffs of today….is not in the Constitution, or provided for by any law passed by the Congress or supported by any Court decision that was based upon any law passed by Congress. Let’s remember the makeup of our system of government. The Legislative Branch makes the laws….the Executive enforces the laws….and the Judiciary interprets the laws….and the laws flow from our Constitution and when they become laws are codified. SHOW ME THE ANCHOR BABY LAW THAT DOES WHAT ONLY THE IGNORANT AND THE REVISIONIST CLAIM….GIVES AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP TO THE CHILDREN OF ILLEGAL ALIEN PARENTS. SHOW ME THE LAW!!!


    If one wishes to make a collateral argument….take but a moment to read the wording of the 13th Amendment and then ask yourself if our own government, by granting public services and benefits to Illegal aliens…isn’t in fact subjecting American tax payers to “Involuntary Servitude” in order to pay for the services and benefits being enjoyed by 38 million Illegal Aliens who are not legally present in the United States.


    I know one thing for certain. Our founding Fathers did not sacrifice life, limb, family and fortune to ensure that the representatives of the people could undo the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Rule of Law in order to reward illegal actions and behavior.

    They certainly did not intend that our most treasured national possession….CITIZENSHIP….was going to be tossed around as though it were a carnival prize at a side show.

    God bless America.

    Paul Revere in Arizona –

  37. OneifyLand says:

    Boxer’s reply is a perfect example of why

    Quislings in office should be recalled

    and replaced! Before its too late.

    Sanctuary Cities are balkanized

    Outlaw Cities

    by definition, where the U.S.

    Rule of Law does not apply!

    We are all Minutemen Now!

  38. Donna says:

    OMG…..we all know it was not correct….we all know Our founding fathers were not that stupid….and we all know that we have to fight the current agenda…so how do we do it? I don’t feel that just because you were born here 48 hours before the your parent got here makes you a citizen and that you are legal. We must fight…..or our sons and daughters are burdened to deal with the burgeoned ILLEGAL residence to deal it…so it beyond our scope?…do we leave it to our children? Fight now and maybe we can reverse the trend…..do our legislatures care more about THEM or us?…Who actually has more impact…I think we have to cry LOUDLY and OFTEN….we can make the changes that are needed if we presever….

  39. Baxter says:

    Additional questions for thought: [1] if the US, or states are fictional political entities, how/why can one’s place of physical birth ‘automatically’ make him a citizen thereof? [2] What happened to the people of 7/4/1776 who did not accept the US constitution? Were/are they non-citizens? [3] ‘Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 US 419’ opined that all the people were politically equal [‘joint tenants in the sovereignty’] on 7/4/1776, What authority did the creators of the Constitution have to make or require anyone born here then or now come under the govt authority [state or federal]?

  40. Baxter says:

    I tend to agree, Win. How can being born on land alleged to belong to a fictional government entity automatically make a human being “subject to the jurisdiction” of that entity, unless the human being volunteered into the jurisdiction of it? I don’t think it can!

  41. Win Peters says:

    It seems to me, that no human being can be born “IN” a political fiction, such as the United States or the State of Missouri. This alone nullifies the first section of the 14th A.

    Additionally, the 14th A. makes “citizens” responsible for the debt, a condition of slavery [if one is a citizen]. Lysander Spooner made it clear that even though the “founders” drew up a constitution, it was impossible for these men to make all the People in the 13 colonies come under that document.

    Thus there are many human beings living on this land who are of the former posterity and are neither citizens (.) nor aliens [legal or illegal].

    The US, being a fictional political entity [not existing in nature], is similar to the Boy Scouts. To be born “in” the US doesn’t make one a citizen anymore than the birth of a girl in a Boy Scout camp makes her a Boy Scout.

  42. Manny says:

    i think the most telling thing is that the constitution applies to citizens of the united states and no others. so how can it give citizenship to a non citizen? our U.S. laws apply to anyone here in the U.S. but the two are separate and distinct. that’s the most simplistic way i can think to put it. it follows with the 2nd amendments misinterpretation that they would get this wrong too. too many people miss that you have to think of what was happening at the time the document was written to get a true understanding as to what was meant. superior point. now we need to keep the pressure on our government to make them enforce our constitution.

  43. LM David says:

    How can anyone assume people carrying Mexican flags at the anti-deportation rallies “Not owing allegiance..” to be under the jurisdiction of the United States?

    Since many of them were school age kids, perhaps they should have their parents explain exactly why they went to the trouble to enter this country illegally…

    If they want the USA to be like their “lovely” Mexico then we should give them what they want… No jobs, no money, no health care, no education, no NOTHING… AND, absolutely no citizenship…

  44. Larry says:

    Dianne said: “Prior to 1866, it was generally held that under the common law principle of jus soli, a person born in the United States acquired citizenship at birth.”

    Will Dianne point us to this documented, generally held principle that *anyone* born in the United States acquired citizenship by birth prior to 1866?

    Like the true liberal goon she is, she won’t be able to back up her rhetoric with facts.

  45. R. J. Gillespie says:

    The elitist politicians know full well what “Subject to the Jurisdiction” means but choose to ignore it. They continually pander to the illegal alien lobby. I presented this exact case to Senator Dianne “never saw an amnesty I didn’t like” Feinstein. This is how she responds:

    Thank you for your letter expressing concern about children born in the United States receiving automatic citizenship. I welcome the opportunity to respond.

    I can appreciate your concerns with the growing costs of illegal immigration. However, all people who are born in the United States are automatically granted United States citizenship. Prior to 1866, it was generally held that under the common law principle of jus soli, a person born in the United States acquired citizenship at birth. This principle was incorporated into the Civil Rights Act of April 9, 1866, and, two years later was explicitly stated in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    There is currently no legislation before Congress which would restrict citizenship to children whose parents are U.S. citizens. Please know that I will keep your views in mind should the Senate consider legislation on this issue.

    Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841.

    Sincerely yours,

    Dianne Feinstein

    United States Senator

    Well thank God there is no legislation before the congress that “would restrict citizenship to children whose parents are U.S. citizens.” because she would probably vote for it in favor of giving citizenship to the offspring of illegal aliens.

    Sadly she is wrong on all accounts. The 14th amendment does NOT recognize jus soli.

    With idiots like this in our congress no wonder we have a problem.

  46. Larry says:

    vcif, DC inherited Maryland’s laws upon creation. Maryland at the time did not recognize blacks as citizens whether they were free or not. The District of Columbia had black codes. Someone has pointed out that to get down to the actual nitty gritty of birthright laws one needs to look at the birth registration law for how children were classified based upon their parents residency/citizenship. I am pretty certain in Calif. the father had to be a American citizen after the adoption of the 14th.

    (Paul, am I correct about Calif.?)

  47. vcif says:

    There are some (not so) simple questions which seem unanswered.

    DC was created by the constitution with exclusive legislative power by congress. The constitution applies to the Citizens of the several states. The “rights” of people in the federal zone, such as DC, are statutory and under the exclusive power of congress (just ask alberto).

    1)Before 1866 what was the citizenship of someone born in DC?

    2)The 14th amendment says “…are citizens … of the state wherein they reside…”. That should have been all that needed to be said in order to accomplish the goal of providing ex-slaves with all the rights of free men. Why all the extraneous language?

    It seems that the Constitution’s framers purposely made the document ambiguous in order to allow future expansion of the federal government as their true monarchist/nationalist tendencies could not be manifested immediately.

    It also seems that all of the scotus and other arguments about the 14th amendment are superfluous. “No bills of attainder” specifically and unequivicolly prohibits any law discriminating against any person or group of people by government. This is the true argument against discrimination against a fictitious classification of humans (eg black white…), not some mangled reading or writing about statutory (man-made) rights. Rights are inherent in the human. That’s where rights start and end.

    The problems we have now regarding the 14th amendment exist mostly because it should never have been written as such. If scotus wanted to do things right they could have affirmed that “all men are created equal” means just what it says.

  48. JustBob says:

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to accept the leftist’s version of “subject to the jurisdiction” as solely intended to address ambassadors and foreign ministers. It was universally accepted ambassadors and foreign ministers were under jus soli excluded, so in my mind there is no logic in singling them out. A simple statement that “all persons born in the United States are citizens thereof” is more than sufficient. This language had a purpose beyond addressing ambassadors and foreign ministers else, they would not have used it. Seems to me these guys were pretty clear what they sought to accomplish with this language: citizenship to those who were qualified to come completely under United States laws. That would require pledging allegiance to the United States as already spelled out by national law.

  49. Fred577 says:

    Excellent article. It is now time to revisit the issue of birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens in the U.S.

    More information on the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship is at http://www.14thamendment.us

  50. Troy W. says:

    Boy I dunno… on one hand many argue the amendment only requires a temporary obedience to the laws but this has always bugged me because most these days who receive birthright their parents violated the law to to be here, and continue to violate it after. Hardly obedience of the laws if you ask me.

    Requiring that parents not owe any other government allegiance pretty much proves the supreme court was 100% wrong. It is surprising there is fools who claim to be lawyers agree with the common law view.

    Amazing what fools believe today in the face of the amount of evidence that they are wrong.

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