Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution begins . . .
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States . . .
That language, and court cases interpreting it since the late 1800s, has granted American citizenship to anyone born within the borders of the United States, whether the parents of the child are present legally or not. As you might imagine, birthright citizenship has created quite an incentive for foreign nationals to be here when children are born. Reports are that at least 60,000 babies are born to illegal immigrants every year - in Texas alone. (Link here.) That's 60,000 feet (120,000 feet, technically) blocking the door from hitting the lawbreaking parents' rear-ends on their way out of the country since it is much more difficult (if not impossible) to deport the illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizen infants. And we sure can't deport the babies.
I'm for a robust, vibrant, and big-hearted LEGAL immigration system (coupled with real enforcement of immigration laws and sending those folks who are here illegally home, post haste). But birthright citizenship, as it now stands, is out of hand. The fix is simple, though the way complex . . .
The time has come to amend the beginning of the Fourteenth Amendment to read:
All persons born in the United States to a legal resident mother or father and all persons naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States . . .
The quest revisit the notion of birthright citizenship is gaining some traction. (Link to story here.) The time has come.