Tag Archives: immigration

Amend the 14th amendment!

The 14th amendment to the constitution of USA says “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…”

The reason for the text passed 1868 was to explicitly make former slaves citizens, but the problem now is that it acts like a carrot, attracting illegal immigrants from Latin America. The immigrants figure that even if they have to live as illegals in the US their entire life, at least their children will become citizens and can stay legally. It is thus an immigration loophole. When the normal process takes upwards of 20 years, the difference is not so big to this illegal process. Even if it takes a generation, a generation is only about 20 years or so, right?

It also flies in the face of international law. International law, valid in the US as well, states that every child gets the citizenship of his or her parents. For instance, a child born to a woman with US citizenship abroad will still get US citizenship. Thus, the US applies that principle, which now is the international norm. There is no reason to hold on to the rule from 1868.

Thus, since there are strong reasons to abandon it, and no reason to keep it, a constitutional amendment should be introduced to change the rule of citizenship explicitly to be determined by the parents’ citizenship(s), not the country of birth. (Note that amendment 14 contains also other provisions and sections, that serve a purpose.)