Skip to comments.Supreme Court To Hear Birthright Citizenship Case
Posted on 02/17/2004 7:39:20 PM PST by CIBvet
+== TIME-OUT PROJECT ==+
Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement filed a motion in the case of Saudi Arabian Taliban fighter, Yaser Esam Hamdi. Hamdi is considered by the government to be an American citizen because he was born in Louisiana to Saudis who were here on a temporary work visa. While still a tot, Hamdi's parents returned to Saudi Arabia with him, where he lived until he went off to join a terrorist group trying to kill Americans in Afghanistan. This man is not American in any real sense, of course, and the Supreme Court now has a historic opportunity to end the absurd custom of "birthright citizenship."
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Yaser Esam Hamdi, the captured Taliban fighter who was originally incarcerated with other captured enemy fighters at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but who was moved to the naval brig at Norfolk when, after it was discovered he has an American birth certificate, he was declared an American citizen.
Since the discovery of his birth in Louisiana (to Saudi nationals in the United States on temporary work permits), Hamdi has been at the center of a major legal battle.
On one side, Hamdi's public defender argues that, as an American citizen, Hamdi has certain civil rights.
On the other side, the government argues that, as an American "enemy combatant," Hamdi loses some of those rights.
Both sides, however, are essentially arguing an imaginary point, since Hamdi is not an American citizen in spite of his birth in Louisiana. There is nothing in the Constitution, in Federal law, or in case law anywhere that mandates U.S. citizenship by virtue of being born on U.S. soil.
The custom of granting of automatic birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born offspring of temporary workers, tourists, and illegal aliens is nothing more than that: a custom, and the pervasive myth that the U.S. Constitution grants birthright citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil is simply that: a myth.
In the Hamdi case, the Supreme Court will be wrestling with some important questions concerning the civil liberties guaranteed to the citizens of a free republic. Such questions should not be decided in a case in which the plaintiff is not even a citizen a case in which the premises are founded in myth and habit.
Since Yaser Esam Hamdi is not an American either by virtue of the law or by virtue of common sense a prior question of fact in his case is fundamentally flawed, and deciding weighty citizenship issues based on this case is like deciding important international trade issues based on a case involving the toys Santa Claus brings.
Unfortunately, the baseless American habit of granting birthright citizenship to anyone whose mother happens to be in the United States at the time of his or her birth is not just some harmless and quaint American tradition like singing the national anthem before baseball games. The birthright citizenship custom, which accounts for an estimated 250,000 new "anchor baby" citizens every year, is one of the primary magnets luring to our shores foreigners who want to increase their consumption levels.
This custom is responsible for the spectacle of women in labor dragging themselves through the Arizona desert in order to give birth to their very own tickets into the American social services network. It also accounts for the burgeoning industry in Asia known as "birth tourism," which arranges U.S. tourist visas for pregnant Asian women to coincide with their delivery dates so that they may give birth to their and their extended families' very own American "anchors" in the United States.
However, birthright citizenship is not a law of nature, it is not a commandment from God, and it is not a cultural imperative. It is nothing more than a destructive and unsustainable custom, and it is time we put a stop to this assault on the very meaning of citizenship.
In the Hamdi case, the Supreme Court has a historic opportunity to do away with this wrong-headed practice and make explicit, after nearly a century and a half, the very limited intentions of the authors of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Let's hope the Justices rise to the occasion.
+== RELATED LINKS ==+
Group argues U.S.-born detainee is not an American citizen ( Associated Press on FILE's 2002 motion in Hamdi case)
Closing the Loopholes to Easy U.S. Citizenship (St Petersburg Tribune on FILE's 2002 motion in Hamdi case)
Rescuing U.S. Citizenship (VDARE on FILE's 2002 motion in Hamdi case)
The Basic Right of Citizenship (CIS)
Why Yaser Hamdi is not a U.S. Citizen: FILE's motion to intervene in the Hamdi case (FILE)
Wrong Question in Hamdi (Ashbrook Center)
+== TAKE POSITIVE ACTION ==+
In August 2002, while the Hamdi case was still bouncing around the Fourth Circuit, Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement (FILE) recognized both the legal dangers involved in the Hamdi case, as well as the historic legal opportunity the case provides to dispose of the absurd and destructive custom of birthright citizenship.
FILE filed a motion to intervene asking the Fourth Circuit to dismiss the Hamdi case on the grounds Hamdi is not a citizen.
The court never ruled on FILE's motion, but within the next few weeks, the group will again attempt to have the question of Hamdi's citizenship adjudicated this time as an amici on a brief filed with several other respected organizations, and backed by members of Congress.
FILE welcomes the opportunity to join The Center for American Unity and others in filing the amicus brief before the Supreme Court. We will have more news about this important event as the filing date draws near.
In the meantime, to add weight to the brief, we need to begin to generate some support in the U.S. Congress for ending legislatively the abuse of the Citizenship Clause.
We already have some Congressional backing, but we need to reinforce it. The best way to do that is by going to the NumbersUSA fax center and sending a free fax to your representative in Congress asking him or her to co-sponsor H.R.1567, the Citizenship Reform Act of 2003, which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to deny citizenship at birth to children born in the United States of parents who are not citizens or permanent resident aliens.
Just go to http://www.numbersusa.com/fax and click on "anchor babies." (If you haven't registered for NumbersUSA's excellent and very effective "fax Congress free" system, yet, what are you waiting for?)
(Special note to all of you who responded last week to our appeal for donations: I want to personally say thank you for a really great response, and remind you that when you support ProjectUSA, you are also supporting our sister organization, Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement (FILE). In other words, donating $50 to us is really like donating $100 since you are helping two very effective organizations at the same time! Craig)
+== QUOTE OF THE WEEK ==+
"[The Fourteenth Amendment] 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."
Senator Jacob Merritt Howard of Michigan Introducing what would later become the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868
(The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, often wrongly cited as the Constitutional requirement for birthright citizenship, was enacted in order to guarantee recently freed slaves the rights of citizenship. It was never intended, as the quote above by one of the Amendment's authors makes clear, to grant birthright citizenship to the offspring of tourists, illegal aliens, and temporary workers.)
+== EMAIL OF THE WEEK ==+
To start with, I am not an American citizen, but I think all of you Americans should exercise your constitutional right to keep your country free of outside influences that affect your individual freedom and your distinctive identity.
We cannot deny the fact that you are still considered as the "land of opportunity", but you have to carefully choose your fortune hunters.
Therefore, I added my name to your list to be presented to Mr. Ashcroft only to emphasize the fact, that as an outsider, I am more enthusiastic about your cause than so many Americans who are still asleep, and to Mr. Ashcroft himself, who is still blinded by his "generous and/or naive" personality. I still highly value the brief time that I have spent in your country, when I was an undergraduate student in Fresno, CA. Thank you for this memorable experience, and I mean those Americans whom I had encountered.
I hope that the Americans will rise to the challenge of keeping America great as it always was, for the years to come.
Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872) (USSC+)
MILLER, J., Opinion of the Court
"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."
The first observation we have to make on this clause is that it puts at rest both the questions which we stated to have been the subject of differences of opinion. It declares that persons may be citizens of the United States without regard to their citizenship of a particular State, and it overturns the Dred Scott decision by making all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction citizens of the United States. That its main purpose was to establish the citizenship of the negro can admit of no doubt. The phrase, "subject to its jurisdiction" was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.
the pervasive myth that the U.S. Constitution grants birthright citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil is simply that: a myth.
The US Constitution says:
Section 1. 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.
You argument rests upon the clause "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof". The customary interpretation rests upon a simple reading of the entire sentence.
To claim there is NO BASIS and it is a MYTH is a big over statement, in my opinion.
In the case in question the fellow from Saudi Arabia is certainly "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" by virtue of the fact that he is being tried by the US government.
I support the Constitution, even when it is inconvennient. I also would support repealing parts of the 14th Ammendment.
Yup. This is definitely a part of the Constitution that was originally conceived to guarantee liberty, but is now being used as a crutch and loophole for every shiftless parasite that doesn't want to take responsibility for the mess their own country is in. So, they come here, make babies, and pick our pockets for sustinence. Well, I, for one, am tired of being the feeding teat for the sick, lame, lazy, and dangerous, when my own family is left wanting.
Even under the original intent of the 14th, "under the control of", this case probably meets that threshold since the defendant's parents were legally residing in the US and therefore were "under US control".
As with the Second Amendment and the right of individuals to bear arms the authors of the 14th Amendment made their intentions clear in their writings. Automatic citizenship was never meant to include children of illegals. Let's see if this Supreme Court gets it.
Where do you draw the line? It looks like it should allow denial of U.S. citizenship to the children of illegal aliens or Asian tourists, but what about legal immigrants who are intending to become citizens but haven't been in the U.S. long enough to complete the process?
During the heyday of European immigration to the U.S. in the decades before 1921, there were a lot of children born to immigrants who grew up as Americans. Many of them gave their lives for the United States in WWI or WWII, or served honorably before producing hordes of monolingual third-generation Americans. Is the citizenship status of people born in the U.S. to legal immigrants to be questioned?
What matters is not what the authors said elsewhere that they meant, but what they actually wrote in the Constitution. Though in the case of illegal immigrants a case could be made that if they were subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S., they'd have already been deported.
Yes but there is no legislative or Court mandate to recognize the children of illegals as automatic citizens, the Supreme Court has so far only ruled on those born to legal immigrants.
The "subject to jurisdiction" clause left it up to Congress to determine who would qualify, since illegals are not US citizens they can be excluded. If that wasn't the case why in 1924 did Congress write special legislation to make Native Americans subject to inclusion of the 14th Amendment? Prior to that their kids were not automatic citizens.
I think the point is that he is not being tried by the US government.
someone who renounces citizenship and resides elsewhere. For me the issue is not jurisdiction because I think unlike the place of birth, jurisdiction is changeable. I think the issue is at then end of the sentence which requires "residence". Its clear that a child born here while its parents are visiting isn't in any sense a resident.
They had in mind the following: members of American Indian Tribes, while on tribal land, provided the Tribe had status as an independent, sovereign nation; persons in the US under diplomatic immunity. Those are the only persons within the country's borders who were not (at the time the Ammendment was written) legally obligated to subject themselves to Federal sovereignty over their persons. Such persons, if brought before a Federal magistrate, could rightfully argue that the court had no jurisdiction over them.
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