Natural Born Citizenship

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Category: Law
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Today in the United States the controversy of illegal immigrants is neverending. One point of view spouts off of the famous Statue of Liberty poem that states: “”Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”” This statement is the root of the American culture. Another key view is that immigrants are taking all of the available jobs that Americans could be filling, not paying taxes, and are draining the economy. However, the basis of the debate lies with the policy that citizenship is granted by the location of birth. While many people argue that birth citizenship is an outdated and problematic concept, the benefits of being a citizen based on the place of birth outweigh any negative attributes of illegal immigration.

The birthright citizenship comes directly from the 14th amendment. The Constitution states that “”The Fourteenth Amendment contains a number of important concepts, most famously state action, privileges & immunities, citizenship, due process, and equal protection””all of which are contained in Section One””(Cornell Law). After the Civil war slaves had just been freed, however since many of them had been brought when they were children, they didn’t associate their country of origin as their home. The original purpose of the 14th amendment was to give freed former slaves citizenship since it was all they knew. Therefore, the 14th amendment allowed citizenship to be granted to those who had been born on US soil or brought to America and subjected to slavery.

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Through many court cases, the 14th amendment has been able to further clarified to whom this amendment applies to. In the landmark supreme court case of Wong Kim Ark, who was born to Chinese parents living in San Francisco, who were permanent residents of the U.S. but not citizens. “”It’s widely, but not universally, agreed that the 14th Amendment confers U.S. citizenship on children of foreigners in the country illegally””(LA Times). The Supreme Court ruled that Wong Kim Ark was “”subject to the jurisdiction”” of the U.S.

Donald Trump originally had his campaign towards the idea to stop birthright citizenship. For the opinion towards anti-immigration his words of fury fueled the fire. The blood right citizenship was further supported based on the idea that ending birthright citizenship would decrease illegal immigration dramatically.

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Birthright citizenship provides a clear understanding that allows for no questions about whether someone has the proper ethnicity or antecedents to be an American citizen. The effects of ending birthright citizenship would have greater repercussions than anticipated. Not only does just a birth certificate make it easier on everyone, but for blood right there would be no way to set a specific backtrace to a specific generation that would have been a legal citizen.

“”Yes, citizens may sponsor their parents’ admission to the U.S., but only when the citizen is over 21. In other words, a woman who comes to the U.S. to have a baby must wait two decades for the child to grow up before she herself can be sponsored for admission”” (LA Times).

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Natural Born Citizenship. (2019, Feb 07). Retrieved from