Monday, January 10, 2011

Who is a citizen?

     There has been a growing chorus of voices,especially since the election to modify the 14th amendment to the US Constitution,to do away with the automatic birth right citizenship.These voices point out that the 14th amendment was a response to the southern states, who after the civil war tried to restrict citizenship to the children of newly freed slaves.They point to the words of Senator Jacob M Howard, who wrote the citizenship clause,who stated that this clause did not confer citizenship to native american indians.Ignoring the statement of Senator John Conners who stated he believed that it automaticlly gave citizenship to all who were born in this country.Thet infered that since Sen.Howard did not want to give citzenship to the indians, it also meant the newly freed slaves and their children The assumpation that is being made by those who would deny automatic birthright citizenship to the children of illegal immigrant,is that the 14th amendent is limited to the views of the individual who wrote a particular clause.By doing so they ignore what the main purpose of what the 14th amendent was.
    Up to this point in 1869 There was no immigrantion policy by the federal government concerning who could either legally immigrante here or claim citizenship.The definition as to who was a citizen was left to the states.And in fact most states had no laws stating who was a citizen. The only common thread joining all the 37 states was that they agreed in prinicpal was that native american indians were not citizens of the United States.Our borders were wide open,and if you wanted to come to this country and live here, you were free to do so, and once here you were a citizen. The only exception to this besides the indians were the slaves that were in the southern states.
     What they fail to take into consideration is that 10 states did not ratifiy the Amendent till after 1901. Actually only one did so in 1901. the rest did not do so till 1969 and in fact two states waited till 2003 to do so.These states must have agreed to the definitation that a citizen is one who was born here regardless of the fact of ones legal status.Ask yourself this question, if they did not why did they ratifity it in the first place.
     I would therefore submit, that all those who believe that the automatic citizenship does not apply to the children of illegal immigrants are not looking at the evolution of our country simce its founding in 1789.Thats when the constitution and bill of rights was ratified by the orginial 13 states. Hope this will help put this question to rest for the last time.

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