U.S. Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., presided at a House hearing last week entitled "Birthright Citizenship, Dual Citizenship and the Meaning of Sovereignty." It's unfortunate that this important subject received little media coverage.
The statistics are shocking. At least 383,000 babies are born in the United States every year to illegal immigrants; that's 10 percent of all U.S. births and about 40 percent of indigent births.
The cost to U.S. taxpayers is tremendous because all those babies, called anchor babies, claim birthright citizenship. Their mothers and other relatives then sign up for a vast stream of taxpayer benefits.
At least 12 million people live in the United States illegally. In addition, smugglers operate a thriving business of bringing in pregnant women from all over the world just in time to give birth and claim citizenship and citizens' benefits.
Why does the United States allow this racket to continue? Congress has failed to do its duty to protect U.S. citizenship, sovereignty and taxpayers.
The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment states that U.S. citizens are "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Federal law uses almost identical language.
"Subject to the jurisdiction thereof" is an essential part of the definition. History emphatically confirms the importance and necessity of those five words.
American Indians with allegiance to their tribes, despite the obvious location of their birth, did not receive U.S. citizenship until it was conferred by congressional acts in 1887, 1901 and 1924. Babies born to diplomats or their wives who happen to be in the United States at the moment of birth are not U.S. citizens.
The purpose of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment was to assure that blacks are citizens, thus overturning the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Dred Scott ruling that blacks could not be citizens. Congress thus rejected stare decisis in overruling that most supremacist decision in history.
The U.S. Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, and in the 14th Amendment, gives all authority over citizenship and naturalization to Congress, not to the courts. Congress should end its silence and pass a law stating that a child born to an illegal immigrant is not a U.S. citizen because his parent has not made herself "subject to (U.S.) jurisdiction."
The peculiar notion that foreigners residing illegally in the United States should enjoy the same rights as U.S. citizens is found nowhere in the U.S. Constitution or federal law. Supremacist judges, who encouraged and protected the large-scale entry of illegal immigrants into the United States, created this anomaly.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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