Inglis v. Trustees of Sailor’s Snug Harbor, 28 U.S. 99
“Nothing is better settled at the common law than the doctrine that the children even of aliens born in a country while the parents are resident there under the protection of the government and owing a temporary allegiance thereto are subjects by birth.”
Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36
“a majority of the Supreme Court mentioned in passing that “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”.
My takeaway from this cursory reading is this:
When a person is naturalized he or she makes an oath of allegiance to the country. But an illegal alien has made no such oath nor do they show any intention of doing so. Therefore they owe no allegiance to the USA and remain citizens or subjects of the foreign State from whence they came.
Also, one of the requirements of gaining citizenship is the person must have “good moral character”. I would argue that entering illegally and remaining in the shadows illegally, working illegally and in many cases obtaining benefits illegally, does not represent “good moral character”.
So, I would argue that the 14th Amendment does not, and was never intended to apply to illegal aliens or the children born to them while on US soil.
Many of our leaders on both sides of the aisle over the years must have thought the same because numerous bills have been introduced from time to time in Congress which have sought to declare American-born children of foreign nationals not to be “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”, and thus not entitled to citizenship via the 14th Amendment, unless at least one parent was an American citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
I personally think we need an amendment to repeal and replace the 14th amendment with a much more accurately worded one that excludes the children of illegal aliens.
President Trump wants to write an executive order but I think that is a waste of time because the next President can simply undo it with the stroke of a pen.
The Native American exclusion was removed by the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924; however I disagree with changing the meaning of the Constitution by way of legislative action. It should require a Constitutional Convention to amend, change, or repeal any part of the Constitution. The document is that important and should be given the respect it deserves.