It has hit the news cycle once again: The perennial question of whether the children born in America of parents illegally in this country are natural born (“birthright”) citizens. The constitutional question revolves around whether such children are “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States as that phrase is used in the Fourteenth Amendment.
This is a very difficult constitutional question, one that will have to be resolved by the Supreme Court. Claims on both sides that the Constitution or case precedent clearly answer this question are not accurate.
I have written extensively on the question for this website. Here are some articles:
- There is an objective summary of the constitutional issues here.
- A TV interview discussing them is here.
- Some problems in the history of the Fourteenth Amendment are discussed here.
- An explanation of how opponents of birthright citizenship should argue their case here.