Should the Children of Illegal Aliens Be U.S. Citizens?

Critics argue the policy of birthright citizenship misreads the Constitution.


Under the 14th Amendment, any child born in the United States is a citizen, even if the parents are not. But this policy of birthright citizenship is increasingly debated. Critics argue the policy misreads the Constitution. Its defenders say changing it would be dangerous.
Edited by Robert Schlesinger


Marshall Fitz
Director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal Washington, D.C., think tank

All Americans can agree that ending illegal immigration and fixing our broken immigration system is of paramount national importance. But we should also be able to agree that taking aim at one of the Constitution's most fundamental provisions—the citizenship clause in the 14th Amendment—is an unwieldy...


Matthew Spalding
Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation

It is the principle of the matter that is most problematic. The broad claim of automatic birthright citizenship traces its roots more to the feudal concept of perpetual allegiance of subjects to kings, rather than equal rights and the consent of the governed. It violates bedrock American principles and undermines the rule of law.


What do you think?

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