The LONG version of a letter to the Deseret News regarding their editorial.
Your editorial (Sep. 17) opining “Don't Alter the Constitution” suggests that many of the “public policy” problems associated with birthright citizenship (actually with illegal immigration) could be solve through legislation. Your suggestion that “chain migration” can be solved by legislation is correct, but you failed to offer any editorial support for the solving the issue.
Not amending the Constitution is probably a point with which most Utahns agree. Sadly, though, the editorial did not mention (or support) several laws proposed concerning birthright citizenship, or chain migration at the federal level in recent years. A recent example is Rep. Deal's H.R. 1868 which would define and properly interpret the 14th amendment.
The question that most often arises over the 14th amendment is the meaning of the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Click here or here for further information on that issue.
Although there have been court cases concerning the 14th Amendment, there have been no court cases were decided strictly on the basis of the meaning of jurisdiction or 'allegiance.'
“The constitution nowhere defines the meaning of these words, either by way of inclusion or of exclusion, except in so far as this is done by the affirmative declaration that 'all persons born r naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.' US v. wong Kim Ark, 1898
It is interesting to note that when the birthright citizenship concept was codified by the United States in 1952, (8 USC 1401), it provided for effectively a provisional citizenship requiring continuous residency for two years between ages 18 to 24. (note: this interpretation may be in error, a commenter to the published letter in DNews indicated that this applied only to (a) 7, now (g), - but the mainpoint remains the same birthright citizenship might be changed through legislation.)
“nationals and citizens of the United States under subsec. (a)(7), lose such status unless they are present continuously in the United States for two years between the ages of fourteen and twenty eight years, or the alien parent is naturalized while the child is under the age of eighteen years and the child begins to reside permanently in the United States while under the age of eighteen years, and that absence from the United States of less than sixty days will not break the continuity of presence,”
In 1978, that provision was removed by Congress. That may have marked the beginning of the massive influx of illegal aliens, and the subsequent problems associated with the idea of birthright citizenship and flagrant abuse of the concept.
That 26 year period of existing law (1952 to 1978) would indicate that the problem of birthright citizenship could be solved through law by defining or clarifying the intent and understanding of the “citizenship clause.”
I would hope to see the Deseret News write more in favor of enforcement of immigration law. Perhaps an in depth three page analysis of 8 USC 1324 about (among other items) “encourag(ing) or induc(ing) an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States” would be appropriate. It appears there are abundant instances of violations in the state of Utah but, alas, it appears this is yet another section of immigration law many choose to ignore.
For example, does offering a Driver Privilege Card to illegal aliens encourage the to enter of reside in Utah, which is still part of the United States? Does the provision for illegal aliens to obtain Instate Tuition induce aliens to reside in Utah? Does the rampant hiring of illegals, and the failure to comply with state Everify provisions by both government and private business clearly indicate an encouragement and inducement?
Does the very idea that Utah needs its own 'guest worker' program to protect “OUR” undocumented immigrants connote an encouragement.
The answer is clearly – YES – but, as the infamous FORMER Utah Congressman said in his MALDEF award, “In Utah, we not differentiate between illegal and illegal immigrants."
EXPORT LIBERTY, don't IMPORT POVERTY!