Nathan Deal, R-GA, seeks to end birthright citizenship for illegals
By Herman Wang, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- For decades, immigration officials have granted U.S. citizenship to all children born on American soil.
But Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., wants to see that practice end for children of illegal immigrants.
"Birthright citizenship is one of those things that has become a magnet for illegal immigrants to come over here," said Rep. Deal, who has filed a bill that would restrict birthright citizenship to children who have at least one parent with legal resident status or U.S. citizenship.
At the crux of the issue is a clause in the 14th Amendment, passed in 1868 after the Civil War with freed slaves in mind, that granted citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof."
That last clause -- "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" -- has many conservatives and border-control activists arguing that the amendment was never intended to apply to illegal immigrants.