Hans A. von Spakovsky wrote on FOX new online (No, I am not an adamant fan of FOX news, but they are one of many news sources I browse through to pull together many sides of the same story. I call it seeking corroboration and it's something everyone should look for instead of taking one reporter or politician or scientists version un-questioned.) that discusses the history and specific wording of the 14th Amendment.
In part, he has this to say...
The 14th Amendment doesn’t say that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens. It says that “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” are citizens. That second, critical, conditional phrase is conveniently ignored or misinterpreted by advocates of “birthright” citizenship.Critics erroneously believe that anyone present in the United States has “subjected” himself “to the jurisdiction” of the United States, which would extend citizenship to the children of tourists, diplomats, and illegal aliens alike.But that is not what that qualifying phrase means. Its original meaning refers to the political allegiance of an individual and the jurisdiction that a foreign government has over that individual. The fact that a tourist or illegal alien is subject to our laws and our courts if they violate our laws does not place them within the political “jurisdiction” of the United States as that phrase was defined by the framers of the 14th Amendment.
This amendment’s language was derived from the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which provided that “[a]ll persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power” would be considered citizens. Sen. Lyman Trumbull, a key figure in the adoption of the 14th Amendment, said that “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. included not owing allegiance to any other country.
We have many people these days crying that enforcing the 14th Amendment is an act of racism. That trying to prevent the children born inside the U.S. political and geographical borders of foreign parents is racism.
Sorry, couldn't be further from the truth. What's really going on is how people want to play with the definition of the word "jurisdiction".
The people who oppose the 14th are those who want to only define jurisdiction similar to the notion of "when in Rome, do as Romans do", meaning that when you are in a given country, you are expected to abide by their laws while you are there.
That is a "local" interpretation or definition of jurisdiction. However, in the context of what is actually written in the 14th Amendment, "jurisdiction" is the citizenship and national allegiance to which the individual is bound by.
In the case of the U.S., "automatic citizenship" is extended only to the children of natural-born citizens and those naturalized to this country.
Basically, when someone from another country crosses into the U.S. without obtaining prior permission, they are trespassing on a federal level.
Any child born to it's parents, regardless of geographical or political location, are subject to the same allegiances and national jurisdiction as that child's parents.
Think of it this way, if someone visiting the U.S. from another country on a travel or work VISA stayed too long and their child was born inside the U.S. and the federal gov't told the parents they had to go but the child had to stay because it was a citizen of the U.S. now and as such had to stay here, those parents would claim the U.S. was kidnapping their child, especially if those parents had the intention of returning to their own country from the beginning.
No, if someone from Mexico or Germany or Africa or wherever comes to the U.S. without legal prior permission, their child born in the U.S. is NOT automatically a U.S. citizen according to the 14th Amendment.
Think about it. That would be like saying if some strangers broke into your house, or were lost and stumbled into your backyard and they had their kid there, that kid would be a resident of your house. Ridiculous, isn't it?
I can see how selective enforcement of the 14th Amendment could be seen as racist. If say, anyone from a European country, even if illegal had a kid that was allowed to be a citizen automatically but when people from say, Turkey, had a kid in the U.S., it was denied without even thinking about it. That could be grounds for racism. And that is the problem the U.S. gov't has created for itself. It wants to be picky about who it allows to sidestep the law for and who it wants to uphold the law for.
Bringing it down to the plain and simple, the U.S. Constitution.
If you are a citizen, natural born or naturalized, your children are automatically citizens as well.
If you are not a citizen of the U.S., then neither you or your children who are born here are automatically U.S. citizens. You "belong" to the country of legal citizenship of the parents from which they came.
If you came here without legal prior permission, you are guilty of trespassing on a national level. That is considered a crime and will get you sent back to where you came from. End of story.