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Argument: 14th amendment need not be amended, just reinterpreted

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Supporting quotations

"George F. Will: Citizenship a birthright?" The Commercial Appeal. March 28th, 2010: "To end the practice of "birthright citizenship," all that is required is to correct the misinterpretation of that amendment's first sentence: 'All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.' From these words has flowed the practice of conferring citizenship on children born here to illegal immigrants. [...] The Civil Rights Act of 1866 begins with language from which the 14th Amendment's Citizenship Clause is derived: 'All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.' (Emphasis added.) The explicit exclusion of Indians from birthright citizenship was not repeated in the 14th Amendment because it was considered unnecessary. Although Indians were at least partially subject to U.S. jurisdiction, they owed allegiance to their tribes, not the United States. This reasoning -- divided allegiance -- applies equally to exclude the children of resident aliens, legal as well as illegal, from birthright citizenship. Indeed, today's regulations issued by the departments of Homeland Security and Justice stipulate."


Daniel Foster in the National Review that "What Kyl, Graham and others have tentatively embraced is an amendment that would clarify the first sentence of section 1 [of the 14th Amendment], [which states that '[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.] [...] there is a credible argument that 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof' already excludes individuals who are here illegally, meaning that one might be able to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens by statutory as opposed to constitutional action."[1]

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