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Topics Homepage> The U.S. Constitution should permit birthright citizenship > PRO side

The U.S. Constitution should permit birthright citizenship

PRO

No framework

1. Assertion: Birthright citizenship causes too much harm to America.

Reasoning: There is a loss of control over our future. By granting automatic citizenship to everyone, America's survival is limited because it becomes unable to select which aliens are allowed to live within its territory and which will be granted full membership in its political community.

Reasoning 2: As well as losing control of our future, the citizenships given out to illegal aliens (Once again, 10% of births) mean more and more of our children will also be citizens of nations that grant citizenship to their children regardless of birthplace; in many situations, the child's allegiance may be to a country other then the U.S.

Reasoning 3: The U.S.'s job isn't to care for people who break its laws and take advantage of its system. When citizenship is handed out, it comes at a huge price to America; while illegal immigrants benefit. In 1995's fiscal year, more than 200,000 children received aid at a cost of $720 million, as they are instantly eligible for welfare benefits.

Evidence: Numbers USA Action

2. Assertion: Birthright citizenship is unfair to legal immigrants.

Reasoning: According to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, a total of 300,000 immigration visas are allowed each year. When a person desperately wants to come to America, and must wait in line, or who was born in another country a week or month before coming to America, it seems extremely offensive that they are less deserving of citizenship than the child of someone who came illegally to this country.

Evidence: Peter Schuck. "Birthright of a Nation." New York Times. August 13, 2010

3. Assertion: The U.S. is the only country that allows this detrimental form of citizenship and is lagging behind the rest of the world

Reasoning: Of all advanced economies in the world, only the U.S. and Canada allow birthright citizenship. Add in the fact that Canada has relatively few illegal immigrants, and that makes the U.S. the only nation that freely allows illegals into our country and to suck taxpayer dollars out of our budget. No European country has birthright citizenship either. Only 30 countries in the world grant birthright citizenship, and of them, only 3 are, according to the U.N., industrialized. Increased illegal immigration is the main motivating factor in most countries.

4. Assertion: Birthright citizenship as it is now is outdated and has become a way to abuse our system.

Reasoning: The guarantee of birthright citizenship (to all but the children of foreign diplomats) in the 14th Amendment came about in an era when our borders were wide open and international travel was considerably more difficult. When a family came here, it was a reasonable assumption that they intended to throw down roots and stay. Reasoning 2: The U.S. Constitution never intended for everyone born here to be citizens. The amendment was originally created to give citizenship to former slaves in the 1860s. When this amendment was ratified, there was no concept of illegal immigration; people entering the U.S. were most likely planning on staying here.

Evidence: George F. Will from The Washington Post, March 2010

5. Assertion: Birthright citizenship incentivises illegal action by immigrants.

Reasoning: Lindsay Graham, NYT: "They come here to drop a child. It's called drop and leave. To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child is automatically an American citizen. That shouldn't be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons. Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school, "[A parent from a poor country] can hardly do more for a child than make him or her an American citizen, entitled to all the advantages of the American welfare system. It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry."

Reasoning 2: Anchor babies are children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens who can harbor his or her family to come to the U.S. for free. Birthright citizenship lures illegal aliens, who know a U.S.-born child is, thanks to American immigration law's family-reunification bias, an anchor baby who will be able to sponsor his relatives for residence and citizenship. They also know that anchor babies' mothers are not deported. In 2003, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors reported that two-thirds of births in L.A. County hospitals were to illegal aliens, the majority of which were Mexicans. Conservative estimates of illegal-alien births here, assuming an illegal alien population of between 8.7 and 11 million, run from 287,000 to 363,000 per year. Over 1/10 of all U.S. births are to illegal immigrants.

Evidence: A study of Hispanic women who gave birth in San Diego County from 1991-92 revealed that at least 25% of them came to the United States to give birth in this country, and two-thirds of those women said it was so their babies could become citizens. Also, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, 66.1% of all illegals that come into the U.S. annually, or a total of 750,000 illegals, come here on the basis of sponsorship from anchor babies. Peter Schuck. "Birthright of a Nation." New York Times. August 13, 2010