POC Newsletter #21 – This is an important review of original intent.
George Washington said, in his farewell address (1796):
"But the constitution which at any time exists till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people [this act of the people through their state legislatures in approving an amendment] is sacredly obligatory upon all." (Emphasis added )
What the U.S. Congress said about their intent during the debate over the 14th Amendment.
In the 1866 Senate ratification debate, the Citizenship Clause’s proponent, Jacob Howard of Michigan, said it was:
“… that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural and national law, a citizen of the United States. … This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners,[or] aliens, ...”
“James Doolittle of Wisconsin … wanted it clear that Indians were excluded because they owed allegiance to their tribes. The Citizenship Clause’s drafters were careful to exclude Indians … from U.S. citizenship because they were not fully subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”
“Pennsylvania’s Edgar Cowan discussed citizenship’s limits. ‘If a traveler comes here from Ethiopia, from Australia, or from Great Britain, … he has a right to the protection of the laws, but he is not a citizen in the ordinary acceptation of the word.’ Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a key drafter of the 14th Amendment, explained the jurisdiction requirement. The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ … What do we mean by ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.”
“The … jurisdiction requirement, affirmed by its drafters’ expressed intent, is that after dealing with the special case of freedmen, the Citizenship Clause confers birthright citizenship only on citizens’ children.”
The bottom line is this - the federal courts have no authority to allow children who are born in our nation of alien parents, here legally or illegally, to automatically become citizens of the United States of America. That was NOT the intent of the 14th Amendment!
Benjamin Franklin said:
“This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.”