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Congressmen prepare to fight citizenship for illegal alien babies. News Team


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.

Rep. Deal, whose Northwest Georgia district is heavily Hispanic, said the United States is an anomaly in a world where 122 countries do not grant birthright citizenship, including all of Europe, while 33 do, with the United States being the largest.

He has introduced similar bills three previous years, and though he acknowledges that his bill likely will not be brought up for consideration, especially with Democrats controlling the House, he said his cause is gaining momentum, with 89 co-sponsors to the bill, all Republican, the most ever.

“I think the climate is changing,” Rep. Deal said. “Illegal immigration has become more of a national concern than it has been in the past.”

Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., one of the co-sponsors, said the legislation would be a sorely needed deterrent to illegal immigration, particularly with comprehensive immigration reform stonewalled in Congress.

Children of illegal immigrants, so-called “anchor babies,” can sponsor their parents for legal permanent residency once they reach adulthood.