The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment reads: “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.” This statement may seem simple enough, but U.S. Senator David Vitter is once again pushing legislation to upend the Constitution’s provision of birthright citizenship.
According to Vitter, the 14th Amendment is misunderstood and contains a loophole that needs to be closed to prevent an influx of “birth tourists.” Constitutional law experts say the Amendment is straight forward, and Vitter and his cohorts are trying to destroy a constitutional right.
This is not a new debate. The faulty arguments behind Vitter’s legislation were addressed and discredited years ago by scholars including Garrett Epps of the University of Baltimore School of Law and Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitutional Accountability Center, who authored an Issue Brief on the subject. Take a look at the resources below for a thorough explanation of why new attempts to take away birthright citizenship are still wrong.
Born Under the Constitution: Why Recent Attacks on Birthright Citizenship Are Unfounded, Elizabeth Wydra (Issue Brief)