DECEMBER 15, 2005
Should the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States get automatic citizenship? The Constitution’s 14th Amendment says yes and every year it happens in thousands of cases in this country.
According to a story published nationwide by the newspaper chain Knight-Ridder, a group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives are pushing a measure this week that would deny the U.S.-born children of migrants who enter the country illegally any claim to birthright.
Practically no country, including all in Europe, offers the kind of birthright citizenship that the U.S. offers if the parent is not legally in the country. Apparently, many Americans agree with the European system on this particular issue. According to a survey by the nonpartisan Rasmussen Reports, 49% favored denying citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants and 41% opposed such a proposal.
Perhaps statistics in a recent report by the non-partisan think tank Center for Immigration Studies helped sway some of those voters. The report reveals that immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for almost three-fourths (9 million) of the increase in the uninsured population and that immigrants account for virtually all of the national increase in public school enrollment over the last two decades.
What do you think? Should the children of illegal immigrants get automatic U.S. citizenship?
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