Lawmakers plan to end birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants

For kids of undocumented immigrants, being born in the US might not mean automatic citizenship.  Conservative state lawmakers have outlined plans to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

Some say it’s crazy talk — particularly since the 14th Amendment of the Constitution explicitly states that citizenship is a right granted to anyone born on US soil.  That’ll make the bill pretty hard to pass, but the NY Times calls the issue “the next immigration battle.”

The bill has stirred an uproar, with some blaming birthright citizenship for the country’s influx of undocumented immigrants, and others saying that the bill will create a “modern-day caste system.”

But my all-time favorite quote is from Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican state representative from Pennsylvania.

“We want to bring an end to the illegal alien invasion that is having such a negative impact on our states.”

Did you hear that, people?!  Aliens are invading!

But really, beyond all the extraterrestrial talk, the debate is actually pretty thought-provoking for me personally.  I was born in England, but the Brits made it really hard for kids of immigrants to get citizenship and so I’m still from the motherland, Hong Kong.  I wonder if my life would have been any different if I were of British citizenship…

Read the heated back and forth among NY Times readers here.


Immigration issues always gets Emily, Amy and I talking.  Read about green cards for international students, the startup visa for fobby entrepreneurs, and my thoughts on Arizona’s anti-fob laws.

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  • John

    It is a dilemma, isn’t it! You are of Chinese ethnicity? Originally from H.K.? What would China do if people came into the country illegally? Do you think what Britain did was unfair? We are all immigrants! Even the so-called natives are immigrants if you go back far enough (across the land bridge) and trace our roots back to Africa as scientists suggest!

    My father and grandfather served in the armed forces fighting for the ‘right side’. My father had friends who died in H.K.. My grandfather was at Gallipoli and other places. My father was in Korea. It is all a matter of perspective as originally they were of Irish and Scottish descent.

    Nevertheless, people who are Canadians (in my case), I also have American citizenship, have a right to be proud and to expect the laws to be followed. If a person is in a country illegally why should their children be granted citizenship? In Vancouver, we recently had a young man from H.K. pretend to be an old man with fake ID and because he had money was able to finesse his way through customs and onto the plain. He was caught while on the plain when he removed his mask.

    So, who gets here, or there illegally?! People with money or people who are backed by ‘snakeheads’, or some other illegal or illicit group conspiring to circumvent the laws of any other particular country? In Vancouver we have been flooded with immigrants, mostly women who have been told they were coming to work in restaurants and have now been abused and forced into prostitution! We have laws not only to protect ‘us’ but to protect the greater ‘us’ which we are all a part of!

    The human suffering that is a big part for some of why they endeavour to leave one country and go to another country is understandable and lamentable but it does not give any person the right to break the laws of what they hope to be their new country. This is entirely unfair to all people who seek to emigrate legally and go through the whole drawn out and laborious task of being an honest person and operating in a forthright and reasonable manner!

    My grandfather left Ireland to come to Canada. My grandparent’s house was routinely under surveillance and the British maintained the right at that time to enter any house they of their choosing and search for contraband. It is most fortunate that my grandfather was educated and as time passed most beneficial for Canada as he later became the president of the CMA (Canadian Medical Association), and served as an ambassador to the U.N.

    I have other relatives he had to suffer through the ‘troubles’ as we call it, and some who lost their lives; I know of none who came here illegally or who falsified documents.

    If you can not, will not respect the laws of the land at the beginning, how, why would you respect the laws of the land later on?! The US constitution is a ‘living document’ and when it was written planes had not yet been invented nor had anyone foreseen the eventuality that people from one part of the world would find it necessary or otherwise want to come ‘here, from there’.!

    Every young person with a heart starts out a liberal, every older person with a brain becomes a conservative! This quote has been attributed to various sources..
    Best wishes from a Canadian (and American) friend!