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January 05, 2011



It seems that Mr. Eastman is making a very coherent argument. Can any dissenters make an equally coherent rebuttal?? Because all I see here is dismissal of his proposal.

To those who disagree, have you read Judge Posner's comments in Oforji v. Ashcroft, 354 F.3d 609, 620-21 (7th Cir. 2003), in which he argues: "Congress should rethink ... awarding citizenship to everyone born in the United States (with a few very minor exceptions, ... including the children of illegal immigrants whose sole motive in immigrating was to confer U.S. citizenship on their as yet unborn children. This rule, though thought by some compelled by section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides that “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,” and in any event codified in 8 U.S.C. § 1401(a),
. . . makes no sense.... We should not be encouraging foreigners to come to the United States solely to enable them to confer U.S. citizenship on their future children. But the way to stop that abuse of hospitality is to remove the incentive by changing the rule on citizenship,.... A constitutional amendment may be required to
change the rule whereby birth in this country automatically confers U.S. citizenship, but I doubt it.... The purpose of the rule was to grant citizenship to the recently freed slaves, and the exception for children of foreign diplomats and heads of state shows that Congress does not read the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment literally. Congress would not be flouting the Constitution if it amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to put an end to the nonsense."

I understand that we are a nation of immigrants, and that our future depends on immigration, but WE should control our immigration, not allow the tail to wag the dog. Let's vastly increase and streamline legal immigration and seriously crack down on both illegal immigrants and those who hire them.

And contrary to one of the posters, those of us who object to ILLEGAL immigration are NOT all racists. I welcome the beautiful, multicolored tapestry that is America, and I am not afraid of people whose color or religion is different than mine. But to allow our immigration policy to be dictated by anyone other than ourselves is pure insanity.

The very least we can do, as open-minded Americans, is calmly consider Mr. Eastman's proposal and if we disagree, disagree with as much thought and respect as we would like shown for our own ideas.

Kevin Schmidt

1. the power, right, or authority to interpret and apply the law
2. the power or right to exercise authority
3. the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate
4. the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised

"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."

Funny how easily people misinterpret this very simple sentence. What "...and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" is referring to is the territories of the United States. If you are born in a U.S. territory, you automatically become a U.S. citizen. Right John McCain?

"Territories of the United States are one type of political division of the United States, overseen directly by the federal government of the United States and not any part of a U.S. state. These territories were created to govern newly acquired land while the borders of the United States were still evolving. The many organized incorporated territories of the United States existed from 1789 to 1959, through which 31 territories applied for and achieved statehood. The U.S. had no unincorporated territories (also called "overseas possessions" or "insular areas") until 1856 but continues to control several of them today." - Wikipedia

Everyone, U.S. citizen or not, including UNDOCUMENTED immigrants, are subject to the laws of the United States. The only exceptions are foreign diplomats, big business, the military, people with a lot of money, and politicians. Oops! I meant to say the laws of the United States apply only to us "little people." So are only us "little people" U.S. citizens???


The Constitution is not static and should be open to change as the nation's circumstances change. That is how we now have a 14th Ammendment. So, Mr. Eastman, give the legal citizens a new Constitutional Ammendment and let us vote on it before we are overwhelmed by a majority of illegal occupants.

Norwood Holland

If the greater number of today's immigrants where white and European this would not be an issue. This is another manifestation of American racism when your white your right, Black, Brown and Yellow need not apply. Was this the original intent of the framers of our Constitution?


It seems like morons are taking over our country who want to subvert every principle upon which our nation stands. This is a nation of immigrants, and with the exception of Native Americans and African Americans, all of our ancestors were immigrants, they just didn't have stringent requirements for making such immigration legal as they do today. How lucky.

The Supreme Court has already ruled that the children of illegal aliens have a right to be educated here, and the residency test has never been that stringent, so presumably as soon as they register in school with an address that the school accepts, they have established residency. School children are certainly subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. (hey, if school systems can release your identification to the military as a potential enrollee/draftee (if we ever have a draft again), which they do, I think you're at least subject to the jurisdiction).

But more important to me: if the barriers to citizenship that many people are trying to throw up now had been around in this country's earlier days, probably most of us wouldn't be here today. We are a nation of immigrants, that is our core identity! It is precisely because of the varying circumstances by which people came to live here that a simple test was enshrined in the Constitution, and that test is what makes us unique as a country, and what has earned us the distinction of being the shining light in the minds of those around the world who hope for a better life for their children, as our ancestors did for us.

What's next, since slaves weren't "legal" immigrants (after all, how "legal" can it be to drag someone over against their will and in chains), African-Americans who are descendants of slaves have their citizenship revoked? Since Native Americans were marched onto "sovereign" reservations and haven't had to go through formal legal processes to "immigrate" when they step foot off of the reservations, they aren't "legal" immigrants, so their kids aren't citizens? Oops, I may have given some morons some ideas to run with. Stop trying to turn this country into Nazi Germany!!!!! The point of the citizenship provisions is that there is a simple test, birth in the country, for the very reason that then people don't have their circumstances and ancestry scrutinized by those who would be king in order to determine whether they "deserve" to live here. Have we learned NOTHING??????????????


Now it’s up to the American people to speak out, get involved and demand from the new Congress a halt to any further Amnesties, which includes the Dream Act Stand with States, the rising, unbounded TEA PARTY that are adjoined to mandate E-Verify nationally, to condemn any irrational Immigration Reform as this recession is very slowly lifting. America has been overwhelmed by foreign nationals and their children, who keep demanding special privileges over our own low income people. Every day the numbers of illegal aliens are climbing and you as an American or green card holder pay the penalty in your taxes. Don't be mislead that there are only 12 million illegal immigrant criminals in this country?

State wide there are propagating grass roots organization, that are against this invasion crossing oceans or borders to further overpopulate partially instrumental in any amnesty downfall. Now is the time to significantly make a difference in the new Congress, by adding your demands to millions of other individuals to enforce our Immigration laws, as cited in the 1986 bill. Call your Senator or Congressman through the Washington Switchboard at 202-224-3121 Every American should make it a national interest to stop this immigration travesty and realize that there are thousands of ominous organizations against you. Most politicians are mentally crippled by this issue and rather stay out of the spotlight. Find out for yourself the intentions of your elected lawmakers, local, state and federal and tell them to positively address this issue or you will vote against them in the next election.

John Eastman

As a co-author of the proposal, allow me to answer. The 14th Amendment has two requirements for automatic citizenship. Birth on U.S. Soil AND being subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. As the authors of the language stated on the Senate floor at the time the Amendment was being considered, that latter requirement meant full and complete jurisdiction, not the partial and temporary jurisdiction that comes from mere presence in the United States. That means the children of citizens or of lawful permanent residents are automatic citizens, because their parents are here and fully subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, owing allegiance to no other foreign sovereign. But it also means that the children of those here only temporarily -- a visitor from Great Britain on a tourist visa, for example -- and certainly of those who are here illegally, are not automatically granted citizenship by virtue of the 14th Amendment, but rather must rely on Congress, using its power over naturalization. This understanding of the 14th Amendment was articulated by its drafters, accepted by those who ratified it, confirmed by the leading treatise writer of the day, Thomas Cooley, and adopted by the Supreme Court in 1873 and 1884 in the first two cases to address it. Recently, it has been reaffirmed by highly respected 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner. No Court decision has held otherwise. The legal philosophy that it advances is the principle of "government by the consent of the governed," articulated in our Declaration of Independence and expounded by the political philosopher John Locke, on whom our founders greatly relied. It rejects the old feudal notion that once born on the king's soil, you are forever his subject.

If you want more detailed information, please see my testimony before Congress on the subject. It is available at

John Eastman


This is sad that in 2011 we have elected people trying to pass unconstitutional laws. Citizenship is defined by the Constitution. No state has power or authority to define citizenship contrary to the Constitution of the United States. Any attempt is a blatant violation-Period!


I have always thought this was a much simpler issue. The 14th states "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." The key term is "reside". An illegal is not a "residence" of the United States, but merely in the state at that moment. They can not have the intent of permanently staying since they can be removed to their home county at any time. Just like a Federal/State government recognize that U.S. military persons are residents of their home state no matter where they live at that moment, be in another state or another country (and vote back home). Illegals are "residents" of their home country, and a state/U.S. government does not have to recognize their kids as citizens.



You are right. These people are morons. And yes, they are elected.

Good luck to them, they are wasting their time but enjoying themselves as it is much easier than dealing with the real issues facing the states and this Country.

Constitutional Attorney


Someone, please help me here. Am I correct in thinking that these proposed bills are using a legal philosophy/strategy that was last successfully used in the Dred Scot decision?

Are they actually trying to argue that the state is not subject to the privileges and immunities clause of the 14th amendment?

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