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Enforce the 14th

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Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010

Eliminating "birthright citizenship" -- gained by 8 percent of babies born in the United States in 2008, according to a new study -- should be a matter of simply enforcing the 14th Amendment's plain language in toto.

The nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center found 340,000 of 2008's 4.3 million U.S. newborns -- and 7 percent of the nation's under-age-18 population -- had at least one illegal-immigrant parent. And of those illegal parents, about 85 percent are Hispanic.

That makes clear the extent of the problem. Yet addressing it doesn't require a constitutional amendment -- because the second clause of the 14th Amendment (emphasis added below) straightforwardly denies birthright citizenship to illegals' newborns:

"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."

Thus, illegals' newborns -- inherently subject to the jurisdiction of their illegal parents' homelands -- clearly have no birthright to U.S. citizenship.

"Grandfathering" existing "anchor babies" would be a practical necessity. But enforcing the 14th Amendment to end birthright citizenship as of a date certain would be a powerful deterrent to illegal immigration.

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