Talk:Birthright citizenship in the United States

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"Current U.S. Law" section needs rework[edit]

It is historically incorrect, and possibly editorializing to claim that: "Since the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on July 9, 1868, the citizenship of persons born in the United States has been controlled by its Citizenship Clause, which states..."

The question of how babies obtain citizenship was not first settled by the 14th Amendment. The current language suggests that automatic newborn citizenship wasn't conferred by law prior to 1868...it was.

It is inconsistent with the "non-editorializing" policy to present the language of the Citizenship Clause as having uncontestable interpretation, at a time when the official interpretation is highly controversial and public opinion disfavors that interpretation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pbierre (talkcontribs) 14:36, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Citizenship Clause be merged into Birthright citizenship in the United States. Because the Citizenship Clause is so important to birthright citizenship, it is important to carefully cover that clause in this article. Having a separate article about it is redundant, inconvenient to readers, and it is likely that editors who are only aware of one of the two articles will create contradictions between the two articles. Jc3s5h (talk) 12:06, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

  • comment: I don't oppose at this point, but I do disagree and I am leaning towards opposition. AFAICS, the Citizenship Clause is not relevant at all re birthright citizenship. Few citizens aspire to the Presidency and all who do or have done are or have been birthright citizens (offhand, I cannot think of an exception). Some aspirants may run into questions re whether Birthright and Natural Born are equivalent, but that doesn't have anything to do with their claim to birthright citizrnship. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 12:02, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • It seems to me the article about how the exact circumstances of a US citizen's birth would affect the citizen's eligibility for the presidency is "Natural-born-citizen clause". I think these two articles should be confined to how US citizens can be citizens from birth, and leave any distinctions among various methods with respect to presidential eligibility be confined to the "Natural-born-citizen clause", except for a one-sentence referral to that article. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:06, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak support: I agree, in principle, that these two topics overlap sufficiently to justify a merger. Everyone should realize that the necessary rewrite (combining two long and complex articles) isn't going to be easy. I also agree with Jc3s5h that a merger should not involve the Natural-born-citizen clause article; I trust Wtmitchell now understands the difference between the Citizenship and Natural-born-citizen clauses. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 03:53, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
You got me there, Rich. It wasn't lack of understanding, but it was self-garble in composing my comment. I was thinking NBC clause but I didn't type that and didn't catch the error before saving my comment. Sometimes I do rush out a WP-talk comment under pressure to get on to other things, and the rush does sometimes result in self-garble—besides which I have always been hopeless at proofreading my own stuff. I'm a repeat offender in both of those areas. My bad. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 12:02, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose at this point - two long and complex articles - with this one at least being in the news - will be hard to merge and I don't see a particular reason to do so. I'll remove the merge tags today unless anybody objects. There's no reason to have this drag on beyond 1 month. Smallbones(smalltalk) 13:34, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Smallbones -- substantively two different topics (although related), each one long and expandable; also, the editing task involved with a merger might get lost like in the The Blair Witch Project.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 13:46, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, also as per Smallbones -- It's practical to have a fork at these two topics, especially in that much more debate and writing can be expected down the "birthright citizenship" line. Rather than "incovenient to readers" to have the topics split, I think it would be inconvenient to have a large (and growing larger) article, with the topics mashed together. Bruiserid (talk) 23:05, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

I've removed the tag - essentially if nobody give a real support after a month, I don't think it's going to pass. Smallbones(smalltalk) 23:15, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Historical background?[edit]

Does the concept of birthright citizenship, as practiced in the North American British Colonies, then the United States of America, extend backwards beyond the British Common Law? Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 02:56, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

$2.4B vs. $24B[edit]

In this recent edit, User:Dsalge972 corrected an incorrect figure of $24B to the $2.4B figure present in sources cited in support of the earlier erroneous figure. The erronious figure seems to have originally come into the article as "2 4 billion" in March 2012 here, to have been changed to "24 billion" in June 2012 here, and to have persisted in the article throughout the years since then.

Good catch!. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:25, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

correct birthright citizenship in America[edit]

Your article is incorrect. Jus sanguinis is not a method of birthright in the U.S. The Constitution provides birthright citizenship only under jus soli since its mandate that one be born under the jurisdiction of the United States. While jus sanguinis was available in England it has never been available in this country. Check William Blackstone's article in 1765 which indicates that one can only have one allegiance. check Elk v Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884), checkThe Civil Rights Act of 1866; the discussion of Congress on its intent and application of the meaning "complete jurisdiction thereof" is "not owing allegiance to anybody else"; Osborn v. Bank; United States v Perkins 17 F.S. 177 (D.D.C. 1936)where a federal court denied a plaintiff who was seeking citizenship through jus sanguinis; Attorney general's decision in 1873 that jurisdiction" means absolute and complete jurisdiction"; papers of James Madison, 22 May 1789 179-82; Congressional record 6-14-1967 by Pinckney G McElwee on ineligibility of George Romney because he was born abroad in Mexico and most importantly the decision in City of Boerne v. Flores 501 U.S.507 (1997) that makes sections of 8 U.S. Code 1401, paragraphs c,d,e,g and h as well as the Immigration Act of 1940, paragraphs c, d, e, g, h; Sec 203.b; Sec. 204 a, b, c where the Court admonished Congress with the holding; "It holds the sole power to define the substantive rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment - a definition to which Congress may not add and from which it may not subtract.

Lastly, no child born abroad at any facility including U.S. military installations, embassies or consulates are "citizens by birth" most with two American parents which also eliminated jus sanguinis. Reference: U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 7 - Consular Affairs, 7 FAM 1113 Not included in the meaning of "in the United States" @C. "Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities abroad are not part of the United states within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not born in the Unites states and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth".

There is some confusion about the Naturalization Act of 1790 which appears to employ jus sanguinis; however, the act is solely for naturalized individuals and their children. In Osborn, Chief Justice Marshall said "The simple power of the national legislature is to prescribe a uniform rule of naturalization AND THE EXERCISE OF THIS POWER EXHAUSTS IT, SO FAR AS REGARDS THE INDIVIDUAL. Thus the Act of March 26, 1790 would be unconstitutional if it attempted to enlarge the rights of a naturalized citizen to be equal of those of natural-born citizens under the constitution.

Clarence Hall, Jr. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Challjr (talkcontribs) 15:34, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

You are certainly entitled to add material to this article if it is supported by reliable sources, is free of original research, and reflects a neutral point of view giving appropriate coverage to all mainstream views on the subject. The material you cited above appears to be a mish-mash of commentaries and court rulings from all over the map, many taken out of context or without regard to their real significance. For example, United States v. Perkins, 177 F.Supp. 177 (D.D.C. 1936) was a federal district court ruling with no precedential value whatsoever; and City of Boerne v. Flores, 501 U.S. 507 (1997), dealt with the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and had nothing at all to do with citizenship law. This sort of grab-bag of proof-texting snippets might possibly be of use for a legal brief, but it is definitely not usable as a reliable source of knowledge or interpretation of the law. Further, even if you do find well-formed, high-quality material questioning the accepted mainstream interpretation of jus sanguinis in US citizenship law, you would still need to incorporate this material into the article in such a way as to let the reader know that there is a genuine difference of opinion between various experts, and without causing the article to declare authoritatively that one side or the other is "the correct" view. Even if you are personally convinced that the accepted interpretation of this issue is completely wrong, you need to respect the sources and acknowledge that there are in fact solidly reliable sources which say that jus sanguinis is in fact part of the law of the land. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 21:23, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Addition of this original research will not stand. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:03, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

Public Opinion running 2:1 Against Current U.S. Birthplace Citizenship Policy is Relevant to Topic[edit]

To head off an ongoing edit war, I'm starting a talk discussion. When I read the article, my impression was that the dimension of public opinion opposing the current policy was not adequately covered.

The challenge is to take a highly polemic issue (whether to keep or change the current policy?), one on which the partisans hold many divergent assumptions, and try to apply the Wikipedia Policy for authoring on controversial topics.

Here are the questions we need to solve: 1. Should the Summary indicate that the voter majority is opposed to the current Birthplace Citizenship policy? (And, is the 2011 Rasmussen poll a credible source to document public opinion?)

FOR: in the detail sections, the lack of consensus over the meaning of the Citizen Clause's full reach is a recurring theme. The current policy splits a visiting family into divergent immigration statuses with the birth of a baby, complicating administration of deportation rules. The public, by a 2:1 majority seeks to fix this broken aspect of the current system. AGAINST:

2. Should the verbatim language lifted from the Citizenship Clause appear with competing interpretive contexts? FOR: If the interpretive alternatives are cited, readers will be able, while reading the text of the Citizenship Clause, to straddle the ambiguity that has developed with 150 years: The context of the 1868 ratifiers:

- The purpose of the Amendment was to confer full citizenship and eaqual legal rights on the recently emancipated slaves 

The context of the modern immigration rights movement:

- The purpose at the time doesn't matter; only the language, and its modern official interpretation

AGAINST: Pbierre (talk) 17:21, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

This is an article about a legal matter deriving from the US Constitution, something that is not up for a vote or popularity contest. Citing polls in articles is iffy to begin with and has to be done with great care to make sure the results are representative, relevant to the article, and not outliers or ephemeral things. This particular poll seems to have used biased wording, and is not fairly represented by the proposed text. However, polls just aren't germane to most subjects under the sun. If we added a poll in the lede to every legal institution and principle, we would be poll-o-pedia, it simply doesn't serve a purpose to educate readers about the subject. Newspapers and polling organizations love to run these and other unencyclopedic material, like man-in-the-street interviews, quips by celebrities, trivia, and so on, but we're not a newspaper. The popularity and any debate or challenge over birthright citizenship over time (not just at present), and possibly some other stuff from the lede, belongs in a carefully structured section in the body, not the lede, and at most the lede would contain, if warranted, a statement that the issue has drawn political opposition in connection with US immigration policy, or something like that. If there is a movement to change the Constitution, that would belong in a separate article. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:12, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

RESOLUTION: The suggestion to make quick mention of the public opposition to the current Bithplace Citizenship policy in the lede, and move the discussion of public opinion to a detailed section, is accepted. This satisfies the criticism that the lede not try to mask public controversy surrounding the policy.

As far as the contextual interpretations of the Citizenship Clause, these also are going to be moved into the detailed sections, with just a few lede words remaining that "the reach of the Citiz. Clause has undergone change over time, and the current official interpretation represents the widest reach" or something to that effect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pbierre (talkcontribs) 18:24, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Pbierre, please keep in mind that "consensus" does not mean other editors need to convince you that their suggestions are "acceptable". Nor does it mean that if others are unable to sway you, then you may conclude that your position has won support by consensus. Indeed, given the way this dispute has gone up till now, your best approach is probably to wait for as many other editors as possible to involve themselves in this discussion and see where it leads. And if a true consensus does emerge — whether it agrees with your position or not — you should probably let someone else make the appropriate changes to the article to reflect that consensus, in order to avoid any possibility that people may think you are simply continuing the edit-warring activity that has landed you in trouble up till now. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 06:22, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Good article with a lot of information,but I would like to see the current U.S. presidents views on Birthright citizenship since in the title it does say "in the United States".--Jose2495 (talk) 05:46, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

I think the article is perfectly fine. It gets across information perfectly fine and is supported with good citations. I would have to agree though with the comment from Jose2495 however regarding our current president's views and propositions to changing birthright citizenship. Pupperitto (talk) 23:22, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Modern Dispute[edit]

Overall, this is an exemplary wiki page that is abundant with accurate information. It is well written and offers enough content to inform readers on multiple topics regarding birthright citizenship.

I did notice that nothing has been added under Modern Dispute for some time. Most sources under that category are from 2012, the most recent being 2015. It would be nice to see something new on there from the last couple of years to keep it fresh and contemporary.

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Confusing series of edits[edit]

In this series of edits User:Aguyintobooks added a {{Broaden}} template with the edit summary "Can somebody please include the information from 'Natural-born American' prior to it being blanked and made a redirect." 'Natural-born American' is now a redirect to this page.

Since 'Natural-born American' was unsourced and appeared to be based on one editor's personal opinions, it was appropriate that User:WereSpielChequers speedily turned the article into a redirect. Since there was nothing of value to bring in to this article, I consider Aguyintobooks' edit summary unfounded and thus have undone the associated series of edits.

If there is an actual need to broaden this article, please describe in what direction it should be broadened. Jc3s5h (talk) 21:23, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

Thanks Jc3s5h. I did the redirect here because the two appear to me to be different names for the same thing. The edit history of the redirect is available, but there was no sourced information there, literally nothing to merge in. ϢereSpielChequers 23:39, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
The article Natural-born-citizen clause discusses the fact that "The U.S. Constitution uses but does not define the phrase 'natural born Citizen'", and since no one alive now was a resident of the U.S. at the time the Constitution was adopted, one must be a "natural-born-citizen" to become president of the U.S. Whether the phrase "natural-born citizen" in that context as having a birthright to citizenship is a topic of ongoing debate (not just in Wikipedia, but in the country). Jc3s5h (talk) 23:47, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

put simply, the article defined the legal definition of the term 'natural-born american' which as a definition was of encyclopedic value. this article does not deal with the legal term itself, only the issue of citizenship at birth. it would be a source of pointless controversy to include the above mentioned clause regarding presidents, especially as it has its own page. A Guy into Books (talk) 19:19, 11 August 2017 (UTC)