To better understand this part of the 14th amendment, we asked two experts in constitutional and immigration teams to go…
To better understand this part of the 14th amendment, we asked two experts in constitutional and immigration teams to go through the first part. The amendment has five sections, but we will only deal with the first one containing the citizenship clause and three other related clauses.
The 14th amendment is known as a reconstruction amendment, as it was introduced in the Constitution of the Civil War in 1868. It places it at an important historical crossing, when long-lasting wounds of fragmentation and animosity still plagued the nation and the reality of post-slavery America asked for questionable racial and social issues.
“Thomas Jefferson said that men were created equal, but the original constitution betrayed the promise by allowing slavery,” said Jeffrey Rosen. “The 1
3th, 14th and 15th changes were designed to claim Lincoln’s promise of a new America.”
But so often is the case, this confirmed American ideal lacked reality. Rosen notes that questions about civil rights and equal treatment continued to be denied to African Americans, LGBT people and other citizens for more than one century after the amendment of the ratification.
And Erika Lee points out that Indians did not even become citizens until 1925.
“Even as [these amendments] was written, apparently there were major built inequalities and maybe at that time not intended to apply to everyone,” Lee said.  Why was citizenship of fundamental right so important concepts?
“Citizenship was a central issue that was open under the original constitution,” said Rosen. “At the time of writing, the Constitution adopted citizenship, but It did not make any rules for it. In the infamous Dred Scott decision, the chief justice said that African Americans could not be citizens of the United States and “had no rights that the white man ought to respect.” “
The US Supreme Court ruling in the Dred Scott case, called after a slave who failed with his freedom has long been condemned.
READ MORE: Scott v. Sandford
“The 14th amendment was designed to reverse this decision and define citizenship once for everyone, and it was founded on the foundation, “says Rosen.” It is really important that it is a vision of citizenship based on land rather than blood. It is believed that anyone can be American if they commit to our constitutional values. “
What does it mean to be” subject to jurisdiction “?
According to Rosen, this is one of the The biggest issues about citizenship. There are two clear examples of people not covered by US jurisdictions: diplomats and their children and – at the time of the 14th Amendment – Indians, who were not recognized as part of the American population.
“With these two exceptions, all physically present in the United States believed to be under its jurisdiction,” says Rosen. “There are many top court cases confirming that understanding and almost as important is that there are a lot of congressional provisions that expire from birthright citizenship. “
Some researchers, like John Eastman from the Claremont Institute’s Constitutional Court, have argued that Bar n of illegal immigrants is not “subject to jurisdiction” in the United States and should therefore not be considered a citizen under the constitution.
But Rosen says this is a minority view of constitutional researchers with all political backgrounds.
“The Supreme Court has not explicitly ruled [on the instance of children of illegal immigrants] Congress has gone through all kinds of laws that assume its citizenship,” said Rosen.
What is the relationship between birth cards citizenship and immigration?
In 1898, 30 years after the 14th amendment was adopted, the Supreme Court ruled a decisive decision in a case called US v Wong Kim Ark. Lee explains that Wong Kim Ark was the American born son of Chinese immigrants.
“Asian immigrants were the first immigrants to the United States who could not be considered white,” Lee said. “So they are treated differently, they are taxed differently, they are discouraged by many rights. In the 1880s they are excluded from immigration and barred from citizenship.”
READ MORE: United States v. Wong Kim Ark
So was the main question of the fact that a person born in America could be a citizen in a place where his parents could not be as good? The Supreme Court decided yes, and the target is still the first defined legal decision taken under the banner of the right to birthright.
“[The Supreme Court’s decision] said that the right to citizenship is not a matter of inheritance, it never comes down from generation to generation, it is related to where you are born,” said Lee. “It’s about the power instead. It has been a very expansive and at that time a corrective measure in a more exclusive definition, both legally and culturally, what an American is.”
Why must it be stated that the privileges of citizenship must be protected?
Before the Civil War, states must not necessarily comply with the provisions set forth in the Law on Rights. Only Congress had to change the 14th amendment.
“This second sentence of the amendment means that states must respect the billing rights as well as basic civil rights and the rights that accompany citizenship,” said Rosen. “The idea was that there were rights that were so basic, so integrated with citizenship that they could not be restricted by the states.”
Despite the promises and protection of citizenship, Lee says that it is quite clear that different racial groups are often regarded as inability or invaluable to act as true American citizens. Despite the fact that basic rights for citizenship, such as voting rights and equal treatment, were denied certain racial groups for a hundred years after the 14th amendment.
“The idea of a law that applies to” all people “seems to be clear. But in fact, the debate and the laws and practices established are very based on a hierarchy of, certainly all people, but some are more appropriate and others are more deserved than others, she says.
Throughout the history, Asian immigrants, Mexican immigrants, Muslim immigrants and their children, to name a few, have countless cultural practices applied to their ability to be Americans.
“For Asian immigrants, the racial argument was:” It did not matter if you were born in the United States or not, Asian as a race, are unassimilable. They are diametrically opposed to us Americans, “Lee says.
“It was the argument used to hire Japanese citizens. It was the denial of citizenship in favor of race:” The ability to become American, the ability to assimilate, they just did not. “”  Why was it important to legalize rights for non-citizens?
So far, we have covered the first clause, the citizenship clause and the other, the Privileges and Immunities clause. These two are about American citizens.
The last two clauses, the obligation clause and the equal treatment clause are a little different and treat all human rights in the United States.
Eclipse Teachers will notice that the 14th amendment contains a “correct process” clause that is very similar to the fifth amendment. This, says Rosen, was a technical addition to ensuring that the fifth amendment was not theoretically restricted to protect only US citizens.
“The 14th amendment distinguishes between the privileges of citizenship and all human rights,” said Rosen. “The Framers [of the amendment] felt that there were certain rights that were so important that they should be extended to all persons and to specify that they needed a new” justice “clause.”
What does it mean to have “equal protection for the laws”?
“At the time after the civil war, it meant that all persons were entitled to be protected by the police, that the laws of the country should protect all people,” says Rosen. “During the 20th century, several broader issues were questioned during the 14th the amendment, like Brown v. Board of Education – whether segregation was constitutional. Cases involving detention of Japanese citizens, cases of marital divorce decisions, even Roe vs. Wade
READ MORE: Brown v. Board of Education
Another interesting case that speaks directly to the immigration side of the 14th amendment debate is the 1982 case by Plyler v. Doe, where the Supreme Court ruled that it was insane for the state of texas to deny funding for undocumented immigrant children.
Why are we talking about all this right now?
This week, Trump promised to terminate the right to citizenship for children of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on American soil.
But his interest in lifting birthright citizenship is not a new idea. Lee says that over the last 30 years there have been several takeovers of the political right to explore the “citizenship reform”, a timeline that she says is adapted to the rise of American conservatism.
Lee is afraid of the current press to end childhood citizenship, it may have wider consequences than most people assume. For example, people from other countries that are legal at work or student visas can have children who are not legally affiliated in the only country they know.
“Since 1990’s, it has been trying to break down the birthplace of citizenship, or limit it, and it did not seem as if they were able to succeed until now,” she says.
“To me, this reflects not only the appearance of an extremely higher position but also a return to a very narrow and exclusive definition of Americans.”
READ: Birth Rights Citizenship: Trump Just Claims The US Allows It He Has Wrong