August 9th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

60,000 babies born to non-citizens in Texas every year


 (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the debate over illegal immigration – and now over the 14th amendment – heats up, consider this:

In Texas alone, there are more than 60,000 babies born to non-citizens every year. These babies automatically become U.S. citizens.

The Dallas Morning News reports that last year these births represented almost 16% of the total births statewide. And, that from 2001 to 2009, there were more than 542,000 births to illegal immigrant women.

Let me repeat, all these babies automatically become U.S. citizens... and we're just talking about Texas here.

This is why some Republicans want to consider changing the Constitution's guarantee of citizenship for anyone born in the United States.

House Minority Leader John Boehner says many illegal immigrants come here just so their children can become U.S. citizens. Boehner points to parts of our country where schools and hospitals are being overrun by illegal aliens.

Other Republicans say if both parents are here illegally, why should there be a reward for that behavior? And they have a point.

But opponents worry about the children, saying they didn't break any laws, yet would have no rights and nowhere to go.

Others claim the whole issue isn't about babies, but rather about politics and using immigration as a wedge issue headed into the midterm elections.

The 14th amendment became law in 1868. It was meant as a way to block states that prevented former slaves from becoming citizens.

Changing it would require a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, and approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures. My guess is if it was put to a vote of the people it would pass yesterday.

Here’s my question to you: At least 60,000 babies born to non-citizens every year in Texas alone get U.S. citizenship. What should be done about it?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brent says:
The 14th Amendment should absolutely be amended to solve this problem, now that there are no slaves to protect (aside from all of us in the middle class, of course, but I digress). Since the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants contribute absolutely nothing to taxes, education or health care, but use the same infrastructure and resources as taxpayers do (which basically amounts to egregious grand theft and tax fraud, to say nothing about dishonor), we really need to get down to business and start protecting the legal citizens of this country.

T.J. in Euless, Texas says:
The illegal parents can go back where they came from and take any babies born in the U.S. with them.

Jack says:
I can't wait until all these babies start voting out the Republicans in Texas. There is hope for the future.

Larry in Georgetown, Texas says:
For those of us who live in the great state of Texas, it is very obvious that we are paying for the people that are here illegally so they can have kids go to school and receive medical treatment and collect welfare. It's time we take back our country. I'm for changing the Constitution to its intended purpose.

Louis says:
Change the law so that citizenship for a child born here requires at least one parent to already be a citizen.

Sandy in Georgia says:
I'm a fan of documenting the undocumented. You don't have to be legal, you don't have to a citizen, but you do need to be documented. As long as they're documented, they can work and pay taxes exactly like legal U.S. citizens. Once they're paying their fair share of taxes, I have no problem sharing the benefits of this country with them.

Carol says:
If the parents are here illegally and have children, then the entire family should be deported. What is so hard about this?

Terry says:
This is an absolutely preposterous idea. So someone who was born on U.S. soil would not be a citizen? What's the standard then? Would I have to be born to Republican parents on the 4th of July on an American flag? Would that be enough?

Filed under: Immigration • Texas
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. JimTasko

    The kids are being used as pawns by the illegals who are betting the politicians lack the guts to put an end to this practice of circumventing the proper way to become a citizen. Scrapping the 14th should be made retroactive to say, 2000.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  2. Craig Helm

    It is time that we removed an important incentive for illegal immigration to our country.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  3. william lee

    our founding fathers lived in a time when all people were citizens of the country they born. The problem is not with the babies its with their parents. If your born here you are a citizen peroid. Its the american way.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  4. Ray in L.A.

    The Constitution of this country is the foundation of our freedom and the basis of our national character. From time to time we have wisely opted to amend it to expand freedoms and combat injustices that were either tolerated or unimagined by our forefathers. It pains me to see the current trend in politics toward using the amendment process to restrict freedoms and oppress unpopular groups. Where did we go so far off course?

    August 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  5. Sherry

    What a mess! I think we have to have some regulations on this since it's already out of control. Perhaps revoke the automatic citizenship, then review the grades of the graduating student and have them re-apply for citizenship. We are long past "Give Me Your Tired Your Poor" now it's 'We're All Poor" As a citizen, who's husband has been unemployed for over a year, I doubt this government can continue to support everyone, I hate to say it but we need to draw the line.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  6. texaslady2

    You don't have to repeal the 14th amendment; all you'd have to do would be to add four words to it. When the amendment refers to "under the jurisdiction of", simply add to it: "and legally residing in" the US. Four words that would specify exactly which immigrants' babies would receive birthright citizenship, while eliminating those whose parents are currently able to steal US citizenship for their babies: illegal aliens. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, Jack.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  7. Linda

    And how much money did it cost us americans to pay for the birth of these babies and to educate them. And pleae take into that calculation that their parents ar not legal and therefore do not pay taxes to off set this expense.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  8. Carlos in LA

    This whole 14th amendment row is a distraction from what the US really needs: comprehensive immigration reform. Repealing the 14th amendment will stop illegal immigration just as much as the death penalty has stopped murder.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  9. Cameron Miller

    Ellenwood, Georgia-

    Nothing, leave the Constitution alone!, and for peat sacks!; they are just kids trying to live a better life.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  10. Astrya

    Appealing the 14th amendment? Is that where we are now? It’s a ridiculous notion to punish children for an adult’s mistake. An American is and should always be a person born in this country (Obama) or a person born to U.S. parents (McCain). To change that would certainly be against the constitution. The constitution should NOT be used to take rights away. It’s funny how Republicans wrap themselves in the constitution but as soon as it does not suit their interests….they rally to change it. What would the real tea-partiers say? My guess something like, “You can’t have it both ways.”

    So what should we do? We should toughen (and actually enforce) our immigration policies and try having enough compassion to remember that EVERYONE here is a descendant of an immigrant (Except for Native and African Americans of-course).


    August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  11. ron c. Phx Az.

    Jack, the answer to this problem seems simple to me. Verify the immigration status of the woman having the baby. If she is not in the country legally, the baby is a resident of her mothers country. I don't understand why there is so much resistence to this issue. I think it is quite obvious that women come to this country to have American childen. They, (the mother) may not be able to claim benefits but the child sure can.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  12. Janice, Folsom CA

    It's real simple – if your parents are illegal, you're illegal. We have 4 borders – why are we only focusing on our southern border – illegals come in on all sides.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  13. Jackie McCardell Jr.

    Jack, I believe this...in a nation that proclaims "God Bless America, My Home Sweet Home," it is sad that we do not hold up our end of the bargain and "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you." Which includes citizenship, and a right to pursue a better life. What we should be arguing is not to repeal the 14th amendment, but to change the "Pursuit of Happiness" clause in the Declaration of Independence because we definitely know that means right to pursue slave ownership!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  14. Mary

    Alabama - I agree that the 60,000 babies did not do anything wrong, but the parents may have conspired to illegally get a foot hold in America. These 60,000 babies should not be granted automatic citizenship, but could receive it when the parents receive their citizenship.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  15. yoda

    since their decision is based on the well-being of their child, they should be ok with being deported without their child. their child will be cared for financially (already being done under present system anyway) and will be educated. sounds expensive – but we'll be feeding one instead of 2-3.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  16. Dave, FL

    Imagine your neighbors break into your house, deliver a baby in your bedroom, and when you call the police they tell you the child is now a new member of your family and start charging you for child support, health insurance, education, and groceries. We are all immigrants, but this is abusive and disrespectful to taxpaying Americans. I truly believe that most immigrants want to come here, work hard, and contribute, but the law should require that first before you get access to the public's dollars.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  17. ConcernedAboutConstitution

    The issue here isn't changing the 14th Amendment but to address the problem of illegal immigration. Who employs illegal immigrants? Hotels, landscaping companies, large construction companies? These are the people who should be targeted to be clamped down on...not illegals and not the Constitution. If help is needed, why not issue visas like with IT and the H1B visa and bring people in legally? But then, people would have to earn a decent wage.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  18. steve b

    This one is simple.
    Add an "anchor baby" clause to the 14th amendment.
    The circumstances in which those children are born does not
    warrant citizenship. Plain and simple.
    Thank you for an honest and factual article.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  19. Bruce, Ca

    Absolutely nothing, Jack. You said it, its a wedge arguement by desperate GOP power mongers who will say, do, and pay any amount to get back into power. The question you should ask is; how will the country reunite after the elections and the devise campaigns of the GOP candidates. By the way, notice that Rep. Boehner has time to get tanned at time when there are so many real problems in the country?

    August 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  20. Darry

    The word illegal says it all. "illegal means that they are breaking the law. Anyone that breaks the law should not be rewarded. I agree it is not about the babies, it is about breaking the law. I do not blame anyone for wanting to come to a better country. But there are legal ways to do it.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  21. Mary

    If both parents are not legal the child should not be given citizenship.We should stop being the worlds baby sitter.Americans are in need and deserve our help.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  22. Charles M

    The answer hasn't changed since the debate about illegal immigration began in earnest a number of years ago: seal and patrol the borders. If people cannot cross illegally into our country, then they cannot give birth here as illegals either.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  23. Rich

    The U.S. is a mature country now, no longer needing a large influx of immigrants. Could it hurt to alter the 14th. Amendment to remove the provision making any baby born here an automatic citizen? I don't think it would hurt at all but what would we get if we allowed Congress to open this door? That is the scary question...

    August 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  24. Sy2502

    "But opponents worry about the children, saying they didn't break any laws, yet would have no rights and nowhere to go. "
    Uh... back to Mexico?

    August 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  25. Mike

    Well this is not a shock to me, I thought the number would be higher. In parts of NJ, there are Mexican woman walking around with sometimes more then 5 children with them and most of them don't even speak English. I suggest that upon admitting to the hospital, patients should be checked for immigration status by simply checking for ID or passport. If they can't supply this they can still get treatment but the hospital must notify immigration on the patient and send them back to there country after they've been discharged (and this goes for parents and baby). Simple but effective.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  26. Tom

    If these figures are correct, we need to amend the 14th Amendment - no question in my mind.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  27. Jerry Giovannettone

    I believe the 14th amendment should be changed to state that at least one of the biological parents has to be a legal US citizen in order for the child to automatically become a US citizen.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  28. Aaron

    What should be done about it? There is a very simple solution.

    Allow all children born in the United States to be issued a birth certificate. If they are found to be in the United States with their illegally present birth-parents, they will be deported as the law requires their parents to be. Upon turning 18, they may then claim their US citizenship, no questions asked.

    Until that time, they remain the responsibility of their parents, but legally and financially.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  29. Scott

    This amendment was never meant to be interperated in the way that it is today. When written, there were no immigration laws yet. I hope that we get this changed asap. I think t will curb some illegal immigration and take a great deal of financial burden off the tax payers

    August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  30. Dennis in TN

    When the 14th Amendment was written, the thought process focused on the issue of the day, that being the newly freed slaves. Rolling the clock forward 150 years, and the entire situation has changed. To make it solely the only selection now does not make sense, as we are looking at something just short of a full scale invasion. It is time to re-think to wording, carefully craft so that it does assure citizenship for children of American citizens, and possibly for those in legal immigration status working toward their citizenship. That, coupled with no amnesty for illegals, should fix the problem, until something else comes along in another 150 years that we cannot currently foresee.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  31. John

    Honestly, if we want to combat illegal immigration, we have to do it in a way that is fair, and constitutional. Part of that means removing the many incentives we grant to those who would come here illegally. I know it sounds heartless to some, but we have a responsibility to our citizens to know who is coming into this country and when.

    We need to put increased (read: effective) pressure on businesses who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and we need to revise the 14th amendment to a slightly more selective version of Jus soli (such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, etc) where at least one parent needs to be a citizen or permanent resident.

    But we HAVE to do something. The current state of affairs is untenable and unsafe, and it's our own doing. How can we really blame folks for immigrating into this country illegally when we provide so many incentives for them to do so?

    August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  32. Nurse Lisa

    Very thorny issue, and I'll take heat for being harsh, but rewarding illegals just adds to the reasons they come to the USA. Make the penalties for being here illegally far stiffer; jail time till bills for the births are paid; and remove rewards of citizenship unless you're in the country as a citizen or resident alien or on a visa/travelling etc. – no rewards for lawbreakers.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  33. Frank

    They should not be given citizenship, the parents are gaming the system and we are left holding the bag. Change the law (amend the constitution) and they will stop coming here for that purpose. deport them all, get control and keep control.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  34. Mija_Dog

    Having watched illegals waiting on the banks of the Rio in El Paso to cross the river many times, I absolutely agree with denying automatic citizenship. You can sit and watch from the UTEP parking lot behind the stadium should anyone like to have a good look. My best friend was an illegal and had children here in the US but it beats the hell out of me that his children have more access to our public funds than myself and others.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  35. Kevin

    I believe it should state that at least one parent be a U.S. citizen. If that doesn't fly then at least get tough on the anchor baby situation. Don't split up the family. If the person with status is a minor then they must go with the parents when they are deported. When they come of age they can return as per their rights as a citizen. When you have guests in your home that have overstayed their welcome smiling, feeding and being a "good" host only encourages them to stay and invite others to do so as well. Showing a strong stance may shock the world but will also gain some respect for not being a push over nation.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  36. Karlton

    The 14th Amendment was meant to make the children born to slaves U.S. citizens. Slaves were brought against their will and did not enter this country illegally. Therefore, it should be null and void in regards to illegal immigrants. Slavery ended a long time ago, so who does this apply to now?

    This needs to be changed so people can stop taking advantage of this loophole at the cost of the U.S. taxpayers.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  37. RuFngKdngMe?

    Racism. Pure and simple. This time it is directed towards Mexicans and other brown people. In the past it's been aimed at every other ethnic group to come to our country. People gloss over and forget that every single American is exactly the same as these people. The only thing that removes us from them is time. The United States is a country of current and former immigrants. It's a country built upon theft, murder and broken treaties. To deny anyone a place among us is such bs it's not even worth talking about in any other terms than what it is. Racist and bigoted. At least there is consistency throughout our history in that there have always been bigots. I think we are now past the point where bigots can outright run things by and large but the example of Arizona shows that some are keeping that ignorant tradition alive and that it is still somewhat tolerated. Disguise the issue as Republicans are so fond of doing.. Brand it something else, hell, brand it as being American! and bigoted people can publicly unite behind that front.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  38. Hunter in Tucson, AZ

    The 14th Amendment needs to be clarified. Obviously, it is inappropriate to allow illegals to "game the American judicial system" by trying to obtain citizenship by fiat through having kids in the USA (and, presumably, being "anchored in" when at age 21 the children claim their US Citizenship status and bring their nearest kin to live in the USA).

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  39. Jeremy Yerger

    I am sorry if I sound crass or uncaring, but children born to illegal immigrants should not count as citizens. My wife is a child born to LEGAL immigrants. I I have no problem with anyone that immigrates here through the system in place, willing and able to work hard and make their American Dream come true. They worked for it and that is their reward.
    My other question about this issue is who is paying these medical bills. As a hospital worker myself, I see people here daily abusing the system and making others pay for their medical work. The next time you look at your bill and wonder why it costs as much as it does, remember the people taking the system for a ride.

    Tacoma, Wa

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  40. edward f. mcdermott jr.

    our government looked the other way while the best middle class jobs went overseas,, and they're ok with illegals taking whats left. the only thing left for american citizens is jobs in casinos and convenience stores,,and not so much of that, because our gov has given most convenience business to indians,,etc.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  41. Brett from Oriskany,VA

    The Conservative right might find the solutions it needs in history. As white America grows daily more paranoid over the birth rate of Hispanics and fear the loss of dominant race status, they can look back into their own history and their treatment of the Native peoples of this land. Changing the 14th amendment is the beginning of genocide. Conservative white America can also look at the impersonalization and mechanization of genocide as practice by the Third Reich in the late 1930's and 40's. After all America is already in genocidal war with Islam, and don't forget, Dick Cheney, war is good business and the only thing America is capable of exporting today. I weep for my country.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  42. Walking Bear

    Are anchor babies a problem? Yes. Is it a problem that requires the repeal of the 14th ammendment? I don't think so. Give the parents of these anchor babies a choice. Deportation with your child? Or, the child stays alone. The parents put themselves in that situation when they decided to have an anchor baby.

    Cleveland, Ohio

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  43. Donna Smith

    I agree, just because the parent "drops" the baby on USA soil, that is no longer good enough to be declared a citizen.
    Paducah, KY

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  44. Paul

    It is a drastic measure, but what people don't understand is that the costs that will come after the baby is born here at tax payer expense. The child will qualify for headstart programs, then we will provide an English as a Second Lanquage Teacher. Then in mosat cases the family will qualify for free and reduced lunch. Next, there network of illegal supporters will get them to request special education testing. This is so thay can qualify for SSI. Its crazy, completely crazy. My sister is very poor and she has breast canser. She isn't getting any treatment because she has no insurance. Maybe if we cut out all the freebies we give illegals, we could really afford a public option.....

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  45. Adam

    I find it amazing that people are actually talking about repealing or changing the 14th amendment. I truly believe that if a person is born in the United States then they should automatically be a citizen. If we look back to the late 19th and early 20th century we will find that there were probably millions of babies born to parents who were not citizens. Who knows how many of those early immigrants were here illegally. Now the descendants of those same immigrants are actually contemplating taking away the very thing that allowed their ancestors to become citizens. Amazing. I'm writing form Hawaii.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  46. Dan

    I can agree with Republican demands to change the 14th Amendment. That is logical to me. And although I accept that it's the price to be paid, I am sad that we have to abandon any compassion we may have for the babies who are born innocent into this whole situation. I just hope that in this process, we somehow remember that there are innocents affected in this situation who don't have a voice, and that somehow we Americans can find the strength and the ability to be a voice for them.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  47. David Hagler

    Change it and change it fast. The law served a valid purpose back when it was put in place, but it is no longer needed for that purpose and it is causing a serious problem now. There are no benefits to keeping it as it is any longer.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  48. Hank

    The 60,000 babies should be raised with a healthy diet and good health care, obtain a strong education, join the workforce with well-paying and productive jobs, and pay substantial taxes to pay down the federal deficit and to strengthen the Social Security and Medicare social insurance programs. A huge problem facing the country is a lack of young, educated workers to support an expensive and aging population. We need all the productive bodies we can get. We need more citizens, not fewer.

    Pleasanton, California

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  49. barry

    How many babies that are born here is not the issue. Obviously, the framers of the constitution intended for this, and I understand and am willing to accept their wisdom regarding this topic.

    The real issue is that adults are here illegally having babies. We must enforce our immigration laws and deport those that are not here legally, as far as is practical.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  50. Michael Leviton

    If you think this issue is about a concern of rewarding behavior of illegal immigrants, then I would suspect you are either extremely uneducated or a member of the Tea Party (which go hand in hand). This issue is about racism and a fear of diversity. Fear of the new flood of immigrants has perpetrated our society for as long as we have been a country. It is not based in logic, but in fear of people who are different; plain and simple.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  51. lilly

    This should be stopped immediately and all citizenship of these people repealed. How did this nonsense get started? No wonder our country is in a mess.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  52. Allen Brickey, Illiopolis, IL

    The present situation is atrocious. The Constitution MUST be changed as quickly as possible. However, I don't think that very many of our current elected leaders have the testicular fortitude or desire to even discuss the issue.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  53. George


    I say go for it. But ask yourself this question. What about all those "anchor babies" that are good citizens. Alot of them join the military and start very successful business when they grow up. Also, doing this would create another system to go after the children, therefore more taxes. Go for it, the Republicans are playing with fire.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  54. Bill Mosby

    Not sure it would require an amendment; there are those who think there is a legislative remedy.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  55. Karlton

    The 14th Amendment was meant to make the children born to slaves U.S. citizens. Slaves were brought against their will and did not enter this country illegally. Therefore, it should be null and void in regards to illegal immigrants. Slavery ended a long time ago, so who does this apply to now?

    This needs to be changed so people can stop taking advantage of this loophole at the cost of the U.S. taxpayers.

    Los Angeles, CA–in desperate need of immigration enforcement.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  56. Benjamin Carter from D.C.

    I suppose amnesty would be too much to ask for? Giving a clear path for immigrants to become full citizens, so they can start paying into the system is a noble goal who's only opposition seems to be xenophobia. Republicans can feel free to harp about the 14th amendment, as it'll just herd more votes to Democrats.

    Of course, I can think of one possible deal that congressmen can workout: The 2nd amendment for the 14th.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  57. Jeff

    You're darn right it should be changed. Name any other country in the world where illegals get treated as good as they do in the US. Here's a hint, you won't find one.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  58. bobster

    congress needs to get off the politico fence and amend this old out dated law which by the way effects no one. illegal means illegal!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  59. ed murphy

    i say change the 14th Amendment to read that citizenship granted by birth can be given only to persons who, at the time of their birth, have at least one parent as a US citizen. and by the way i am a liberal democrat.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  60. Robert

    As the uncle of a baby who was born between a legal us citizen (my sister in law) and an illegal (my brother in law) it's a tough balance between what is right and what is wrong with our system. I live in TN and my brother in law is here illegally.... He works under the table gets cash money in his hands, does not have nor can he obtain a drivers license in TN yet he has a cheap truck that is paid for and drives every day to and from work. He was even caught trying to cross the boarder in Arizona twice and sent home (or back to Mexico) he couldn't even get married in TN and had to go to Kentucky because of the strict laws in TN in regards to illegal's.

    It should be changed.... The child should not automatically become a legal US citizen.... But at the same time the laws and punishment for both the people who are here illegally and those who employ and pay to keep these people living well in the United States need to be changed and they need to be universal across any state not just certain ones. First and foremost the punishment for people being hear illegally needs to change BIG TIME first....

    August 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  61. Greg Anderson

    Children born to a mother in the US "illegally" should have no rights here. And why should the working people of Texas have to pay for a person in Texas illegally to have a baby – much less pay for 60,000 of them? What's the cost to the tax payers? Must be nine figures. Think they could use that money for better education and services for the children born in Texas legally? Have you ever been to Texas? There are plenty of Texas neighborhoods with rampant poverty and children with needs. Does anyone feel that we should be taking better care of our own before extending a hand to those that are here illegally?

    August 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  62. blf83

    Xenophobia never works. Whether it's immigration, anti-Muslim sentiment, or "seeing Russia" from Sarah-the-truly-ignorant's front porch, we all need to educate ourselves – REALLY educate ourselves about others instead of resorting to knee-jerk reactions caused by willful ignorance.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  63. john j. grimes watertown, ma.

    Here we go again with the psychological blackmail. Our country is being over run with people who shouldn't be here and yet the old cry, "it's not the kids fault" is repeated over and over. I think that most people would say that the parents who came here illegally can either take the kids back to where they came from or put them up for adoption. Enough with the tears & sympathy.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  64. Beth Limli

    The children of illegal non-citizens should not be given US citizenship. It is time to revise the laws that permit this. All of our social services are being flooded by these non-citizens. WE need to protect our boarders and citizens from this constant drain on our resources. There are plenty of needed legal citizens who need our help.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  65. Sunshine

    Jack: It's not about politics. While on a plane to New York, I sat next to a nurse. She said her hospital is going broke, because of funding of births to illegals. She said people from other, poor, countries, are brought in on a visa, have their babies, and their babies are US citizens and get all the benefits. She said it is out of line already and this government better do something about it.

    The 14th amendment needs to be changed to not include illegals or people on what is called vacation visas to come here and have their babies. If the Democrats refuse to change the amendment, then people wake up and not re-elect them to office. Enough is enough already. Citizenship shouldn't be that easy.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  66. Randi

    Jack, it's obvious that the problem isn't with the 14th amendment. It's allowing illegal alients to get into the country in the first place, and not policing and deporting them in the second. Changing the amendment would be the equivalent of peeing on a forest fire.

    Portland, OR

    August 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  67. By the People and For the People!

    As stated, what the CITIZENS of the United States is clear. The
    problem is with the trash in Congress and the current state of the Democratic and Republican ORGANIZATIONS. This trash represents
    their own interests ... not that of the citizens. It is time to get the pitchforks and clean house. They WILL NOT go without a fight. There NEEDS to be a revolution. I don't want this for myself or my children, but it is obvious that is what it will take. Sack the garbage and take it to the curb.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  68. Milo in Atlanta

    Citizenship is a birthright, as it should be. The Constitution is not broken. The immigration system is broken. So fix that. Let's not mess with the Constitutional rights and freedoms that we all enjoy as Americans. Just be thankful that you too were fortunate enough to be born in the USA.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  69. Charles Hesse

    I am married to a legal resident alien (legal immigrant). As much trouble and expense as it is to get legal residency for someone who plays by the rules, I have to agree that the amendment should be changed... and I'm a life-long Independent who tends to vote Democratic. Sometimes even the Republicans can be right (no pun intended).

    August 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  70. Steven Booth Songstad

    Dear Jack: Those opposed to citizenship to persons born in the US cannot point to any empirical evidence that these children grow up to cause problems in the US disproportionate to their percentage of the population. What is the problem? Easy...they are easy targets that have no advocates...they are creating a wedge issue for the purpose of creating a wedge issue rather than focusing on real problems. This is the United States of America and all that it stands for. The right wing response is if you don't like the consequences of a constitutional democracy then lets change the constitution to suit our very narrow jingoistic desires.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  71. Dan

    The obvious answer is to change the law.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  72. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    Illegals are the choice of Democrats for votes at the expense of the rest of us!! The cost is out of control and rewarding illegals with anchor babies has gone on far too long!!

    Yorktown VA

    August 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  73. Erik

    This liberal Democrat says yes.

    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States...are citizens of the United States" should be amended to read "All persons born or naturalized in the United States to at least one person born or naturalized in the United States...are citizens of the United States".

    This way, we still make citizens out of babies that are properly here.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  74. Gerald

    I don't we should repeal the amendment, if we do where will it stop. This is just another ploy by the radical right to create a stir to raise money. Anything to rally their base. For almost 40 years abortion has been a good money raising wedge for the republicans, yet they are not going to change a damn thing because they know if they do that when election season comes around they won't have anything to rile their base up. It's amazing, it's like the republican platform is now "attack the brown people." John McCain, Lindsey Graham whom several years back had a plan to secure the borders and for comprehensive immigration reform now since it is election season they too have turn to "attack the brown people." If they repeal the 14th amendment would black or african americans have to be deported? Would the United States be only a nation of just white people?......Nope, nope, nope, I forgot this country originally belonged to the indians so who really would be left? Would the Constitution be then null in void due to repealing of the 14th amendment, because be honest about it unless our ancestors started out as native americans then how can we truly be here? How could we ask someone to leave somewhere we have no right to be ourselves?

    August 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  75. J.


    While the 14th Amendment may need to be revisited. People must remember that at the time the 14th was approved, the US was encouraging immigration. That is the only part that needs some revision. The basic premiss does not.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  76. roy r rowe

    No, they should not be amercan citizens for braking the law .If an Amercan citizen steals to feed his family they put them in prison. If a "undocumented worker" commits the same crime they are held for a few days and released. With all the benefits they get they are stealing from the hard working ,taxpaying Americans.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  77. Stu in Houston

    I'd say if they're here legally, whether it's a work visa, green card or whatever, then yes, they're citizens.

    If the parents snuck in and are here illegally, no way should they be rewarded with citizenship for their child.

    How about a Mexican Consulate room in the hospital? That way, they're born as Mexian citizens, not Americans...

    August 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  78. Allen in Hartwell GA

    It is obvious that the 14th Amendment needs to repealed as far as granting citizenship to any child born in this country. It had its purpose when it was passed, but like many laws it has outlived its usefulness.

    Isn't it funny that many of those who make much noise about the sanctity of the Constitution are among the first to call for repeal of the 14th Amendment? Maybe its only a living document when it suits their purpose!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  79. J. B.

    I am concerned with the argument that children born in the states by illegal immigrants are not responsible for their parents mistake. We hold parents accountable for the actions of their children until they are 18 years old. I am reminded of an old saying about "paying for the sins of your father." People have been familiar with this saying well before 1868...

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  80. D.Peter Waterman

    Jack: If one of my kids had been born in Mexico they would be a US citizen. If one of their kids is born in the US they are a US citizan. It dosen't take a rocket scientist to figure it out! US Gov. get a life!

    Peter in VT

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  81. Jarrod Rager, Greeley, Colorado

    Our concept of citizenship needs to be overhauled completely. Birth location isn't the only oversight in our current understanding of who is a citizen. If we value the privledge of voting as much as we value driving then there should be a licensing program that involves class time and a test. No one should automatically be a citizen, anyone who wants citizenship, with all its trappings, should have to go through a sort of process to obtain it.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  82. John from San Antonio

    We should definitely re-examine the constitutionality of this problem. The constitution was written as a basis for the establishment of a new and revolutionary government. this government was established with equality for all, but one woild have to assume that that was for U. S. citizens only and that the foundation for this new government would be laws. illegal is illegal and there is no way the constitution can be construed as protection except as opposed to cruel and unusual punishment.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  83. Waffles

    I think it's time for the entitlement to end. If illegals "drop" their babies here, the child should still be considered illegal. The hospital is the perfect place to deport them back to their countries. They've already received a "gift" of a free delivery in the comfort of a hospital at the taxpayers' expense.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  84. A. Krebsbach

    If you are conservative and/or believe in the constitution and the limited role of government you should fully support the 14th amendment. To change it would require a massive government intrusion into the private lives of both citizens and non-citizens alike.

    Not being any of those things I don't think anyone should be granted citizenship as a birthright. It would be a choice and earned through military or public service.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  85. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    Illegals are still here because Democrats want their votes and it is costing the rest of us BILLIONS. Obama admitted that "illegals go to the ER and we pay for it"!! They also have 7 Million much-needed jobs, shame on the Democrats while 15+ million need jobs!!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  86. Jerome

    Why change a few amendments? Rewrite the entire Constitution so we can live under dictatorship. Freedom my …, well, you get my point.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  87. Paul

    Repealing this law is logical. There are few (if any?) other countries where babies who are born in the country are automatically citizens. It is amazing to me that a minor (who as a minor has legal rights of the parents) can be a citizen where the parents are not.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  88. Henk, Colorado

    Jack, A change is in order. Any child born within 12450 miles of the US should automatically become a US citizen. This guarantees enough future votes for those political parties that do not think that illegal immigration is a problem.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  89. rcgranke

    To consider children of illegal parents U.S. citizens is ridiculous. Somehing needs to be done to change this interpretation of the 14th Amendment. To say a baby or child is harmed by denying him/her citizenship is absurd thinking. Illegals have played a major role in the bankruptcy of this country. How stupid can people been with their misguided religious political thinking? I hope that a clarifying amendment is passed and becomes permanent law.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  90. jim calohan

    Its really quite simple; ship father, mother and child back to where they came from. This country is the closest it has been to social and political upheaval; since before the Vietnam era. We have a government who plays us like fools, banks that exist simply because a congress person has a spouse on its board and a president who vacations more than any other; all at a time when one in five persons is unemployed and contemplating where tomorrows meal will come from. Jack, does this remind you of Marie Antoinette? "Let them eat cake"

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  91. Bjoern

    The children of undocumented immigrants will by default be citizens of their parents native country. That is the way it works elsewhere. ( I'm not aware that Mexico would grant automatic citizenship to a child born of a Guatemalan mother.)
    This anachronistic law should be struck from the books immediately.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  92. Jessie of Saint Louis, MO

    I think if a baby is born in the United States it should be a United States citizen along with its parents. Then, we, the citizens, will add a stable, goal-oriented, and tax-paying family to our population.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  93. Yo

    I cannot believe the liberals are stating the obvious.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  94. Tim T

    The statistic of 60,000 illegal immigrant births a year reported by the Dallas newspapers seems to be a case of multiplying one guess, how many illegals are in Texas, by another guess, what is their birth rate. Multiplying guesses doesn't make a fact. This whole debate seems to be like this because the system is broken and no one knows how many people are really here illegally. Based on some estimates, there is no one left in Mexico.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  95. Roxy

    Our business friends sent their daughter from beliz to have children in Louisiana and her kids had there kids there too Not only in texas

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  96. Bryan

    Without a doubt it should be changed. If it is, then maybe illegals won't be coming here in droves just to give birth. I don't mind anyone who wants to be an American, but do it the right way. Giving citizenship to babies of illegals is ridiculous. DO IT NOW!!!!!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  97. Nostradamus

    It exists the false premise that babies born in America of illegal parents, transfer immediate immigration benefits to them. This absolutely false....According the Immigration Laws, only an adult American (21 years old) is able to make an Immigration petition for their parents. And it's not so easy...He/she has to show enough revenue to garantee that the newcomers will be not a public liability.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  98. Cliff

    Tax their parents (like everyone who works here) and fund the schools appropriately. If they grow up to become productive citizens, the US wins in the end. Don't let short-sighted politically-motivated arguments prevent us from doing what is right for the country.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  99. Lisa

    Hey if they–the parents can pay the tax, why not? Our problem here is too many people want to get goodies from this country but nobody wants to pay a penny!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  100. Mary

    If neither parents are us citizens then they should have to get a birth certificate from their own country. No one is punishing the baby, its not like we are sending it back where it came from, its just not a citizen of the us. The constitution was not meant to be set in stone but adaptable as the nation grew and changed. Mary – Phoenix

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  101. Grey Eagle

    If we continue the current policy, it won't be long before Spanish becomes the official language.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  102. B. Harbour

    Honest people come thru the front door. So if they are here illegal they should be fined and sent back to Mexico. Most of them want pay the fine
    put maybe this will show them we mean business.

    Booneville, AR72927

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  103. Eric Wasek

    I will lay it out clearly, deport the babies and their parents. The 14th amendment needs to be revised because illegal immigrants are having their children be born in American so that they and their babies can recieve American citizenship. I support immigrants who come to this nation legally, and become citizens of our great nation legally. I condemn the illegal aliens who trespass our borders to recieve the luxuries of citzenship that true Americans deserve. If any citizen of another nation wants to prosper in American, fine. But join our nation legally, and come to this nation with a hard working mentality. Do not even dare to try to give birth to your baby here in America, if you are a non-citizen of the United States, and expect that you and your baby will prosper with American citizenship. There is a way to come to this nation and recieve citizenship legally. So, come to our great nation legally and do not trespass our borders.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  104. JON

    Slavery was abolished, and thus the 14 Amendment should no longer apply. Next issue.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  105. anon

    hmmm, trillion billion deficit – amend the 14th amendment, STAT!!!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  106. Larry ,Calif

    Dear Jack I a'm a Proud proggressive, socoialist. ...My solution would be this ...If you can prove you have been here paying tax's for twenty years you can stay. If not you gotta go...period and yes I am a liberal...!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  107. Tom

    The push to modifiy the 14th admendment stripping Birthright Citizenship is modeled after the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, stripping German Jews of German Birthright Citizenship. No one anticipated the eventually outcome of that Law, but it was wrtten in the gas chambers. What criteria might be applied against another group, at another time, if it is established and precidence set, that the children of undocumented should not receive Birthright Citizenship? It opens the proverbial Pandor's box with no reflection on the long term ramifications. One should look at how a law would be mis-applied as well as how it would be applied.

    Tom, Chicago, IL

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  108. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    This is what you do about it you make the child not to be able to claim state funds or other pleasures without at least one parent being a citizen .

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  109. tim

    The answer to this one is easy. At the hospital , the parents can choose to either become US citizens and pay taxes like the rest of us or, they can all go back to Mexico with no hard feelings. After all, they already got the free health care from the legal taxpayers for the childbirth.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  110. malcolm

    replublicans are racist...changing the constitiution is not the solution but the problem..

    August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  111. Mark Bukowski

    Two of my children were born overseas while I was deployed on a project with a US firm. They were automatically recognized as citizen's of that country by the fact of their birth there. Indeed, I had to produce the local birth certificate in order to file for their US birth certificate known as a "Birth of a US Citizen Abroad" at the US Embassy and to obtain their US Passport. My questions to you are, "Is it common in the rest of the world to obtain citizenship by birth in that country?" If so, "Is the US just following an established international practice??"

    August 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  112. Grey Eagle

    If we continue the current policy, it won't be long before Spanish is the OFFICIAL language of the United States.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  113. ben stockton, calif

    im not a republican but there is a need for this law to be overturned. we have enough problems trying to take care of the legal babies , we cannot be burdened by adding "anchor " babies to our national debt. start with michelle malkin, she is an anchor baby.her phillipine island {illegal immigrants} parents and her is where is where she was born.i would like to see how she feels about turning the law around . tey i dont agree with obamas immigration plan to give amnesty to the ones that are already here . that will be his achilles heel come election time.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  114. Aaron

    Some folks just love the Constitution when it suits them.

    There are 60,000 gun deaths per year in this country but the 2nd amendment cannot be touched or tweaked because it is sacrosanct. On the other hand, the 14th Amendment should apparently be rewritten at the whim of a anti-immigrant mob.

    Jack, the Constitution protects against a tyrannical majority. Just because it would "pass yesterday" in a popular vote does not mean that it's good policy.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  115. pathdoc

    Revising the 14th amendment to read that if an illegal immigrant gives birth while in the US, her child's nationality is the same as hers seems to be a perfectly fair thing to do. The child can go home to Mexico or wherever with its mother. Clearly, the system is being abused, we don't have the money to support these people and it needs to stop.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  116. Michelle in Tallahassee

    We need to stop illegal immigration and then the births will stop. If the country doesn't like its immigration law then it should change it, but until it does, it needs to enforce the law or they are guilty of breaking it.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  117. bill shuman, evansville in

    Honor those who seek citizenship by legal means by
    discouraging illegitimate citizenship for the children of non-slaves.
    Reestablish the specialness of citizenship in the United States.
    By all means we should amend the 14th amendment to reflect the reality of illegal immigration and the consequences to our infrastructure.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  118. Matt

    When the mother is giving birth at the hospital and has absolutely no identification tell them Border Patrol has been notified they will have two choices. Be deported with their child or be deported without the child and he or she will become a ward of the state and they will never see them again. I don't think many mothers would make the second choice. I doubt the House or the Senate would change the 14th amendment. They are more worried about their jobs not America's future.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  119. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, it isn't only Republicans who think the 14th Amendment needs to be changed. It is obvious that the 14th Amendment needs to repealed as far as granting citizenship to any child born in this country. It had its purpose when it was passed, but like many laws it has outlived its usefulness.

    Isn't it funny that many of those who make much noise about the sanctity of the Constitution are among the first to call for repeal of the 14th Amendment? Maybe its only a living document when it suits their purpose!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  120. George Synan

    Belchertown, MA

    Illegal immigration is wrong for sure, but it has been like this for decades and we risk keeping everyone out of a country founded on immigration. With the country still at war and an economy that just escaped depression, we consider this our biggest issue? get real.

    When did immigration become a hot-button issue? And we are asking the Fed govt to fix it? Please... they can't do anything... and don't hand me the 'they are taking our jobs...". I know of no one willing to pick berries all day in the hot sun for $3 an hr. No one.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  121. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Hi Jack,

    Since I was a tiny child I've always heard Republicans make huge deal about never changing the constitution, and that it must be interpreted exactly AS IS. How quickly they toss that "don't change a thing it's written in stone" stance, when it comes to wanting to change the 14th Amendment for purely political reasons.

    If the Republicans are serious about wanting to change the 14th Amendment then why stop there? Why not update the 2nd Amendment? Surely that can be improved.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  122. Kay Schipper

    We have to remember that our government is fluid and ever-changing and this may indeed be an amendment that has outlived its usefulness (like quartering of troops in people's homes). I certainly don't think it's a slam against Native Americans or African-Americans to consider such a move. I also realize we absorb a lot more aliens than most nations, but what do some of our allies do in this type of situation?

    August 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  123. hillcrester

    It would pass a "vote of the people" because "the people" are easily stampeded by emotional argument to do foolish things. That's why we aren't a pure democracy. The idea of changing the Fourteenth Amendment has no chance of passing using the required Constitutional procedures, which are there for precisely that reason. Raising the issue is a "wedge" to keep hostility toward immigrants alive. Shame on the Republican'ts!

    August 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  124. Phil Gliedman

    My forebarers had to come throught Elis Island. They went to work and raised families without any help from the government. There was no free hospital care, no food stamps, nor aid for dependent children. Mexico has tight control over their southern border. The US should do the same. Automatic birthright citizenship is being abused, and the 14th Admendment needs to be changed. Just ask any Immigrant European about the restrictions getting residency and citizenship.

    August 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  125. Beverly H Tatum Charlotte NC

    NO. Funny how Republicans are so "protective" of the Consitution when it suits them and want to rip it up when it does not fit their political agenda.
    If AZ needed so much help with illegal immigration then why has John McCain done NOTHING about in Congress where this issue can be easily fixed with an immigration reform law.
    Republicans don't really want reform. They want the cheap slave labor for their business buddies that break the law and hire illegals and don't pay employer taxes on them.
    This is nothing but a Republican political stunt to divert attention from their total do-nothing, vote NO on everything, racist and elitist behavior this whole year.
    Jack – you are becoming the new Lou Dobbs, Just declare yourself one of the extremist Republicans so we all know why you are so vitrolic every day.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  126. Jeff

    This is real tough question, I would think it should be that at least one parent is a legal citizen for the infant to become a citizen.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  127. Rufus

    A Swiftian partial solution, ala his "Modest Proposal" would be to deny health care to illegals. That in itself would reduce the number of births.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  128. Maggie

    What would this proposal do to children born to non citizens who are in this country legally?
    We DO need to document illegals–they need to be paying taxes like the rest of us But, we must deal with all this in a humane way with less political rhetoric.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  129. Chris Simmons

    Yes!! I couldn't agree more... CHANGE THE 14th AMENDMENT! It is not fair that parents can sneak into our country, give birth, and their kid is a citizen. These parents benefit from what us legal tax payers put in and give nothing but cheap labor. I am all for legal immigration, but this "loop-hole" needs to be fixed NOW!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  130. Rob Bedo

    I don't care about the kids of illegal's. They should blame their parents for them being here and having to leave. It isn't our fault we didn't tell their parents to come here. And if I wanted to spend more of my money on kids I would adopt one of my own. Not raise someone elses, especially someone who came here illegally.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  131. Rob

    Sadly this idea has more to do with the color of one's skin then anything else.

    The estimates I hear vary from 11 to 13 million as the number of illegal immigrants in our Country. Considering our national population has surpassed 300 million the number of illegals would be some 3-4 percent of that population.

    To listen to white men with color concerns like Mr. Cafferty it would appear that all of our Country's ills rest squarely on the shoulders of 3-4% of our populace. To hear them talk it would appear that if we removed just 3-4% of the wrong people from our society our Country would become a Garden of Eden here on earth.

    The 14th Amendment was penned to stop a branch of racism. Now some white folk would have you believe removing it would cure our social woes and as an extra bonus lighten our general skin color.

    I am white but sick in my heart of hearing this BS.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  132. Juan Chavarry

    This is a tough one.
    Listen, I am an immigrant from Mexico, not illegally, I did what I've always thought was the decent and correct thing to do required to have access to this great country, I prepared myself wih a college degree in my home country, learned english even before setting foot here, applied for and obtained residency and later citizenship. But this is not about me, I am proud of my heritage and proud of my new country. I think this debate on modifying the 14th is a question of the right thing to do surrounded by hypocrisy on both sides. I know that the motivation for having babies here by non-US citizens is to enable their children to be automatic US citizens. Wealthy non-citizens do it almost as a status symbol for their kids, they are well-to-do in their country and plus, they have also "American" children, they are twice "beautiful people". Poor non-ctizens on the other hand, do look at the kids as anchors, well knowing that in the future they will pull the rest of the family into the US. These children throughout their life will have access to all the benefits that the US provides and their parents none of the obligations. This is not fair. On the other hand, some politicians just conveniently "discovered" this. Just before the November elections, immigrant bashing is so politically expedient right now... So is claiming to be a "victim" while you intend to circumvent the immigration laws of one of the greatest more decent countries in the world.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  133. TH

    The truth is no one in Washington understands what goes on here on the border. I have parents living in Mexico and let me tell you if we dont protect our borders we will be living the way they do right now and let me tell you it is not pretty. Another thing to make notice is a lot of people work over here and live in Mexico and claim the low income benefits that U.S. citizens have, I have seen it Jack people paying for weekly cookouts with food stamps while we have american citizens struggling to make ends meet.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  134. Adam

    This is like trying to kill a house fly with a hand grenade.
    There is much more to the 14th amendment than "anchor babies".

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  135. Dave

    MInneapolis, MN


    I am originally from Texas and a long time viewer/reader of your program. This is paramount to hypocrisy at the highest level. For decades Republicans have been fighting abortion laws and making laws to codify their moral stances so that every child has the right to life (at least life as they see it), but these alien babies are too much for them?

    The 14th amendment was designed to boost the inherent social change taking place after slavery. It insured that the offspring of slaves would live different lives from their parents and would become citizens, therefore making them eligible voters. With so many of our states picking up immigration issues and pandering away hours in their state legislatures talking about nothing, I see no need for a eugenic policy controlling the rate of offspring in Texas. Give me a break.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  136. Laura

    Why is an amendment to the Constitution needed? If you are in the U.S. in violation of our laws, does the language of the 14th Amendment, or any portion of the Constituion even apply to you?

    As to where these children would "go," they're infants! They'd go with their illegal parents, wherever that may be. What difference would a law change make to these children and where they would go? If anything, a law change would end the problem of deporting illegal parents of legal minor children. Under a law change, or frankly the correct reading of the current law, you would deport the whole family. Where's the problem here?

    As a first generation American of a LEGAL immigrant and knowing the long and arduous process that had to be followed to gain citizenship legally, all of the illegals, regardless of country of origin, thumbing their nose at our laws and abusing our social support system just makes me sad.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  137. Astrya

    I wonder how many Canadians steal across the border and have children in the U.S.? Where’s that data? No one ever seems to ask that question. How can we better protect that border (which was used by 9/11 terrorists to enter the country)? It’s always about Texas or Arizona. Hmm, I wonder why?

    Are the republicans really interested in illegal immigration reform or in subverting a population that won’t vote their way? I’m all for secure borders…all of them. What we need is enforcement, not the desecration of the Constitution. Why change the Constitution?

    Sometimes the best answer is just the right question.


    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  138. Wes


    You're questions are taking an increasingly racist tone. This one is absurd and the views being expressed are racist and nature. They only prove the entire point behind the 14th amendment; there needs to be an objective standard that isn't biased toward or against one race or another. It was written after the Civil War to prevent a racism that is re-emerging and anyone who thinks the 14th amendment should be repealed should take a long hard look in the mirror.

    Considering the history of our country anyone who is Catholic, Irish, Black, Latino, Native American, Chinese, Balkan, Jewish, etc. should consider what this would have meant for their ancestors...

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  139. tillzen

    America's greatness can be found in what we will never do.

    We will never have an imperial presidency.

    We will never ban a legitimate religion.

    And we will never send back a child born here.
    The image of a mother willing to cross oceans, mountains and deserts to give her child a better life than she has had IS America.

    E pluribus unum; from many one.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  140. Gary Yarbrough

    We can't continue to pay for the rest of the world's woes, especially for thsoe who come to our soil illegally. Does Mexico pay for illegals that come to their country illegally? I seriously doubt it. Do u not realize the direct corelation between illegal immigrants and the dramatic rise in gangs & drugs!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  141. steve in florida

    Give them their citizenship, Jack. Period. It's the law of the land. It's in the Constitution that the Tea Baggers claim to care about so passionately . Yell and stamp your feet all you want, I doubt even a John Roberts hijacked Supreme Court can fix one this for you and it won't be retrograde. Maybe we should address the real problem, the immigration system itself, instead of beating up babies. Good work, Jack.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  142. Rob Bedo

    Forget the humanitarian crap that is 1/2 the reason we are in the situation we are in.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  143. Bear

    Careful Jack. While the emotional urge to change the 14th amendment of the Constitution of the United States makes a lot of sense right now, you open the doors for these cretins in Washington, DC to start mucking with the entire Constitution. Nobody in office at present is trustworthy enough to give that power to. They are not intelligent nor are they unbiased enough to allow them to bastardize a document that has withstood hundreds of years of time.

    The current and previous administration have not been responsible stewards of our government and it is time for a total cleansing of our system. Unfortunately, it is time for term limits. Voluntary or involuntary (voters).

    August 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  144. Paul Ablon

    A constitutional amendment should be adopted to prevent citizenship to children born in the United State of illegal immigrants. It is unfathomable how an illegal can have a child whose status is greater than the wrongdoing parent. Moreover, it creates an incentive for pregnant women, or women planning to become pregnant to enter the country to have their children, give birth and then seek to change their own illegal status by arguing that a family member (the infant) is a citizen and that sending the parent back to the country of origin divides families.

    Of course this problem would be mitigated, if our federal government finally did what it is constitutionally mandated to do; regulate immigration.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  145. Justin in Massachusetts

    I have a friend who is Mexican, and she told me that it is essentially commonplace for her friends and family to drive up to Texas a few days before the pregnant woman's due date in order to have a child in the States. Perhaps it is for medical care. Perhaps it is for citizenship. Either way, the amendment should be altered. I believe the child should only obtain citizenship if at least one of the parents is American. I think this law is antiquated; one must look carefully at the historical context for the amendment. It was created to give slaves citizenship; not so that foreigners could cross over the border and obtain citizenship. p.s. I am a liberal Democrat that supports Obama.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  146. Mike

    Can't we simply pass a law that says children born to illegal aliens don't receive automatic citizenship without meeting some kind of criteria acceptable to both parties? Changing the Constitution is not the answer. Having the "cojones" to fix the root causes of the problem is. These people aren't going to go away until we remove the reasons they want to be here. Deny them employment, deny them anything more than emergency medical care, and they'll stop wanting to be here. And if American's give them jobs, punish them for breaking the law and maybe this problem will self-correct over time.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  147. Craig C

    The overall priorities of our country need to be scrutinized. Our national debt now exceeds $40,000 per person. And yet we continue to extend healthcare, education, and other services to illegal immigrants. These are people that have never paid into the system that provides these benefits.

    I understand that people feel that we have an obligation to provide education to all children, and health services to anyone that is need. This is a difficult emotional topic. But we need to be present to the fact the country can simply not afford these costs.

    Parents that arrange to have their children born in the states should not be rewarded with instant citizen ship for their children. And who do you think is paying the medical bills for those kids being born in the states?

    Our government has truly run amuck!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  148. Bogey

    Lady Liberty will step off her pedestal if this changes. Whatever happened to, "Give me your tired , your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"? If we are unwilling to allow the parents to enter legally and make a better life for themselves, how twisted is it to disallow this opportunity for the children?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  149. Siara

    Siara, Annapolis, MD– "those babies have no place to go". Oh really? How about home with the parents who created them (to the native country of those parents). This is absurd.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  150. D.C.

    The 14th Amendment should definitely be changed. I immigrated to the US legally and I am now a citizen. I know how hard it was and how long the process took (14 years) and it is not fair for those of us who do things the right way that a child who is born here to parents who are not legal residents automatically get citizenship. And this is not just about illegal immigrants crossing our southern border, but there are people from all over the world who for the price of a plane ticket and with a tourist visa can guarantee that their child does not have to wait the 14 years I had to wait to become a citizen. Growing up, we knew many families that did this and it doesn't matter that the parents can't directly benefit from it themselves until the child is 21 and can sponsor them. They benefit by being able to send their child to school in the US more easily.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  151. Pacual from Amherst


    The fact that Republicans are even bringing up a constitutional ammendment, given that this process is nigh-on-impossible even in a less toxic political environment, shows how this is just a cynical right-wing distraction from a real debate on comprehensive immigration reform. But here's the real question; are you voluntarily channeling Lou Dobb, or has forcibly taken you over?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  152. Alexander

    Although I try not to buy into the anti-immigration hysteria that currently grips so much of the United States, I do feel that the 14th amendment provides a convenient loophole for illegal immigrants who give birth to children in this country, as well as foreigners who are working here on a temporary basis. I think the best compromise solution would be to grant US citizenship to newborns only on the condition that their mother (and father, if he is a known person) present documentation citing her legal status. Permanent Resident in Generation 1, Citizen in Generation 2...

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  153. Alex

    Immigrants in the country would be allowed to stay, by paying taxes, getting registered, etc. Future illegal immigrant children would not be granted citizenship. However, lets talk about WHY people are so fed up with this. They ARENT taking our jobs. We would not take the pay and the dirty jobs they do. People are fed up or should I say scared because Caucasians are fearful that in the next decade or so they will lose the majority status. They will still be the largest group, but will not have the majority. And it scares them that "their" idea of a melting pot (citizens of European descent) is not what a true melting pot will be. GOOD.,..cause I am loving it. !

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  154. Rob in Fla

    Since there are no more freed slaves, and the spirit of the law is being exploiting, its time we end this outdated and unnecessary reward.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  155. Jim in Tennessee

    Jack, while the Republlicans have a point, this is mostly about the mid-term elections. I can't remember the last time we considered changing the 14th amendment. Why not allow the parents to apply for a visa and then citizenship and demonstrate that they are both employable/employed at that time? Especially if they are paying taxes. Besides, what will all those Republican-owned businesses do without a supply of cheap, undocumented labor they can pay under the table?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  156. Rob Bedo

    If they weren't here illegally they wouldn't have to deal with their problems. That is their problem so lets keep it that way. We have enough problems. Too many to worry about raising illegal kids too.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  157. Aaron P

    It seems that the Repubs always talk about, "The Constitution" this and "The Constitution" that. Don't Tread on Me... It seems that they always hid behind this, until there is something they don't like. Then it is, Let's change the Constitution. How about this...Let's change the 2nd Amendment. Let's change it because we don't like the way it is Ambiguous about who should own a firearm. Repubs are mean, racist jerks. Why don't you Repubs change the 14th amendment and call it the way you really see it. You can call it the "We hate mexicans" amendment. You jerks!!!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  158. Carlos.

    Hello jack. The constitution is not infalible but americans should recognice this is the product of profiting of the ilegal immigration that is equal to a mother that prostitute herself in order to feed her babies she is a big part of the blame but do not forget the one who profit of this is someone to blame equally. So lets fix this from the bottom lets fix things for people illegally on US and lets do an ammendment to the constitution to avoidthe situation of this babies.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  159. Burbank

    It should be changed and all babies born to people here illegally, even retroactively, should not be recognized as citizens. We are being taken advantage of and this needs to stop. These people should not be rewarded for deliberately scamming us.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  160. jennifer chenoweth

    First of all I happen to have two daughters whose father is an illegal immigrant from Mexico, and it is their birthright regardless if I'm a u.s. citizen or not that they become one when they are born here. But since this whole immigration thing has been going wild he's been deported back to Mexico and now I have to take care of our daughters by myself. But illegal immigration is not new the native Americans called it white people. Anyone remember that in history?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  161. ethan - dailyepost.com

    Jack, Im from nyc and I'm wondering...

    First many of these people say President Obama is not really president because, they say, he wasn't born here.

    Now they want to deny citizenship for certain children,they say, were born here.

    Maybe it's just that they want citizenship only for people who "look like themselves"?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  162. Lexie

    Are we going to trace the roots of all the people in the US, my guess is if we start looking there are quit a few of us the came from non-citizens. I think my grandfather's family came legally through Ellis Island but have not checked for sure! I really wonder if people would be talking about changing our constitution if most recent illegal immigrants came from an European background!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  163. Al V

    How about: NOTHING.

    The kids born here are just that. Kids born here.

    They will never know another country. (unless we throw them out with their parents) If we educate them, they will add to our economy. They cost no more and no less than kids born to US citizens.

    Do we really want to create a multi-generational underclass that can't get honest work, is vulnerable to being exploited just because their great-grandparents came here illegally?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  164. Dennis Lippy

    The 14th amendment has no use now except for abuse by illegals to circumvent the need for legal entry into this country.....Most of these births are paid by US citizens and these children are supported by US citizens. What a deal, get here illlegally and have your children as anchor babies virtually assuring your not being deported so as not to harm the child. When are we going to put a stop to this social madness?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  165. Ted

    I agree with the denial of automatic citizenship, but I have not heard of solid support against it. How can you say the children are punished by actions of the parents? That is a flat argument in my opinion. What other arguments are there? There is a process to become legal; I went through the process with my wife. From start to finish it was 2 years and less than $800. The paperwork is FAR from complex, and immigration was helpful and professional. And this was only 4 years ago. She has learned to speak English, studied to pass her CNA, and now helps the elderly with Alzheimers. I would genuinlely like to hear the other point of view. My mind is far from closed and would be interested in hearing what those in favor of automatic citizenship have to say.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  166. Amanda

    I think they should not get citizenship for kids if the parents are not here legal either more reason to stay in there country we cant take care of our people let alone someone else

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  167. Carlos Marrero

    Maybe we should just change the whole constitution. After all, no-one seems to agree on what the founding fathers said, anyway. Perhaps a constitutional aptitude test should be required for all those running for office.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  168. Bill from Kansas City


    It's obvious that the 14th amendment was intended for slavery back when it became law. Luckily slavery has ended, unfortunately illegal immigration into the U.S. has become an increasingly large problem. It's plain and simple those born here in the United States with parents who are illegal immigrants should not receive citizenship. Giving citizenship to those children is only rewarding their parents for a crime they committed.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  169. John Lancial

    I can believe this is even a debate at all. What other country on the planets allows people that illegally enter their borders and then in turn steal benefits from its law abiding citizens. There are ways to enter the USA legally. Take away all benefits to people not documented and with no visa to be here and the big incinitive to come here illegally goes away.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  170. Luis

    As a former veteran i served with many people from different origins, some serving just to have the american dream, citizenship. people come from all over the world to come here,for a better life sometimes for them but mostly for there children. we are great nation because we have people from all types and thats what makes UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  171. Henderson from Florida

    Can we please stop pretending that this is over some sense of nationalism and just admit that racism is starting to (re)gain it's foothold. While we're at it, let's just change the inscription on that Statue of Liberty to read "No Vacancy".

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  172. william f.

    This law should have been changed long ago.It is being abused..

    August 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  173. Mark Lane

    Argueing about whether or not to change or eliminate the 14th ammendment is a silly distraction. To do this we would need 2/3 of both houses of the U.S. Congress to pass an ammendment and then 3/4 of the states would have to pass the ammendmant through their legislatures. This will not happen and everyone knows it.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  174. Isaiah J. Poole

    Recently, I received a copy of my original birth certificate. It has the name of my birth mother on it, but not my father. There is no indication - only a presumption - that my mother was an American citizen at the time of my birth. But I have no proof. Since I do not know who my father is, it is likely that he was not an American citizen at the time of my birth. It may well be that I do not meet the test of American citizenship that anti-immigration opponents would like to impose as they eliminate the 14th Amendment. Which raises this question: If it is true that I do not meet the test of American citizenship because my father is unknown and my mother had no proof of citizenship papers, where would you deport me?

    You might argue that this is a silly question, since I was adopted at a very young age by a couple with as clear an American citizenship as African Americans were allowed to have in the early 20th century. But still...

    August 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  175. Tim Cagney

    The 14th Ammendment was intended solely to make citizens of emancipated slaves who were not born in the United States, and for the children of slaves then living. Period.
    The Ammendment served it's purpose and should be repealed, and naturalization should be the only way for immigrants to become citizens. Period.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  176. Eddie Poloche

    What is the differenc between 60,000 babies born to illegals, and 60,000 born to Citizens... to me it looks like a great combination of 120,000 Americans.... What? Just cause you were born to an "illegal" that some how negats the ability from becoming someone who loves this country just as much as those who weren't born to "illegals"...

    August 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  177. Vijay

    Dear Jack,

    Nothing should be done about it. Have we forgotten what it means to be born as a US citizen? Does having illegal immigrant parents guarantee that these children will grow up without love of country and unable to perform their civic duties? Will they be less of a citizen because of foreign parents? Before making ad hoc changes to the fourteenth amendment, maybe we should take a hard look what it means to be a US citizen.


    August 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  178. Mark F

    This sounds like a good idea, as does complete immigration reform. We can't afford to continue to increase the burden on taxpayers without addressing this issue. I believe that Jack is right that this would easily pass if put to a vote of the people.. but if voted on by politicians it will unfortunately probably not pass.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  179. kandice

    Doesn't make much sence to me. We have children all over the us in dire need of food and medical care that are legal and can't get the help. But some imagrant jumps the fence illegal, has a child and we jump all over the chance to provide for them? If a us pregnate woman went to the moon would the baby be illegal to the us?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  180. sue

    Amend Amen!!!!! It needs to be done. Follow the laws, like we have to. If you want to live here than do it legal. I am tired of supporting people who live off the gov. Keeping people supressed is slavery by our Gov. to get the votes. Some need help at times,but it is now a generation thing and they have it down to a art.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  181. Jack

    Have you been to Ellis Island? This argument has been going on for over 100 years. The rhetoric is exactly the same. We're here. Someone else wants what we have. The newcomers are going to take yours away from you. Be afraid of the newcomers whether they are Irish, Italian, Chinese, Jewish, Portugese, Hungarians or, now, Mexicans. And now that you're afraid of the newcomers, vote for me. I'll protect you. Or at least get elected.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  182. Gary P.

    The answer is so obvious it begs the question. Why in hell should the babies of illegals automatically become citizens. The U.S. is looking like a country gone insane.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  183. OJ Simmons

    Stop whining about it. If you don't like the consitution, leave the country.

    If the Republicans had their way, you would have racial profiling in the maternity ward.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  184. morgino

    Changing the constitution is serious business and should only happen under extreme circumstances. However this is that time when it is a viable option, our economy just can't stand under the weight that these anchor babies cost. Unfortunately it's a non-starter though cause their is no chance that this will pass when needing a 2/3 vote

    August 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  185. Trudy

    Why is this an issue? If you are here illegally your children born here are also illegal. The illegal immigration problem nationwide is why we are so bankrupt. Medical care, welfare, incarceration. This has got to stop.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  186. Tanyah

    The policy of granting birthright citizenship in America has become a gravitational pull factor that has resulted in the largest substained wave of mass human migration ever witnessed in the history of this nation; a human tsunami that has played a critical role in the rapid erosion of the quality of life that so many immigrants seek on these shores. It also increasingly poses a non-consensual makeover of the culture that American citizens had neither voice nor vote in unleashing.
    The framers of the 14th amendment had no intention of allowing another country to wage demographic warfare against the U.S. and reshaping it's culture by means of exploiting birthright citizenship.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  187. Stephanie Wolff

    I suggest that parents show citizenship papers in order to receive a birth certificate for a newborn. If the parents are here illegally, then the parents could be sent home with their American child . The parents would be barred from ever being allowed to re-enter the Sates legally but the child could re-enter the country as an adult.

    I think this would damped the incentive to give birth in the States without necessitating a change in the Constituion. It would also discourage border crossings from the South, as well as student visa violators that think it's 'neat,' to have children here so that their child may have dual citizenship.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  188. Madeline Marotto, Florida

    Jack, that is an easy one to solve. STOP criminal for using and abusing American citizens rights. If you are not legal your children are not legal either. Both should be deported.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  189. Tuan

    I'm a child of refugees from Vietnam. We came here legally through sponsorship by family members. It's a very difficult process to go through, especially since 9/11. I'm all for amending the 14th Admendment IF we can guarantee that only children of BOTH ILLEGAL ALIENS are excluded from becoming automatic citizens. But that's a big if b/c what happens if one parent is a U.S. Citizen and the other is illegal? Don't you think illegals can always find a U.S. citizen to put their name on a birth certificate as being the father of a child? This whole situation is A LOT bigger issue than what our current Congress can handle.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  190. Galactus999

    Why are the parents even in this country? If the Federal Government was doing its job and deporting all illegal immigrants then this would not be a problem.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  191. NANCY

    Absolutely change the Constitution. It should be common sense that an illegal borne of illegal parents is illegal. I thought the requirement for citizenship was that one of the parents had to be a U.S. citizen. What kool-aid is the government drinking that they haven't stopped this obviously baseless assertion. Another example of our country's surrender to decline. Definitely add surrender to muslims' win for a mosque at ground zero. So sad.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  192. John

    Jack – This ammendment to the constitution has long been abused by our southern neighbors. It is time to revise the ammendment to address our current situation. How can we reward illegal activity by awarding citizenship to the child? Doesn't seem to make much sense. By the way, President Obama is incorrect that this is a mid-term election ploy by the Republicans. This issue has been ignored by Washington for way too long.

    John, Fort Worth Texas

    August 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  193. William from Kansas City


    The republicans in Congress want to repeal the 14th amendment because they know that illegal immigration is a huge problem in the states in which they represent. Their the ones listening to their angry constituents, and how it is affecting their daily life's. It would be in the country's best interest to not allow illegal immigrant children who were born on U.S. soil citizenship. Plain and simple, send them back to Mexico where they belong.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  194. james

    Frankly, if we did not have this law on the books, most of the current 300 million Americans would not legitimately be eligible to remain here, as nearly all of us are guilty of taking the land belonging to the Native Americans. If the point is to ensure that all Americans are contributing to the greater good, let's do so. I would only support overturning the 14th amendment if we accompanied this change with a rule that requires every American to renew his vow of citizenship every 5 or ten years, by confirming that s/he has voted, has acted in accord with the laws, and generally supported the greater good of the nation. The newest immigrants have always been the hardest working and (typically) law abiding, and are almost always willing to do the jobs that most Americans consider below their status level. Compared to most recent immigrants I have known, I am far more concerned with the behavior and contributions (or lack thereof) from many Americans who have been here for generations. If we want to confirm that all citizens are worthy, let's do it on the basis of genuine merit and contributions to the greater good, rather than testing who has been here for the longest.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  195. Joan

    Yes, 14th Amendment was for slaves – which were born in the USA along with their families living here for years. 14th Amendment had nothing to do with ILLEGALS "breaking the law" becoming legal babies ..there are some paying $20,000 to come here and have a child. Then go back to China or whereever, and come back here taking advantage of college tuition and other perks.
    Perhaps when an illegal is arrested for robbery, his 15 yrs old son should be put in prison too....the logic is as "dumb".
    Several States in the USA would not be in the red financially if the illegals went home and came back here legally....our sytstem is going bankrupt because of them.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  196. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    We should be very worried .we have national guard troops making a line or a block aid that's the same as a stance for war as long as the cartel gives the Mexican people a choice of staying in Mexico under a violent life or living in America under a confused life there going to keep coming unless we cut off the funds government and state they will self deport .

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  197. Rett

    Changing the 14th amendment is all but impossible. But there are simple policy changes that could curb the problem.

    1) Minor Citizens will be deported with their parents if their parents are illegal.

    2) Illegal parents of minor citizens are black listed and will never gain legal access to the country.

    So sure your child will be a citizen but you will NEVER be able to enter the country to see them.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  198. AinMO

    @George Synan: "When did immigration become a hot-button issue? And we are asking the Fed govt to fix it? Please... they can't do anything... and don't hand me the 'they are taking our jobs...". I know of no one willing to pick berries all day in the hot sun for $3 an hr. No one."

    That is my point exactly. We have to fix the economy in different ways. Try getting all these people that abuse welfare to actually get jobs.

    And by the way to all these people that are freaking out about illegal immigrants, unless you're full blooded Native American, you're illegal too. We took this land by force, there was nothing "LEGAL" about what our ancestors did. So deal with it. And as long as the Statue of Liberty stands, this country will always have a message that says "Give me your poor, your weak, and your hungry" So if you want to repeal the 14th ammendment, you may also want to take down the Statue of Liberty along with everything this country stands for.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  199. Floyd Bringle

    In order for these children to become citizens, their parents should pay for medical insurance for them and the annual per child tax deduction allowed under our income tax law. Once the parents become legal and are properly documented and paying taxes, a final determination would be made.
    However, remember that the House and Senate pass laws, not the Executive Branch od OUR government.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  200. Tony

    That is the most ridiculous way to fix immigration. Changing it is not going to fix it. If we do that what about the 2nd Amendment the right to bear arms? People kill each other everyday in America on purpose and accidentally should we change that or get rid of it all together. Changing constitutionall amendments is a slap to the American way, and a signal to the rest of the world we hate outsiders. Furthermore they are children not adults, to take away there citizenship after being born here what does that say about our country? We as Americans are slowly killing the American Dream with talk like this. There are other ways of regulating immigration but changing Amendments that are older than all of us is not right.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  201. Jerome

    Some of use truely know what change is coming. Long live the Queen.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  202. Debbie & Jeff Hines

    My husband was born in the US, worked here all of his life & is on diability now with no medical insurance. He has a two year waiting period for medicare. He has a preexisting condition that nobody will treat. Which is an aneurysm on his aorta.
    I don't mind the children becoming citizens but, I bet they all have better insurance than we do.
    Jeff & Debbie

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  203. Ron

    Instead of making it a vote that is handled by our "elected officials" why not let the CITIZENS vote on this one.

    I am not sure if our elected officials are voting for our benefit as much as their own (votes). This is a subject that effects the citizens and not the politicians. Lets see if they can come up with something that the majority of the people want and not themselves.

    If the Constitution were changed, women would not be allowed to go back to their home country and get pregnant and then come back here to have the child. They get their cake and eat it too (babies are paid for, we support them and they become citizens) What more could they ask for?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  204. michael cole

    If there were no 14th amendment ......WHO....would be a citizen ??????

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  205. dan robinson, columbia, sc

    the fact of the matter is that most illegals DO pay taxes, but their employers, who knowingly hired illegals, pocket that money... and the illegal workers STILL pay all the local, sales, hotel, etc. taxes that everyone else pays. this issue is racial scapegoating at its worst in a time of economic crisis, much the same as the persecution of prosperous Jews in post- World War 1 Germany. the Republicans are simply Nazi-fying a basically ignorant and fearful demographic in a time of crisis brought on by their own ill-considered and short-sighted economic policies of the previous administration

    August 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  206. starr sanders

    Funny how the constitution is supported by the Republicans and conservatives and disowned by the same group when it suits them.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  207. jeff korpela

    There are way many more guns than babies, shouldn't we change that amendment first?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  208. Tony in Phoenix


    Even if the 14th amendment is re-interpreted or a new amendment is ratified that modifies the 14th, the proponents of this need to keep something in mind. The Constitution states explicitly that no law can be made ex post facto. Hence, those who have birth right citizenship today cannot have it revoked. Any restrictions to birth right citizenship wouls only apply to those who are born AFTER such a law goes into effect.

    There are always unforeseen complications from laws or regulations that Americans may clamor for. If this were to pass, the law has to be applied equally to everyone not just Hispanic Americans in AZ but even white people in Wisconsin or elsewhere. How many Americans will be upset to know that when packing for the hospital the expectant parents better remember to pack their proof or residency (green card, birth certificate, passport, etc.) if they want their baby to be certified a citizen at birth?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  209. richard

    Texas needs all the citizens it can get. There's lots of space out there. Anyway one of these new little citizens just might grow up and be President of
    the United States ~ a really great preisent!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  210. Jim

    At least a million babies were born last year, to the heirs of the criminals that Andrew Jackson turned loose to settle in Texas so he would have an excuse to steal the state from Mexico.
    Demonizing Mexicans to the economic benefit of white Americans has been going on a long time, especially when the times are hard economically and white people need someone to blame. But when it comes time to harvest the lettuce and clean the chickens so we can keep the prices down, Americans can't wait to get that cheap labor from those drug smuggling, beheading Mexican criminals, as long as they don't stay too long or have any children here.
    Failure to see the inherent racism in this question is at the basis of this entire debate.
    Thank god for the 14th amendment and its' protection of our civil and human rights. The Republicans would gladly trash it and take us back to the Jim Crow days but fortunately the amendment was created to protect the minority from the mob rule of the majority.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  211. KZ

    My biggest frustration with illegal immigration is not the immigrants but how they choose to ignore being (ILLEGAL). Why have laws?! It makes me sick that the "order" of coming here legally is completely dismissed and all together ignored. So I believe the question should be what should be done about bringing "ORDER" to immigrants coming over here illegally it would resolve the problem of babies being born to non-citizens. Why doesn't President Obama tell all the illegal immigrants that you are being fined for committing a crime, setup a system for them to pay their fines, after their fines have been paid begin the process for proper citizenship while continuing to secure the borders and enforcing the law! With all the illegal immigrants here in the United States it would defenitely create jobs and it will bring "ORDER" to a system that has been overlooked for way to long.......

    Dallas Texas

    August 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  212. DM

    What happens when one parent is "legal"/the othe is not?? Let's say the mother is US citizen/father is illegal? I recognize that this is huge issue, but just accounting for all the scenarios would be impossible!! Would these conservatives be so quick to modify say the "2nd amendment?? Why do politics get in the way of true problem solving?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  213. Abu, MN

    I can understand why Americans are worried. Immigrants (illegal) are getting educated and ready to take this country over. Choose what you want to do, but this country is run by illegal immigrants

    August 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  214. Ira David Holland

    You and many of your ilk repeatedly state that the government does nothing about illegal aliens (you just made that statement with regards to the aamerican public being fed up with ). I would suggest that if you would ask that question of the families who are grieving the loss;, in the line of duty, of their father, son, etc. or if you asked the 20 thousand agents working for the border patrol whether they were "doing anything or not". It may not have solved the problem, but, it is not for the lack of trying.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  215. Phil, CA

    We need to stop the flooding of illegal immigrants one way or another. This isn't the 1700s, 1800s or 1900s – we need to put a kabosh on this anchor baby thing. If foreign tourists come here legitimately for that reason, and one being pregnant and drop their baby here, the baby should be that of their parents' land where they came from prior to coming here on vacation. The same applies to illegals who do the same thing. This would also apply to foreigners coming here on business etc with this happening. Plus another thing, why would any pregnant female be doing traveling to other countries when they are so close to giving birth? Maybe we ought have a law for no foreigners allwoed into the country if they are in their final trimester and so close to birth unless they are here claiming asylum.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  216. Robin Ellis

    I rarely watch CNN, but turned it on and you, Jack Cafferty, one of the few normally worth watching was on, talking about immigration. I was greatly disappointed in you stating how "no one in Washington is doing anything." Of course the total problem is too big for Washington's current gridlock, but could you or your network report how many additional border agents the Obama administration has hired? How many deportations there have been? Prosecutions of workplace violations of immigration law? Compare this to pre-Obama and you'll be shocked, and you'll find you are once again parroting conventional wisdom but you just don't know the facts, or at least you don't report them. Why let the facts get in the way of your preset ideas? No wonder no one watches.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  217. Karl from SF, CA

    Jack, the Constitution is fine, it’s the border that’s broken. We need to fix that but since leaving it open and diverting attention to other issues, like stupidly changing the Constitution, is just a ploy to keep the status quo to get the Democrats votes and Republicans cheap labor. Ask any Republican if they favor a secured Social Security card system that employers can really check and they will give every excuse in the world to not do it. What a pathetic lot we elect and expect them to serve us.

    Reality check: What percentage of the total babies born to non-citizens do Texas’ 60,000 represent? I dare say it’s a good chunk. The border states are most likely to have the highest numbers.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  218. Dennis Lippy

    Hey there Aaron...........Guns don't kill people........Criminals kill people and studies have shown that most murders are not committed by legal gun owners but by people that obtained there weapons illegally and many from foreign manufacturers.......If we would take away gun rights, the crooks would have no fear of anyone.....The 14th amendment is not working and all anchor babies are should be illegal just like their parents. Also, condemning all Republicans as racists is as rediculous as declaring all Democrats as non-racists.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  219. Danny

    The short answer is stem the tide of illegal immigration, using international economic assistance programs and standard enforcement programs. The long answer is inherently more complex because you've posed a direct question about the children who are the product of that illegal activity. Our american history is filled with a history of immigration from around the globe, and now those immigrants, calling themselves american citizens, want to deny the same dream that led their ancestors to this land to those crossing the desert in the dead of night. My thought, although admittedly optimistic, is to retain that right of citizenship at birth so that these culturally and/or ethnically diverse bearers of the modern day american dream can become members of our society.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  220. Farba

    Where is the freedom that we always brag about if we disallow kid from illegal immigrants to be citizen? These kids did not chose to be born here. So in another way, they did not cross the border but rather the border crossed them. It would be unfair not to grant citizenship to whoever is born in America.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  221. Robert Payne

    The demographics of the country are changing and cultural bigots do not like the change. Northern Europeans would not be subject to this sort of racism. Shame on you for supporting this blatant racism.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  222. Paul In Dallas, TX

    Secure the boarders Jack. Don't try to fix one problem by causing another.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  223. ROY

    Hello Jack,
    do you know how many tourists from all over the world come to America pregnant just in time to have an American baby?. let me know what you find out.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  224. Mike

    I am an American only because my mother (who was not a citizen) decided to have me in the U.S. and put me up for adoption. Now, after fighting in Iraq and risking my life for this country, am I to no longer be a citizen?

    These are not "anchor babies" they are "first generation Americans."

    This is not a new phenomenon, either, but a sacred part of our rich heritage and bedrock of our economic, diplomatic, military and moral strength.

    The term "First Generation American" used to be a term we were proud to bestow upon others; now, when the foreign-born are a smaller percentage of people than during our grandparents time, it is a term of derision.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  225. Ed.

    Ireland used to have a birthright, such as we have in the US, but they changed it several years ago becaused it was being abused.. You now need to be a legal resident in Ireland for three years, before your
    child is considered to be an Irish citizen. I believe only two or three countries in the world have a birthright such as we have here.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  226. sureaboutthat

    The children have no where to go?............they are citizens of the same country their parents are citizens of. Of, course. They can all leave together.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  227. kandice

    But point is. If the parents are illegal that makes the child illegal as well, the U.S is already over populated and it is not fair to the U.S citizen to have to support them.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  228. Frank Rizzo

    I support the Republicans on this issue, its time we end the free ride for the anchor baby program. In New York City last year there were over 10,000 babies born from illegal aliens and the majority of the women were from south, and central America, of the thousands born a few hundred were from Europe and the Middle East.

    The USG must start end to this free ride, not just targeting spanish people but all who are illegal in this Nation. America is the ONLY Nation on Earth that allows this abuse of the Federal System. The Republicans must make this issue a National Security Issue and bring all political parties on the field this is the right approach in ending this Citizen Scam, and why not?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  229. Ron

    I have a friend who is from Malawi. He lived in the US since he was 5 years old and graduated from Columbia University. He is VERY afraid that if he leaves the US to visit Malawi he will not be let back into the US, though his entire family lives in the US and are Permanent Residents. It sickens me GREATLY that he has such trouble being here. BUT if he had a Hispanic surname and was brown instead of black, he would be welcomed with open arms and quickly given all the Blessings of US Citizenship. This selectively giving citizenship to brown skinned Latinos is the HIGEST form of racism.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  230. BD70

    While I don't agree that anyone born here is automatically a citizen....having them amend the 14th makes me nervous. How would they amend it? So far both parties do not give me a comfy feeling they would do it right.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  231. David Scott Doherty

    Isn't obvious what should be done, just like the lure of jobs. Get rid of the lure and take one step to solving the problem. Like a lot of the laws we have in this country, they are out dated and have long out live their usefulness. This country has come a long way, and to up hold some of these antiqued laws is just stupied. Why is it so difficult to change a law just because thats the way we use to do it. Duh
    Dave from peterborough NH.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  232. Jane Johnson

    Why is the 14th Amendment being used anyway? The Parents are illegal, then so are the children. 14th Amendment was never meant to be used as these clowns in Wa DC let it be used now – it was meant for Slaves and for Native Indians.
    Jane J

    August 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  233. Gary in Winona

    Absolutely the law should be changed for birth in the USA being awarded instant citizenship. It should only apply if at least one parent is a US citizen. Since children must stay with a parent/parents for all moral and practical reasons they should be citizens of the country of their parents, not where they are born. Especially if the parents are illegal aliens!!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  234. Gail Evans

    We should not change the constitution by declaring that no one born here is a citizen, but perhaps we should ADD a statement that says the child will be a citizen only if the parents are here legally. This does not mean the parents have to be permanent residents, just legally here.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  235. Sir Winston7

    We scream about abortions, we scream about Mosque on ground zero, we scream about the Ten Comandments, we scream about not having prayer in schools, or "In God We Trust on our money etc, BUT!!...We are a Christian Nation....ONLY, .when its convenient for us.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  236. Seth

    Conservatives keep raving that "We're a nation of laws! We're a nation of laws!" as if their house is on fire and yet the very next sentence out of their mouths is that they want to abolish parts of the supreme law of the land. Something just isn't adding up here...Oh wait, it's an election year, now it all makes sense.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  237. Matthias E

    The President have right to blame Bush for that is happying because Republican refuse to accept they dup America through Bush time when most jobs went to China, Indian, Phillipians and other nation because of personal enjoyment

    August 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  238. killermike2178

    I live in Austin, TX, and I know it seems cruel, so I apologize in advance, but in an ideal world, maybe Child Protective Services should take the babies once they're born and put them into foster care, and then deport the parents. I'm sorry, but unless they came here because they wanted to work for a better life, the 14th Amendment. Of course, as I said, this would only happen in an ideal world, as there isn't enough manpower (CPS, foster care)to make this happen. Maybe that's what needs to be changed.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  239. K Mason

    Policing the borders appropriately is much easier than attempting to change the 14th amendment. Instead of spending billions (perhaps trillions) of dollars on unnecessary wars in Afghanistan and Iraq re-deploy the forces to the border states. Easy if you think about it.....

    August 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  240. Cindy Texas

    I am for whatever it takes to stop any illegal entry into our country. I think it should not be a right that if born in the US its immediate citizenship. Only under special circumstance and reviewed that some children be grating this right. We have lost control and need to change all our laws to prevent illegal entry. This can be done with just signing in laws in all states and at the federal level to discourage entry and force them back out the country. Its not that difficult, just lack of leadership for many many many years in immigration.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  241. Nicole

    Change it! At least one parent should be a citizen for the child to be a citizen.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  242. Michael

    It seems to me Jack that the same people who are screaming about upholding the constitution...GOP, Tea party, Etc., are the same ones trying to tear it down when it's not convenient for their cause. They also want to change freedom of religion for Muslims (NYC Mosque) and the 14th amendment was completely overlooked during the gay marriage law in California where it says that all citizens are to enjoy all of the freedoms of our country and can't be taken away by an individual state.
    If they want to start re-doing our constitution why not start at the beginning. Seems to me that the 2nd amendment would be a great place to start...but the gun people would go crazy!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  243. James

    As it is right now, the illegal immigrant (who doesn't pay income tax) gets free health care when the child is delivered and then the child gets a free education at the law abiding citizen's cost.
    As for the non citizen's in this country working with a Visa – they pay taxes. The same applies to US workers working abroad who have children abroad – they pay the local taxes. That's the main difference – the illegal immigrants do not pay income taxes and the law abiding citizens or non-citizes do pay taxes.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  244. Bill, Clarksville MD

    I believe that anyone born in the US to, at a minimum one US citizen and one "legal immigrant" (someone who has entered the country legally) and has applied for citizenship, should be considered a US citizen. No way should any child born here to illegal immigrants be allowed US citizenship. Why are they here anyway?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  245. sureaboutthat

    This country cannot sustain the drain on ALL of our resources if birthright citizenship is not stopped, that a massive population explosion that 's already been started. Legal U.S. Citizens have their own future generations to protect. Make it retro active, for sure.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  246. John

    As economists will all agree, it's the only way Social Security can work. It gets the US the benefit of having more young workers who won't retire for many years without having to pay the cost of paying benefits to the the parents. Since Social Security is really a pyramid scheme, It's actually pretty profitable for us citizens, despite all the ethnic fear mongering by people like you, Jack.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  247. Bobby

    If yor parents aren't American then you're not American.
    It's the American way.
    Stockton Ca

    August 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  248. Bill Hughes

    The 14th amendment should be modified to remove the "anchor baby" incentive to cross the border illegally. Legal citizens should not be tasked with paying for the birth of children of people who by definition under our laws are committing a crime for the sole purpose of having a child born as a US citizen. US citizenship was not created to be a Game Prize granted to the fleet of foot. I suspect that the 535 Village Idiots of Capitol Hill will have difficulty grasping these ideas.

    "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." – Mark Twain, 1912

    Bill Hughes
    Staunton, VA

    August 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  249. Ron - LA, CA.

    The 14th doesn't need to be changed. Just the current interpretation by those that hide behind it for their own agenda.
    The Chinese and Russian travel packages for their expectant mothers to travel here to deliver a baby for the US birthright clearly violates the 14th amendment as it appears in the constitution with the jurisdiction clause.
    If another nation has a claim to the allegiance of the parents, then they do for the newborn as well. The USA jurisdiction is not complete as required by the 14th. Any taxpayer benefits or money handed over to these alien 'citizens' by the US agencies is disallowed by the 14th amendment but it happens every day. Outside the constitution the 14th has been twisted to to cover those who hate the USA actively – another violation of the 14th on loyalty.
    During the cold war, China and Russia may have trained to take the USA on by military power but lost. Or did they? Now they are invading by anchor baby instead. They own our treasuries and now will it be our largess reserved for US citizens too. Can we afford this travesty of US birthright for Latin America and Asia too. This is not a matter of US racism against Mexicans. We can't afford not to enforce the law of the land (even without a recession). The tax payer has enough to worry about without this anchor baby daisy chain nonsense. The founding fathers would have a cow and prefer the King's taxes instead!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  250. Joe NY, NY

    As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves from the dogmas of the past. . . .

    August 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  251. Marosa

    With the current economic/social/political conditions that illegal immigrants are coming from, they only have one-goal in mind and that may be as basic as surviving. Why should we blame the worsening of education and health programs on the immigrants, when the focus should be on improving them. Who knows how these programs would improve without the immigrants benefiting from them, the children are already here, the remedy shouldn't be turning our backs on them. We talk about heroes and making changes and differences in the world, but when it comes down to it and when it impedes on our already rich-laden or resilient way of living, it becomes a nuisance? The issue here shouldn't be about the legality but commonality, children are children.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  252. Rick, Miramar, Fl


    Never saw it in hard numbers; it is staggering! If we, collectively speaking, Americans, and all branches of government, had concentrated on enforcing our immigration laws for the past 20 years, we would not be having this discussion. What does every other country in the free world do with illegal immigrants? Even Third World and Developing Nations have laws that protect their boarders!
    We must put our feet down; as an example: US Citizens Born Aboard, must register with the American Counsel, just as my son when he was born in the UK, to two US Citizens!
    If we do not stop this unchecked flow of humanity into our country we will be forfeiting our future entitlements and benefits for social security, health care and jobs.
    What should be done? If these children are not born of US Citizen parents, then they cannot be US Citizens.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  253. Robert

    But that is not what this country was founded on, give us your humble, tired and poor until we have no room left, then we can become the greatest slum ever.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  254. Bryan Richter

    It's a combination of misinformation and fear tactics, impatience, and hate.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  255. Patricia - Illinois

    Lets add an amendment to the Constitution that states if you have a legal passport to be in the United States, then your child can be a dual citizen of this country and their parents, but if you are an illegal that came into this country from "anyplace" what so ever; then get the heck out of here and go back where you came from.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  256. Deuce

    Fine, so we change the 14th amendment, so 6 months or a year from now no more babies born of non-citizens are granted citizenship status. How does that solve the illegal immigrant problem? How does that get legal U.S. citizens in those jobs?

    There are many issues with immigration in this country, but I think that this would be an issue for down the road. First, let's remove the incentives for the illegals to come here in the first place. Target business owners that knowingly hire illegals and give them jail time...personally, I would love to watch these people get on the stand and try to claim they didn't know that the non-english speaking person that they hired to cut their grass for 2 dollars an hour was an illegal.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  257. kim smith , Dodge City, KS.

    There is absolutely nothing that can be done, or will be done. Illegals have been gaming our system longer than we can imagine, playing us for the suckers that we are and preying on our sympathies. The 14th amendment worked well when we were building our nation, it doesn't work so well when we are being invaded by using the birth canal. Let's face it, we are a complacent and lazy people unable and unwilling to defend our nation. We are getting what we deserve.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  258. Grider

    Immigrants come because its a country of wealth. Illegals come because of 3 things.. Employers will HIRE them. 2, There is a huge demand for drugs from our kiddies,, and 3 over 300K a year are IMPORTED for sex slavery by our very elite... oh yes..we talks so much sh..t but do nothing about cleaning up our act. The IRS and SSI cannot afford to lose the income generated by identity theft, the big companies do NOT want to pay you regular days wages so they hire cheap labor or send their jobs over seas.. People please... we shall never fix the problem until we clean up first.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  259. JP

    We have got to do something to stop this! The numbers that you have come up with are just staggering, when you think about this problem nation wide! This is a real problem that will probably just end up debated and re debated were losing more of our country every year, and no politician has the guts to do the right thing. BIG GOV. IS BROKE!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  260. Tony

    Being a son of an illegal immigrant this is easy, no changes are needed. My father did come here illegally and later I was born here. He later got his residency and has been a productive citizen to this country. I have also been productive serving 2 tours in Iraq. I have seen so many people who are born here and who are American but don't do there part for their for country. They are however ready to put all immigrants in the same boat. My father worked here illegally for 6 years before he was legal and in those 6 years he had taxes taken out and due to his legal status was not able to claim those taxes, but he never complained he believed in the American dream. He knew it would pay off for me and my sister. He always encourged me to join the Army because he loved this country, and was proud when I did. I think Americans have forgotten what America is because most Americans haven't sacrificed. Without my dad coming here illegally you wouldn't have myself defending this great country. I am not the only one like this. I know many soldiers that have similar stories about their parents. I am just saying open up your eyes and realize you can not put the same label on all of us.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  261. Kyle

    The majority of illegals are hard working and take no government money. They work horrible jobs that we won't do. All these cry babies about immigrants are probably not affected at all by them. Its just fear created by republicans. They don't get welfare or unemployment let them come and work and if they commit a crime they have to be sent back. More 'real' Americans commit crimes and are lazy and on welfare, but we can't kick them out. Illegals are used as scapegoats and its disgusting the hatred towards them.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  262. Kawser Ahmed

    At least one parent has to be in the US legally. If both are illegals, then the baby born should be illegal automatically and should not be granted Citizenship. No need to get emotional, it was the process they way the baby was born that was illegal.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  263. Mark

    The 14th Amendment was developed to give black slaves the right to become citizens and to receive the same rights and liberties all others shared at the time however, we are talking about an invasion force hopping the RIO Grande river to enter the United States illegally. Technically they should be considered enemy of the State and with such they would not fall under the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment also states Section 2 that you have to be male and 21 yrs of age to vote and today we see how that was amended. Point is under section 2 if an illegal participates in rebellion or other crime they are not entitled to these liberties. So invading a sovereign country and holding rallies in our cities I would think is an illegal act thus they have no rights even their off spring

    August 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  264. Darryl

    Why are there so many post saying "they can pay taxes like the rest of us"
    They DO pay taxes like all of us. There is no state income tax in Texas. Only sales Tax and Propriety Tax. So undocumented workers who buy anything or live here, whether rent or own, pay like everyone else.
    But they are not entitled to the same benefits. They do not get welfare.
    You must be a citizen to get welfare. Why is CNN not pointing this out? Does anyone even try to look up the facts? I guess hate is just so much easier. Blame the poor Mexican for all that is wrong with this country. That's the easy thing to do. But our problem might be a little more complex then that.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  265. Desert Dweller

    My kids are bored in school because the teacher has to spend extra time with non-English speaking students. I am a naturalized citizen and do not agree with citizenship for illegal alien babies. I had to pay $3400 to several doctors and the hospital for my son's birth last year. And that's the remainder after insurance paid the 80%. I work for a large financial institution, who is considered to have very good health insurance to its employees. My two older daughters were free when insurance was paying for 100% cost of births 5 years ago. Because of the illegal alien fleecing of hospitals in California and Arizona, the taxpayers and legitimate insurance holders are paying the price. Illegal aliens do not give the correct address and therefore the hospitals and doctors are left with a non-payment. Who pays for it? Taxpayers and insurance holders. Watch 20/20 stories and other articles about County hospitals that have shut down in the Southwest states because of illegal alien fleecing. Amend the 14th Amendment now!

    August 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  266. tomuch

    I believe that we need to amend the 14th and do so retroactively. If you are in the U.S. ilegally and have been here for 25 years you and your children and grandchildren will be deported to your original country of origin immediately.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  267. CATom

    I would say it needed ti be changed 20 years ago. I doubt if anyone in power now cares. Right now politicians are grabbing the last scraps off the table before the whole thing collapses.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  268. Matthias E

    Bush has taking American to lost land not promise land, Republican minority leader always condemn Obama when things is going wrong and they never show love to American because Black, Mexicans and other nationality want to benefit from Obama great gesture, he have forget this country belong to everybody.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  269. tricia

    Automatic citizenship should not be granted for "anyone" born in the US. Too many people are coming to the US and getting pregnant immediately just so they can stay here and get free assistance through medicaid, Aid to dependent children, WIC, etc..... It is sucking our system dry. Then the children attend school and expect to be taught in Spanish. We are left paying the tab. It must stop.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  270. Russ

    A neighbor friend of mine is a Border Patrol Supervisor in West Central FL. He has indicted to me, on more than one occassion, that Mexicans are using preganancy as a "tool" to become citizens. I'm not "picking" on Mexicans, it just so happens that they are the biggest offenders of our immigration laws. Young mexican girls get impregnated in Mexico and at about 8 1/2 months, they jump the border. Kind of makes ya want to scratch your head as to why our government continues to allow this? Americans are going to stop this if our government doesn't.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  271. Hillary Hopkinton, NH

    America is going to have to take responsibility for the Law that is has not enforced.

    If you are born here you are an American.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  272. David

    Agree with Benjamin C...if the point is to get rid of "outdated" laws then lets lose the 2nd Amendment as well while we're at it.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  273. Doug

    @Rob – Problem is, you have no more of an idea how many are here than anyone else, because there is no official count I've seen estimates as high as 30 million.

    And 3-4% of the population is alot when you are talking 11% unemployment mong people who were born here legally.

    Also, tell me, a 50 year old man born and raised in the US, and who has paid into Social Security my whole life, that social security is not going to be there for me when I retire, but it is OK to add up to 30 million illegals as citizens and give it to them now.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  274. Zack

    Make the parents citizens too- its not like they're the first uneducated immigrants to come here. Without birthright citizenship you would get generations of people living in the country with no incentive to assimilate culturally, little opportunity to escape poverty, and few civil rights in practice. This would certainly breed resentment and violence, which would lead to more repressive government . After all, if they can take away the 14th Amendment they can certainly try for the 13th as well.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  275. Will

    Careful. Changing the 14th ammendment his would apply to the children of Canadian and western/eastern European (read: white) parents that are here illegaly as well.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  276. John

    All the points mentioned by republicans are valid. But they forget one thing and that is illegal aliens do the work Americans don't want to do becuase it is underpaid. Illigal aliens are the ones putting up with receiving low wages and managing to survive with little money.If they decide to go back to their countries or all are deported, guess who is going to pick the fruits and vegetables from the fields or serve food on your table?I think all non-criminal illegal aliens should be granted amnesty and the ones that are crimial should be deported.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  277. John in Dallas

    The babies can stay, they are citizens. But not the parents. They chose to break the law. No rewards for them. They can choose to break up the family or not.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  278. Ruth League

    I think some white Americans are afraid of losing their plurality and becoming a minority. Is it that they fear the "new majority" would treat them as they have historically treated minorities? This is the 21st Century. It is high time for all Americans regardless of color, religion, gender or race to realize we are now a diverse society and before we implode and destroy everything we have, we better start working together to attack some of the truly grave issues that confront us ...permanent job loses, declining educational systems, fraudulent financial systems, corrupt and ignorant political leaders, declining middle class, destruction of planet earth, obesity and poor health, lax and lazy citizenry, porous borders, etc, etc. There is nothing wrong with the Constitution. There is no reason to change it. The problem lies with us Americans.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  279. Dale

    Fact people come to the United States just for this reason, to have a ANCHOR BABY’S because of the 14th amendment.

    It has been abused for years and more so now in the coming future because of,,, WORLD.. WIDE.. NEWS.. Lot of people that did not know about the 14th amendment throughout the world they know about it now, and will be coming here to have their anchor babies.
    The 14th Amendment was not in the first U.S. Constitution, It was adopted on July 9, 1868, to prevent Southern states from denying citizenship to former slaves and their children.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  280. aliousalam Florida

    Jack, when a european comes to America, there is seldom a question about their immigration status. When another group comes to the USA, we are all worked up.

    Let's not all become racist, blinded by our own bias. This country was born from immigration from Europe and the only people who could have stopped them were the indians.

    The only ones who can still complain about invaders are the Indians. And they would be complaining about the European invaders, not the others who just came or were forced here against their will.

    The same thing is happening how in South Africa. If you are white, you can easily emigrate to SA. But if you are someone of a different color, you would have a lot of problems.

    What is it about Whites that some of them always want to burn the bridge for anyone else other than their kind?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  281. Brian J

    The smart people, including those from The States, are immigrating to the next economic Super-powers: India, China, and Canada. Many of whom, dwarf us in size.

    We need all the immigrants we can attract; in any-way possible. I don't see the constitutional problem.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  282. BleacherBum

    Repealing this portion of the 14th Amendment will be create a feeding frenzy in the trial bar. What if one is illegal? Do we now get to litigate the legality? What if one is a citizen? What if both parents become legal? Immigration lawyers should be promoting this craziness. The bright line rule saves us hundreds of millions in litigation expenses.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  283. RfromChicago

    As the husband of a legal immigrant that has spent many thousands of dollars in the process to obtain legal residency for my wife, I am sicked by all these illegals comming into this country, stealing from American citizens with the help of our socialist govt, and then chanting they deserve the right to stay! Remove the bridges these people are using to leach off of our economy. Close our borders, kick out the illegals, remove/change the 14th ammendment. This can't last, our country is going broke and very soon we Americans will be crossingteh border into Canada to get away....

    Russ from Chicago

    August 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  284. John

    I'm not sure if I agree with this or not, but I am amused by the political right saying that the 14th amendment is not applicable in modern times. It's the same thing the left said about the 2nd amendment in their gun control arguments. The right screamed bloody murder about the sanctity of the constitution then....but what about now? Let's call it even and throw both out......

    August 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  285. Alex Duitsman

    Something does need to be done. I just don't trust our fearless leaders to mess with the constitution. Maybe one parent does need to be a citizen. Maybe if the parents are illegals call the Border Patrol when she is in labor. Deport them. Has to be a solution here somewhere. Where is the national guard? Let them patrol the border. Let them Drug dealers mess with a U.S. Soldier. They have policing training from the 2 wars they just came from. Don't Govs. control them? They do pay some taxes. The have to buy food, gas, clothes and other stuff. Maybe not income tax, but some. Hell, we all try and get out of that. I just wonder where all these" under the table jobs" are. Back in the good old days they were around, but now in 2010? But that's a whole different deal.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  286. Tallulah

    I feel that a certain political party uses angry rhetoric to instill fear and hatred of immigrants, illegal or otherwise. People are practically foaming at the mouth, spewing racist remarks even against our president. I am reminded of Germany in the 1930's. Krystallnacht, anyone?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  287. British Brian

    So, if an expatriate employee of British Airways or Siemens or Gucci were legally living in New York, and she had a baby during her stint here, the kid would not be entitled to US citizenship? Until this proposal passes the racially colorblind test, it stinks of anti-hispanic sentiment.

    Do right wing Americans really want to amend their consitution every time a wedge issue grabs their fancy? Shame.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  288. Nan

    We were all worked up about the immigration issue before the 2008 presidential election. People stormed the White House switchboard and it even shut down. But after the election? You hardly heard anything in the news or online about it anymore. It's just another heated debate being stirred up by the media prior to this election.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  289. Gerald

    Cafferty is an Irish last name, Jack? Maybe an ancestor who arrived by boat in New York during or after the Irish Potato Famine? You can thank the 14th Amendment that the children of that Irish or maybe Scottish ancestor were citizens. And that because of it, you're a citizen, Jack. Think about that.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  290. nathan miles

    dear jack.
    these "anchor babies" are just being born, to be used as political footballs, and illegal immigration tools. i have actually heard young mexican women gossiping about their friends having babies with men that they did not really like, for that one simple reason. congress should do something immediately, if not sooner.
    thank you jack, for doing what you do so very well, from myself and millions of other Americans whom can see this terrible situation worsening.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  291. Matthew

    In light of these unintended consequences and costs to taxpayers–including those who immigrate here legally–i feel that the question of whether the 14th should be amended needs to be revisited, debated. Question: Do our representatives have the cojones? (er, not a reference to Sarah)

    August 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  292. Scott

    Everyone knows this is a very touchy subject but you have to look at the facts. The largest turn out in the black community for a presidential election and Obama got 95% of the black vote. If those numbers were for a White candidate by white voters would cause a 24 hr a day racism discussions on every media outlet for the entire term of that White President.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  293. Jake

    You're crazy if you think Republicans will stop at the 14th amendment. The very next day..."alright what else in the constitution can we change?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  294. BeckFastPaws

    WHy is it that Conservatives are willing to embrace the 14th Amendment to eliminate anchor babies, but are willing to toss it aside when it comes to gay marriage?


    August 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  295. daniel

    I wonder how many of these people talking about changing the law can prove that their grand parents or great grand parents where here legally. There was plenty of illegal immigration of Europeans into the US, should we apply the law retroactively ?
    Changing the law may bring all kind of side effects that we don't even know. Better immigration law are necessary.
    Imagine, 60K childrens a year become illegal, they can not get education and then what... what is the way out for them.
    The state of Texas greatly benefit from cheap labour in all fronts, perhaps we should be willing to pay more for housing, produce and all the areas where illegals contribute, this way the companies will hire legals and we can be all happy... So, no increase in taxes but increase on the cost of living for sure!. i am for that. I am willing to pay more for everything as long as the people is legal and treated right. Are you ?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  296. Laura

    There would be no reason to change the 14th admentment if there were no jobs for them to take here. Why not enforce and strengthen the laws we already have instead of making new ones.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  297. ED

    NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!!!!!

    You do not change the United States Constitution to placate trendy current events.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  298. Grace

    . The disparity in the approval rating has less to do with race and more to do with economics and education. This shows a disparity between the two along this line. If you change the demographic from race to education and household income it would be more sensible approach people are more likely to think similarly if they have similar experiences and concerns. The divide that most impacts our opinions in this country Iis education and economics in my humble opinion.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  299. Jack McAllister

    Here is the classic Republican dichotomy:

    1. Fight like hell for for the unborn, power to the fetus
    To hell with a woman's right to control her body and her intimate decisions
    2. But for lving children.. whether they are American Citizens: take away benefits that provide for their medical care, education, day care for low income working mothers,,, all the things that should give a living child the stability and basis to get started in this world, forget it,,, let em fend for themselves,,,

    so yeah,, of course they don't want to do anything for natural born citizens from illegal immigrants,,, they don't want to do much for low income American Children, no matter what color they are

    But they will fight to the end for the fetus

    August 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  300. JR Lubbock

    Who’s really the problem? There are too many Texans (along with other US Citizens) who are more than willing to employ undocumented immigrants at self-serving, sub-standard wages. These same citizens neither document themselves as employers of these illegals, nor do they file properly according to federal and state income tax laws. Let’s go after these law-breaking citizens first and then see how much of the problem still exits after.

    Lubbock, TX

    August 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  301. steve rothacker

    repeal the 14th. we are being abused by illegals.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  302. Wert

    Absolutely! And, for that matter, we should start interpreting the entire Constitution based on original intent. This "living Constitution" idea is a bunch of crap. How would you like to sign a "living lease" on a piece of property?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:34 pm |