January 4th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

States deny citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

14 states are considering passing laws that would deny citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants in the United States.

Arizona - ever at the front of the immigration debate - could take the first step when it comes to the issue of "birthright citizenship."

Arizona lawmakers plan to introduce model legislation in Washington tomorrow that would force the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue.

Lawmakers from more than a dozen other states plan to be there too - that includes everywhere from other border states like Texas to Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

This all goes back to the 14th Amendment - which states that all persons "born or naturalized" in the United States are citizens of the U.S. The law was initially meant to give citizenship to freed slaves.

Those behind this new push say it wasn't meant to apply to children of foreigners. They say illegal immigrants and their children are draining taxpayer-funded services, and that they're attracting more illegal aliens to this country.

And they have a point... any of our states are drowning in budget deficits - estimated to top $140 billion in fiscal year 2012. They're making drastic cuts to all sorts of services - like education and health care, police forces, state workers, you name it...

Critics of an effort to end birthright citizenship say these attempts to take on the 14th Amendment could cost big bucks in legal challenges. They also say the issue is a federal one.

And we all know how serious the federal government is when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration.

Here’s my question to you: Should states deny citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

H. writes:
Arizona's proposal not to issue state birth certificates to children born of illegal aliens will do more to reduce the number of illegal aliens in the state than any previous law. Without a state-issued birth certificate the child won't be able to collect benefits in ANY state... Illegal aliens will no longer want their children to be born in Arizona and thus will not settle there.

Nate writes:
When we start bending or breaking our constitutionally-guaranteed rights because of fear, what do we have left? Shouldn't we be concentrating on improving the economic situation in Mexico and keeping folks from being able to enter the country, rather than changing our country's laws to address this problem? Also, where did the compassion of "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" go?

Sylvia in California writes:
Jack, It is no secret that many pregnant woman cross the border illegally to have their "anchor babies" born in the U.S. I applaud those states that are tired of paying for them and are saying "enough already"! It sickens me when the Democratic liberals try to paint this as a "racist" issue. I am a Latina and I find nothing racist about a country trying to get a hold of its borders.

Jenny in Nanuet, New York writes:
No! It is not the fault of the children that they were born here. America is their country. Employers should be punished for hiring people they know aren't here legally. Until then, people will continue coming here looking for work and babies will continue being born here. Don't blame the innocent children!

Nathan writes:
I am a legal immigrant. I stood in line, attended interviews, paid taxes and became part of society. I have never run a single red light. I have never broken any law. I came here legally, live here legally. It took me 15 years to go through the process. I am all for that. I say this to point out the unfairness of all this. This is spitting in the face of all those trying to get the process done legally. And 100% the illegals have incentive to come here because they can have anchor babies.

Paul in Hawaii writes:
So, Jack, If my pregnant wife and I were visiting your home, and she just happened to have the baby in your home, should you be forced to support MY kid? Providing him with food, clothing, shelter and health coverage until he turns 26?

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Rob in NC

    If they try to appeal this amendment, then NONE of us are legal citizens, other than the Native Americans who were here when the white folk killed them and took over. I agree this is a problem and a drain on our economy, but repealing this amendment is not the answer. Rob in NC

    January 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  2. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    So: After we punish the children for their parents' crime, what's the plan – deport them all? It would cost each American taxpayer about $500 apiece to do so. This is a question of human decency, and once again the GOP appears to have none.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  3. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I live in just north of Dallas Texas which is a border state. Our schools are packed with illegal alien children and we can not build schools fast enough or pay for enough teachers to staff them. These children when they grow up will produce more offspring that will also have to be schooled. Few of the parents of these children pay property and school taxes so other people must foot the bill for their illegal children's education. Meanwhile our own children get less attention at school because the classes are so large the teachers can not spend quality time with all students due to the language barrier and their attention is spent teaching English to the illegal children. Further more, these children will then grow up to compete for the few jobs available to the children legally born to legal parents in this country. The irony behind it all is that an election is coming up in 2 years and politicians are not going to put time on an issue like this when there is a health care bill they must appear to be doing something about which will never happen.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  4. Paul Austin,Texas

    Unkonw Jack I think we are in a very said state of affairs if any state denies citzienship of anyone born in this country. One fact is the USA is all these children know and way turn them away. If we did in the past many great people would not have been americans. It is not only Mexico but all the people of other lands that came here had children which became a US citizen. Should we tell all the peoples that came here after World War 2 to go back to where they came I think not and I think this whole situation needs to be considered with full understanding as to just where our country wants to go. My answer is a loud No that states should not have a right to deny citizenship for anyone born on our soil.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  5. Jim

    The problem is, immigration law is a mish-mash of social and legal customs and laws. Until businesses, who hire cheap labor, and free social programs for those seeking a better life are blended and vetted for solid immigration law with eventual paths to citizenship for some and deportation of those found to be unfit, takes place, we will have a disastrous immigration problem which costs dearly.
    Jim Los Angeles

    January 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  6. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    Yes, definitelly.
    Allowing citizenship to any child born on American soil is a law that makes absolutely no sense.
    It drives a permanent wedge between the illegal parents and the new baby "American". Those parents will continue to live in America illegally, and I think you realize by now what chaos that causes over time.
    Bravo to those States with the wisdom to try to amend the most ridiculous law in America.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  7. Steve, Clifton, VA

    I have for years believed that the US Constitution was crafted and written for the well being and welfare of citizens of the United States and that 14Th Amendment was enacted to ensure that African American slaves were not omitted from this right and privilege. I don't believe that our nations founding fathers envisioned having illegal immigrants coming to this country for the sole purpose of giving birth to a child so that they could inherit the rights and privileges of a legal U.S citizen. When their motives to come to this country is to undermine or exploit our Constitution, then the States and/or the Federal Government should take steps to put and end to that behavior or practice. We takes oathes to protect and defend our Constitution from enemies from within and outside of our borders....

    January 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  8. Dick B

    This should be a referendum issue. Let the people of the states involved vote it up or down. But don't let it become a political issue used by one party or the other to rile up their base.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  9. Joel Wischkaemper

    It is sad. The Mexican Government and the States of Mexico set us up to look crummy, and they play this mess like a honky tonk piano in a wide open bar. But anyone who understand the 14th Amendment says... children born to Visitors, Diplomats and aliens are not provided citizenship..... understand that this mess is the biggest fraud anyone has played on the US in a very long time.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  10. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    The 14th Amendment is a model of clarity. It specifically and unequivocally states that anyone born in the U.S. is a citizen. It also states that no state can make a law that abridges that citizenship. Yes, Amendment was written to address a different set of circumstances, but so was the 2nd Amendment ("well regulated Militia"). The only way to change the 14th Amendment would be another Constitutional Amendment. In the current political environment, changing the Constitution is impossible.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  11. Patricia LaClair

    In order for children of illegal immigrants to gain citizenship, their parents should have to apply first and become legal citizens. Proof of a good paying job to support their family and some form of community service work should be a requirement for citizenship. Maybe, this would slow the mass exodus of illegal immigrants who want only to use our free taxpayer-funded services.

    Syracuse, NY

    January 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  12. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It may sound cold and harsh, but yes they should. Unfortunately, “The sins of the father are visited on the generations…” That means that if I broke into someone’s house and got caught, I doubt the judge would let my kids keep the loot or stay in the victim’s home. And I also doubt that that judge would let me go just because of my dependants’ needing me.

    We have enough of our own problems and in spite of saving the world from all sorts of bad endings in the last century, no one is rushing to our aid now. It’s more like the vultures are circling and just waiting to peck our eyes out.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  13. Ben from Boston


    An amendment to the Constitution is part of the Constitution. To my mind the Constitution says that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States. So that is that! Its not a federal issue and its not a state issue, it is a Constitutional issue,

    January 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  14. steve - virginia beach

    Suppose a woman had a baby while in your home illegally. That made the baby your family member, you have to let it live with you, and you have to provide whatever support it's parents don't provide. When it turns 18, you have to let all of the baby's relatives move in with you and they all get to vote on how you run your household. How can anyone honestly believe that 3/4 of our states ratified a Constitutional ammendment allowing foriegners to commit this same fraudulent scam on our country?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  15. Kat in Tx

    Yes, it's a start.

    No matter what people say, all illegals are not all here to work.
    The numbers of women that have children and live off the welfare benfits that the children born in the US receive.

    We have to stop this scam.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  16. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    It is an appealing incentive for undocumented immigrants to have their children born at US taxpayers expense automatically become American citizens and then claim that their family will be heartlessly torn apart when the illegal parents are threatened with deportation. Denying automatic citizenship for children born in the US without the parents first going through the legal immigration process is the best way to put order in place of chaos while maintaining sovereignty for both Mexico and the United States.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  17. Singh

    This is a country of immigrants. Let's not forget the Native Americans. But at the same time laws are laws, and if someone is illegal they are not obeying the law. With that in mind, why should the child of an illegal immigrant be punished for the crime of his or her father?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  18. Carl


    ABSOLUTELY, it's about time. If our country is to survive, we need to stop the free hand outs, then the illegal alien invasion will stop. End 2 stupid wars, stop all foreign aid. Can anyone tell me, what sense it makes for our once great country to continue to give free entitlements to these illegal alien invaders, continue foreign aid, and then turn around and borrow money from China so we can continue this vicious cycle. Lets stop all the free hand outs, and start looking out for the legal American citizens for a great change.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  19. Elliot Stein

    This is an incentive for the people to come even if they are released and deported. Take it away and maybe they wont come so quickly,

    January 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  20. Scott Stodden

    Absolutley States Should Deny Citizenship To Children Born From Illegal Immigrants Because We're All Missing The Main Point When It Comes To The Issue Of Immigration And The Main Issue Is This Jack Their Illegal! This Is Costing The Country Millions If Not Billions Of Dollars And Its Not Fair To The People Who Are Going Through The Proper Steps In Becoming A Legal Citizen! Since The Goverment Claims That There Are To Many Illegals In The United States We Have To Grant Some Kind Of Amnesty To All The Illegals Here And Guard Our Borders This Is The Only Way To Solve Illegal Immigration!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

    What a great idea....Let's punish innocent children for being born to parents who entered America illegally. They didn't choose their fate, they had no input in the circumstance surrounding their birth. But we have a history of unfair treatment of children in the USA. We interred Japanese Children, born to US CITIZENS, for years during WWII.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  22. Karl in Mich

    Jack, the question isn’t should the states…, but rather, CAN the states… and the simple answer is no. While Mr. Boehner is reading the Constitution to the House, he should also be reading it to the50 state legislatures and explaining to them what they can and can’t do. We are all descendents of ancestors born of foreigners. Now, all of a sudden, the 14th Amendment means something different. It was to free the slaves. Well if it was meant to do that, it has been misused every since to make anyone born here a citizen without complaints. I’d call that precedence.

    The reason Washington isn’t doing its job is because we let them get away with it. We fools re-elect the same buffoons time after time without term limits or accountability except to their corporate sponsors. Now, after 230 years, we have gotten so far off course that some want to rewrite the Constitution defining citizenship and in other cases even establish a national religion, or at least limit what is acceptable as a religion. I don’t think our forefathers had any of this in mind as the Spirit of America.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  23. Nancy, Tennessee

    Illegal immigrants who are planning a family might make a run for the border to get back to Mexico if we denied citizenship to their newborns.
    They would not want their children to be like the "Man Without a Country". Being born here without citizenship brings up all kinds of questions that are very serious.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  24. fred ferguson

    immagration in arizona is fine.but united states needs to find a way to make everone feel at home. meaning, try to be a U S citizen.the right way.feel safe at your home country!!!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  25. landaddy001

    The 14th amendment of the US constitution: Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. By definition the citizens of other nations are subjects of their home countries jurisdiction. There for, citizenship should have never been conferred on their children. It’s pretty simple to me. I not saying we should remove citizenship from those people born in our country of illegal immigrants have already received it. I am saying that the practice should end. Legal immigration to the United States is the law of the land and it should be enforced and respected.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  26. patty blue

    Absolutely not!
    Why would we deliberately separate families ?
    We were all immigrants that founded this country and took it from it's true citizens, the Native Americans.
    We are United as human beings and there is no stopping that. Peace and blessings.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  27. Buck Nelson

    This is a good start. These illegal parents wouldn't of had kids here in the first place if they weren't illegal! I agree that the 14th Amendment protects the citizenship of naturalized citizens, but really, if their parents could have become legal and come here FAIRLY, then this wouldn't even be an issue.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  28. Terry Algranati

    I agree with passing the law. There are people who wait years to come to this country "legally" and for some reason, we still reward people who's parents have entered illegitimately. It doesn't make sense.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  29. Guglielmo Gonzalez

    I support states deying citizenship to children of unathorized immigrants and please make the law retroactive to 1492. I want my country back!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  30. Ronald Cushman

    Are you kidding me? No one that is here legally should not become a citizen just because a child is born here. If they want to get here legally and do it, ok, but leave your forign flag at home and learn the language. Period, the end...

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  31. David Corbin

    That this is even a debate shows just how far the pendulum has swung. Once one breaks the law (by entering illegally), s/he is entitled to nothing other than first aide. The trip back home should be paid for by the nation from which they came.
    I know, I know....I'm heartless.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  32. Jim

    Yes. Amen

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  33. Jerry Driskell

    What part of "illegal" do the liberals not understand? Illegal = law breaker. Those that break the law loose some of their rights. Absolutely no one should loose their rights "if they are here leagally".
    Illegal is illegal. Get over it.
    Jerry in GA

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  34. JIM BIRT

    Deny children of illegal immigrants, born in the US, automatic citizenship via the 14th Amendment.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  35. Jim Kirkpatrick

    No. It's a federal question. Therefore, states should pressure the Congress regarding revising the 14th amendment.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  36. Annie, Atlanta

    As the granddaughter of immigrants, I can’t say what’s right or wrong in this situation. But I have a problem with children blamed for draining funds in this culture of corruption, including gross mismanagement of funds, from D.C. down to local levels, costing way more than every child in this country. And we pay these crooks big salaries plus perks to do this to us! And how much do we spend policing the world, as if we have the right? (Where is that $9 billion in cash sent to Iraq? Did anyone ever check Cheney’s pockets?)

    Why, whenever we have an opportunity to look at real causes for budget deficits, from Wall Street’s illegal gambling to corruption to wars, is it usually “illegals,” minorities, the disabled, and union workers, including our teachers, who get demonized? Even more so during hard economic times. It’s dishonest. Why are we so blind to what our politicians do as long as we agree with their ideology? They’re doing this to us, not children. It makes me want to cry for us because it seems so hopeless.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  37. Rick

    We need to secure our borders and worry about what to do with people that are already here after the border is secure.Children born here should not get citizenship if their parents are illegal,and why are we paying their medical bills.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  38. Sherwood, New Mexico

    Children born in the United States should have the right to citizenship, regardless of where their parents were born or how they got here. If not, then we should go back all the way to 1900 and DENY/REVOKE citizenship to every child whose parents came here illegally, and you can bet we are going to take in some high profile political figures when we do this. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  39. Debbie Holland

    I WISH Birthright Citizenship would become a thing of the past, but I don't think it will ever happen.

    It seems to me, however, to be absolutely absurd, that a child born to illegal alien's should become United States Citizen's based only on the fact, that their parents had their feet on American soil, while they were here committing a crime! (Crossing the border, overstaying visa's, whatever.) What's more, the parents have to keep committing crimes to stay here. False Social Security numbers, Driver's License Information etc.

    Maybe one day, they'll amend the Birthright Citizenship where it only extends to the offspring of persons here in the U.S legally.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  40. Carl

    My answer to the question is yes. There should be no reward at all for being an illegal alien.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  41. Wendy


    People do not realize that illegal immigrants pay FAR more in taxes than they cost in public services. They pay sales taxes, property taxes, as well as Social Security (they'll never be able to collect) and income taxes (they'll never see a refund either).

    In addition, illegal immigrants pay for goods and services that fuel local and international economics.

    I don't understand why these facts never make it into the "debate" on illegal immigration.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  42. John McKinney

    I beleive that the states are right to deny citizenship to "anchor babies". Not only are tax dollars being wasted, but the fact that they don't have to learn English to be a citizen forces Americans to accomadate them. Jobs, healthcare, government aid, and schooling is being taken up by illegal immigration.

    Not only should all states take up a similar law but should make it harder for all immigrants to get into the country legally and illegally. Americans First is what I say. As long as a single American is unemployed unskilled immigrants should not be allowed in.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  43. steve culley

    Damn right they should deny citezenship. One thing that doesn't get discussed besides costs, taxes and such is that immigration is driving the U.S. population through the roof. I'm from the green state, Oregon, where we have have given up propert rights to save the environment. We buy new light bulbs and recycle to save the world. All futile if we grow forever.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

    Under no circumstances should the children of illegal immigrants be given United States citizenship. All that would do is increase even more the Mexican baby-making machines.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  45. Martin Wielgus

    Denying citizenship to these children is an incredible form of cruelty, something that could only be created by the fundamentalist right wing in this country. We need to provide citizenship not only to those born here, but to those who were not born here but were brought here by their criminal parents. Dealing with the parents is a different issue, but should be handled with some charity, rather than the venom of the right.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  46. Carol

    Yes, yes, yes! I live in the border city of El Paso. Women who live in Juarez come to El Paso to have their babies and then return to live their lives in Mexico. They cross the bridges whenever their children need medical care. The child also has access to an education and many commute to school. This is an expense US taxpayers should not have to shoulder.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  47. matthew joseph

    There is no way a child should be allowed usa citizenship if they are born from illegals, we see this problem all over south florida,down here nothing is kept a secret south americans come here everyday and marry people for papers they pay small fees to freinds for the false marriages and then they have there children here cause they no the children will be granted automatic citizenship , and no one is doing anything about it in south florida. America is a mess.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  48. Jordan

    Absolutely, the parents shouldn't have been here in the first place without achieving citizenship. If they aren't going to obtain citizenship and pay taxes why should we give rights to and allow public education to their children. Public Education in America is something we pay for with our taxes.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  49. Abou

    No. The Constitution is quite clear on this. If you don't want people who are born in the US from illegal immigrants to be citizens, then amend the Constitution. It's funny that those who cite the Constitution as the sacred document don't want to adhere to it unless it's reflects what they want. SMH

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  50. ashley

    Its really not fair. My parents are illegal. Me and my 3 sibilings have never gone to mexico because we hate it. My two brothers are marines my sister is in the navy and I'm a RN. I really don't think its fair its not our fault for our parents mistakes. They did what they did and its not out fault. We work we pay taxes we are not taking anything from anyone we are serving this country and saving lives

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  51. odysseus

    when your city turns into a third world ghetto, like our former 'all-american' city of greeley colorado has, and gangs, anti-american racism, crime and intimidation are the new way of life, you'll want them gone as much as I do. Unfortunately by then it's too late.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  52. Greg4422

    States don't grant citizenship rights. You are not a citizen of a state... you are a resident. Citizenship is granted by the United States of America and is purely within federal authority.

    It sicken me that you racist ass white people are attacking the rights of Hispanic Citizens born on US soil. Nowhere in the 14th Amendment does it say it applies only to african americans. The Congress could have easily placed those words in the 14th amendment... but they choose these words instead...read and weap you racist son of of bitch:

    "Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  53. Eric

    No, simple as that. Granted the parents performed an illegal act, but that should not carry over to innocent children. Being denied the rights of public education and other state funded programs is potentially very costly. Children should not be punished but rather educated. Educated individuals are more beneficial to society as a whole.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  54. terryh

    yes we need to stRt holding mexico accountable for all the billions there people are costing us and imagine all the money thats back to mexico every year.no wander were broke.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  55. Milli

    There should be more than the 14 states dealing with this issue. The 14th Amendment should be ammended to remove this clause – it has outlived its usefullness and be replaced with appropriate legislation. In the meantime, outlaw the auto citizenship to all illegals and forse them to get birth rights to their children in their own country. If the federal lawmakers cannot get their act together, get the individual states to wake up and do it!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  56. Jim

    Jack, absolutely yes. In addition, they should get no funding for education or medical expenses either. Enough is enough!


    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  57. Steve D

    There you go again Jack spewing that racist hate......I'm sure thats what the bleeding hearts that think anyone can just walk into this country and say here I am support me think. Don't get me wrong I love LEGAL immigrants and have even employed them. The difference being we are a nation of laws and starting a life in a new country by breaking a law is just not the way to go about it. I want an easy legal way to come to this country that involves speaking fluid english as part of the deal and some kind of visible means of support so that those of us already here and paying our fair share don't have to eat the expense you create!!!!!

    Steve D
    New Windsor Maryland

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  58. Rich McKinney, Texas

    There are two schools (pun intended) of thought to this problem. The first is if you do not educate these children then what becomes of them? The other is how can we afford to educated children of people who pay no school taxes? The answer to both is "We can't". We need to get those in this country illegally legal and on the tax dole and then turn off the tap at the border before it is too late. We can do this by mandating and enforcing E-Verify for all employers in America and heavily and I mean HEAVILY fine employers that do hire illegal aliens.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  59. Jimmy Kuroiwa


    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  60. Jenny, Texas

    Illegal immigrants should not have their children in a place where they dont belong to. However since it happens, the children should not become citizens of the USA. They should be subject to take the test like anyone else. I agree that it is a drain on everyones tax dollars because now we have to school them feed them all while their parents make cash on the side and do not pay taxes. I am tired of this, Mexico needs to provide money to border states to have a bus that goes back and forth across the border taking their people back to Mexico to give birth.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  61. Eric E

    Illegal immigrants and their children draining tax dollars? As far as any decent human being should be concerned, that is and should remain seen as a moot point until our officials stop directing trillions of our tax dollars to unjust "wars" and criminal bankers. For now, children born to illegal immigrants are not here unlawfully–how about we focus on the murder, fraud and other crimes being committed WITH our dollar before we go changing laws to PROTECT those dollars from those in need.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  62. Ann Ross

    Absolutely! Those entering the country illegally should not be recognized as having the right to citizenship for their offspring. That's why many come here-quickly have a baby and then get all the benefits Americans get. I am so sickj and tired of illegals having so many rights! Our own kids are hurt by cuts in education.
    Las Cruces,
    New Mexico

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  63. Frank Cape Coral, FL

    I think you would also have to included the children born to vacationers too, no one here illegally or here on a temporary basis, should have the privilege of becoming a citizen of U.S. it would tend to cheapen the status of being a citizen,

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  64. Mitch from Calif

    Yes, but with "moon beam" now Govenor of my state I seriously doubt that is going to happen. Democrats need all the voters they can get.....legal and illegal.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  65. Robert


    States should NOT try to reinterprate the constituion! I live in California and we have many problems like many other states. However, whenever there is an issue in regards to the econony, it is always the immigrants that are targeted. WE need to as a country be fiscally responsible to the things that got us to where we are such as TARP, WARS and the Wallstreet Mess!


    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  66. Larry Jernigan

    Yes, we should definitely clarify the 14th Amendment to make it clear children born in this country of an illegal alien (anyone located in this country without following legal processes and procedures) are not automatically granted US citizenship. Additionally, these families should be immediately deported to their country of residence. We are not the keeper of the world's dependents.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  67. Eric E

    Illegal immigrants and their children draining tax dollars? As far as any decent human being should be concerned, that is and should remain seen as a moot point until our officials stop directing trillions of our tax dollars to unjust "wars" and criminal bankers. For now, children born to illegal immigrants are not here unlawfully–how about we focus on the murder, fraud and other crimes being committed WITH our dollar before we go changing laws to PROTECT those dollars from those in need.

    Cottage Grove, OR

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  68. Rick, Toronto

    This is similar to Australia where a child born from Immigrants in Australia (illegal or not) cannot be given citizenship.

    I think in this situation illegal immigration is never good and denying citizenship to newborns will help curb the incentive to come over to usa illegally.

    It works in Australia , i think usa would benefit

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  69. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, here's my answer in 2 languages - YES and SI. The fact is there's a process in place to legally enter America. If people from other lands choose to ignore the process and the rules, by granting their offspring citizenship once they are here illegally, make the whole process a joke. And I live in a state (Arizona), that's just loaded with such off spring.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  70. chris

    Innocent children of illegal aliens should not suffer for their parents sins. Give them the chance to thrive,like every other"American",and live free in "the land of the free".

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  71. Beverly Corbett

    No child born in this country should be a legal citizen unless their parents are legal U.S. Citizens and never should any illegals bring their related village of relatives over with them. All illegals should never be allowed to bring relatives here unless they go through the appropriate citizenship entries and be able to speak and understand English and pass the citizenship test with loyalty to the United States.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  72. RC-Ohio

    Children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S. should not be penalized for their parents problem. Absolutely Not! Don't forget, many of the illegal immigrants pay sales taxes on the products they purchase while living here in the U.S. with money they earn here in the U.S. from employers who prosper from their labors here in the U.S. ..... so why penalize the children? ...... I personally know of a few people who are from countries other than Mexico that have two generations here in the U.S. .... are we going to penalize them also?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  73. Sally Ewald

    children born of illegal immigrants should NOT have the right to US
    citizenship. My grandpartents were immigrants and they did it the right way thourgh many hardships, pennyless,learning a new language which they did gladly and and no hand outs. Just hard working proud Americans.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  74. Phil

    I'd like to say I am as liberal as the next guy, but somewhere, sometime we have got to stop the blood from flowing out of our nation. As the nation has changed, so has CNN.. and its time for us to start taking care of our own.
    I'd love the street down from me to be fixed, but it has been voted out of the budget. Its time for us to really think about ourselves and our HEALTHCARE for a change.
    If your legal, your legal.... If your not.. Your illegal.. what is so hard about that to understand?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  75. Anderson


    No birth right because when the illegal parents get deported we have to become responsible for thier children, America has enough kids in the system. Why can't someone as direct and intelligent as you be in office.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  76. Chuck Collett

    The answer is yes (although the issue is more complex than a simple "yes" or "no"). The more relevant question is whether the Supreme Court should uphold the clear intent of the 14th Amendment, which was not intended for this situation. Illegal is illegal. Two wrongs don't make a right and if you were born here illegally, go home, move to the back of the line and come here legally. We will welcome you with open arms.

    Sun City Center, Florida

    January 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  77. Dj Alexx

    We are so worried about the immigrants from the south....what about those that come from Europe and Asia. If we are going to discriminate why not do it across the line. What is this country coming to?>

    January 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  78. Bruce

    Fruit of the poisoned tree!! Nuff said.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  79. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Isn't this a Constitutional issue? Shouldn't the Tea Baggers be shouting at the top of their lungs about violating the Constitution? Or are the Tea Baggers Constitutional issues only pick and choose to their liking?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  80. marykayblair

    Yes children of illegal immigrants should be considered illegal also. If the federal government had made this a law many years ago we wouldn't have all of these illegals in our country. The only real reson they are here is to have children that are considered a born citzen so they can milk our government resourses dry and be able to stay in this country and that is exactly what is happening now. Even the native americans knew to make a law saying that if an indian married somone that wasn't an indian that one day there would be thousands of people wanting benefits like free collage tution that now if your ancestors wasn't on the indian rolls you don't qualify.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  81. Paul F. Connolly

    Regardless of our emotions on the issue of illegal immigration, it IS
    a federal issue. Righty so many people are upset about the seemingly never ending stream of illegal immigrants and the costs to
    our society. Maybe the Federal government will hear the people and
    truly guard our borders....... Nah !

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |

    ABSOLUTELY! The children of illegals are illegals and should be deported along with their parents. It is time to SEAL the borders,isn't?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  83. Alma

    America is made up of all illegal immigrants. Ask the Indians whose land our forefathers stole when they came from England. So yes all chikdren born in America should be citizens.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  84. Citizen in the Waste

    Yes they should, the US needs to stop being PC and start being smart. With the money saved from the drain that illegals put on the economy we could be improving our failing infrastructure or schools.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  85. tikirick

    Absolutly, unducumented alien is just the politically correct name for illiegal immegrants. As we all know "politically correct" is the term used by people to legitimize a situation no politician wants to fix. My mother in law had to become a U.S. citizen before she was even allowed to leave her native country even two years of marrying a U.S. citizen.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  86. Linda Patterson

    To no avial, I have been writing my Congrssman for years with this proposal. Do we always have to wait for an economic castrophe to get a wake up call? Quit government needs to quit punishing the wrong people for the sins of others. Illegals need to take up their problems and fight for freedom with their homelands instead of coming here illegally and stealing from our social and economic system.

    An American Citizen

    January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  87. Nancy

    Professor Forrest MacDonald, a Jefferson Lecturer of the National Endowment for Humanities:
    “The Fourteenth Amendment was never constitutionally ratified.”

    Ten of the eleven Confederate States were not allowed to seat representatives in 1867. Oregon reported voting irregularities but Congress accepted the vote.
    These are just two examples of basic problems with the 14th Amendment.

    Also, the target was insuring voting rights for freed slaves. Illegal aliens are not slaves freed in 1865.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  88. Bob Coffman

    Children of Illegal immigrants should not become US citizens.
    They and their parents should be deported ASAP!!!!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  89. Gardner Brannon

    States should deny citizenship to children born of illegal immigtants! Absolutely!! Illegal means just that-illegal!! Let everyone wanting to become a citizen of the U.S. follow the proper and legal procedure!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  90. MIke in TX

    Your description of the Constitution is pretty clear Jack. Where is the question? If anyone is born here they are citizens. We may not like the financial impacts of the immigration problem but changing a basic, very clear, Constitution right in a court vs. in Congress with full approval by the States process is not the answer. There are solutions. Just think over and above the taxes most immigrants already pay without receiving benefits of finding legal ways for them to work would make things like insurance available to them. Some creative solutions from the folks we pay to find them would do far more than waste years basically complaining about the problem. They might be careful what they ask for...the Supreme Court in recent times hasn't done to well at pleasing folks.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  91. Janet M.

    Absolutely-perhaps this would slow the wave of people coming in and having children just so they can stay here. We are rapidly running out of money–let them go to Brazil or China as they are the growing economies–California is a testament to just letting things ride–now they are in a hole so deep they will need a General Motors type bailout which will cost us again.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  92. Micha Hensley

    This country is built on the contribution of immigrants, legal or not. We should give children of illegals citizenship rights, but only them. Parents who entered this country illegally should not benefit from such an amnesty. BUT WE HAVE TO SIMPLIFY THE INTEGRATION PROCESS FOR ALL!
    PS: Do you think Geronimo would consider us legal?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  93. gail

    Yes they should deny citizenship to children born to Illegal immigrants. illegal immigrants should not be to begin with

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  94. Glen Griffith

    Dear Jack, I think it should only be children born from now on, not children who have been in this country for over five years. Really, we shouldn't be sending back college students who have been educated at the expense of the American public. As the world populates increasingly, this would be a good rule to initiate ASAP. And while we are thinking of new rules, shouldn't we stop giving tax breaks for extra children? And, shouldn't we be asking business for money for our schools? They shouldn't be allowed to import educated workers and ignore our own children. What do you think?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  95. Bill

    States should deny citizenship to children and partents born illegally by illegal aliens. Just because somone can sneak across the border and get pregnant dosent give them the right to stay here free and clear.

    Mexico and the US need to fix the problems and corruption in Mexico, not bring them here.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  96. Danielle J

    Absolutley!!! I'm from Florida and more than ever are illegals draining our resources and using their many children as excuses for themselves to stay in our country. We give them free healthcare, free food, and free housing just because they have children. It is absolutley one of the many things wrong with our government that will really help improve our citizens way of life.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  97. Bob in Washington

    Get back to the 14th Amendment as it was planned. Why reward children of Illegals. Too many are coming across just to get OUR rights which are NOT and should not be entitled to them. Of course THEY would not understand that since they Illegals don't understand the term ILLEGAL. If the law was broken in the first place why give out rewards. i

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  98. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hi Jack. If I commit a crime in Texas and flee to another state, I'll get sent back to Texas for trial. Or if I go to another country, they'll send me back to the U.S. This needs to apply to these people, including their illegal children.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  99. Jonnie VonKamp

    ABSOLUTELY !! Why give a reward for illegal behavior. We give enough.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  100. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    All the fanfare on the Fourth of July, especially "Coming to America" is hypocrisy, Jack. The other 364 days of the year we all return to our bigoted selves.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  101. Allison Dunn

    Of course this should not be allowed, especially since CNN is also reporting that obesity in Mexico has tripled over the past 30 years. Oh goody! Just think what that will cost us!!!

    Allison Dunn
    Anchorage, Alaska

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  102. sal in maryland

    The answer to your question – YES. Children born to parents here illegally should not be granted US citizenship. This issues only arises as congress has failed to adhear to our own laws.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  103. Rob in Wisconsin

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! It is no secret who the 14th amendment was intended to include as citizens in the US. Just like it is no secret what the conversations on the floor of the Congress included regarding the fact that this question about whether or not it would pertain to foreigners or aliens coming to the US illegally had already been asked and answered by that congress. Quite simply they answered NO! This is most certainly NOT a question for the courts, and it certainly is not a question that needs to be Re-addressed by the President or any member of yet another congress. If the bleeding heart liberal open borders idiots need it explained then let them did up the congressional transcripts from when it was passed!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  104. jeff hoyt

    A person that commits a crime should not be able to benefit from it. I really do not want to keep paying for child support for children that are not mine.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  105. Cecy

    Children of illegal immigrants should NOT be given automatic citizenship. Do you know of any other country that does that? Anchor babies are just perpetuating the problem. As a citizen of a border state, I can tell you it is a HUGE problem, costing billions of dollars of LEGAL citizen's tax money.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  106. Eddie

    As a law student, I have learned that states do not have the power to regulate immigration policies, like for example take away the citizenship of people born in this country. As a human being, I find it offensive that a country founded by immigrants now wants to criminalize babies who, through no fault of their own, are born here. Those babies are as American as anyone who is born from citizen parents and we should protect their rights and their future, not make them the scapegoats of more complex problems.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  107. Bob in Boynton Beach, Florida

    Yes! We cannot afford not to. The amendment was written to apply to former slaves. It should not apply to chlldren born here whose parents were here illegaly.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  108. Robert Brooks

    I am totally in agreement with the States proposal to restrict Children of illegal immigrants becoming Citizens of the United States.
    They have no right to cross boarders of the USA to give birth to children
    and should not be rewarded as such.
    I am not against immigration but I strongly believe that it should be done in a legal way that is fair to everyone who wishes to come this country.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  109. becky - Las Vegas

    Yes, Jack, states/the federal government should deny full citizenship to the children of TWO illegal parents. The right of citizenship as defined in the Constitution should be changed. It was originally for those at the time just after the revolutionary war. It is time to remove it as many ILLEGAL immigrants come here just to have the "anchor baby" which prevents or at least stalls them from being deported. LEGAL immigrants can be naturalized and then the children of those LEGAL immigrants (born after naturalization) would be citizens. If a child is born to a LEGAL immigrant while that person is seeking naturalization, he/she should be afforded some "fast track" to citizenship including all rights of a citizen including being able to become president.

    Go Arizona and may the rest of the nation follow suit.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  110. Larry

    End the bleeding of our resources and stop the bleeding hearts. No more free rides on the taxpayers backs. End birthright citizenship.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  111. Steven

    States should deny citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants. The law was created with the goal to help protect children from being born into slavery, not help illegal immigrants bypass the immigration process. I understand that the state of affairs in other countries isn't as good as it in America and that the immigration process is a hard and long one, but in no way does that give a person the right to, in a sense, cut to the front of the line. If this policy continues, the burden on state governments will be too much for them to handle and the benefits that immigrants come to the United States to take advantage of might not be around for long.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  112. Geoffrey Nwogu

    When a child born in this country is denied citizenship while his birth certificate reads USA, he/she will be forced into a country where he can never claim as his/her birth place.
    When this child grows up and finds out he/she was robbed of his/her right to citizenship, gets angry becomes an enemy of the children and grand children of the proponents of this new law, who will blame them?
    USA will be creating a new breed of terrerorists by enacting such law.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  113. jim - georgia

    Absolutely – they should be denied citizenship and their parents should be deported. Here's a chance for our gutless lawmakers to do something to save billions without spending. The teachers at my child's school are having to take 10 furlough days because the system has no money to pay them. It's time to crack down on all illegals feeding from the trough.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  114. Jim Blevins

    Clearly, it will take a constitutional amendment to change the 14 amendment. Anything less will be thrown out even by an ultra-conservative Supreme Court. I seriously doubt that there are enough xenophobes to get such an amendment passed. How about solving the basic problems - too many people and too much poverty.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    January 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  115. Jon Walthour

    No state could enact such a law because it would not stand judicial challenge, but let's say one did. Where would it end? What about grand children? Would they be stripped of their citizenship as well? Aren't they just illegal as their parents by such a standard? What about great-grandchildren? Where would it end? What about solving stressed resources by ensuring that everyone participates in them and everyone pays for them (for example, single payer health care) rather than by seeking to legally discriminate against one racial ethnic group in our society.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  116. Isaiah Gavine

    The children of illegal immigrants should not be allowed citizenship because the true character of the family has not been made known to the society of the American People. It is important for the American people to have the ability to rule out such status to ward off potential threats to the economy and constitutional freedom of the people of America. Not to be mean, but until the family has a proven track record with the American people then we can never be sure of what they are teaching their children and how those teachings can threaten America as a society.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  117. Theodres

    Noway!!!what is all about the American dream, anybody from anywhere can make it. But you are born hear you worry about your immigration status not the American dream.

    It is shame shame shame!!


    January 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  118. Matthew (Los Angeles)

    State citizenship and United States citizenship are not the same concept. However, it is a very good that states are making an issue out of birthright citizenship. The 1898 Supreme Court case which has essentially established the Birthright Citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants by its precedent needs to be overturned, because it is in direct opposition to the constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1866– from which much of the 14th Amendment derived– which stated that the children of those subject to a foreign power could not become US citizens. The very loose majority decision in that case has been exploited for years. Birthright citizenship seems to have been intended to apply to, at the most, the children of legal immigrants who are non-citizens.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  119. Arizona Rick


    This "birthrite" is placing an unbearable financial burden on most boder states and is also compounding the problem of maintaining the family unit.

    Will the federal government pick-up the tab? And who pays for that??

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  120. Rich

    No they should not be granted citizenship. They are putting so much burden on all of our systems that they can not help our citizens that need it. The Health care system, school systems and the judicial systems. Something needs to be done about it quickly

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  121. Stephen, Huntington Beach, CA

    They don't deserve to be citizens. The parents are criminals and should be treated as such. No free medical, no welfare the parents and child(ren) get get deported back. Would it be possible to strap a ankle bracelet on these people and have some sort of GPS tracking?

    After the waste of money on the fence, it would have been much cheaper to mine the boarded.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  122. Elaine Goodman

    Slaves came into America against their will. Illegal aliens come into the country because they want to, and it is their will to circumvent the laws of the land. Regardless of reason, no one should be able to take advantage of a law not meant for them, nor try to force a country to accept them because it was their parents who brought them here. If your parents are illegal, than you and your parents should be required to leave. Illegal immigrants should not be treated better than those who follow the law and apply for citizen – then wait there turn. We are overburdened with debt and illegals who eventually due to their bilingual exposure take the "good" jobs natural born citizens should have.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  123. Jon in NY

    No Jack.

    The way these states are going about it is all wrong. They are taking things to the extreme right, while those who back these extreme measures ensure that the federal government is so tied up that immigration reform may never happen in this country.

    Plus, if people feel that it is ok to deny constitutional rights (Where's the Tea Party outrage against this?) to those born on our soil, what's next? How soon before people are will to deny rights to other people. Your parents were born in another country we don't like, you've got no rights. We don't like your political views, you've got no rights.

    When is it too much. When are people going to stand up to these people and say enough is enough!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  124. geoffrey from pa

    Children of illegal immigrants should not be granted citizenship. But the real issue is border security. If the federal gov't utilized the military to it's full capacity here instead of Japan, South korea, Germany, Iraq, and every other unappreciative part of the world, the flow of people, guns, money,and drugs could be curtailed to a trickle. All these issues for the most part would become mute. Then the status those here illegal could be subject to legitimate debate. On the other hand if I was (and am) a decent person, I would do everything in my power, including extreme violence, to get my family out of Mexico and any of the other discusting poverty ridden corrupt South American Countries, here to the promise land.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  125. Dale

    New Mexico

    Hi jack I am from Las Cruces New Mexico I know of several Mexican women from Mexico, they came to the United States to pick green chilies and other crops.

    They deliberately came here pregnant it is their intent to have a baby in the United States just for this reason the DREAM bill.

    Knowing if it passes it will make it easier for her to stay in the United States.

    A lot of these women are on tax payer’s assistance such as medical assistance for her and the baby, and food assistance for the baby, and the other children she had in United States.
    It is not just the ones here in Las Cruces New Mexico; there are hundreds of thousands of them all over the United States, illegally draining tax payer’s dollars.

    When the US census takers were in the neighborhood they were not counted, because they would go and hide or would not answer the door.

    And one other thing if the DREAM bill passes there will be a lot of brothers and sisters and relatives flooding over here take advantage of the DREAM bill taking advantage of the tax payer’s welfare programs.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  126. Dave

    I am willing to spend a few thousand to deport them, its cheaper than keeping them.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  127. Patty

    As a child of legal immigrants,(parents came here by sponsors) enough is enough, I'm sorry but if you come here for the fact that you want your child to be American then come into this country legally... Many do. Those who do not out..........We American's have no job's but everyday more and more illegals get hires by companies......Walmart...Kmart...Lowes Home Depot..I'm out of work for 3 year's...but anyone coming off the boat gets a job right off the dock..No other Country does this....they need to rename the country to united states of schmucks.... our forefathers are rolling over and over in their graves

    January 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  128. Terry

    First of all the law should be amended. Those borned in this country by illegal immigrants are illegals also. The child would become a citizen when their parents become citizens or when they reach 18 and would like to become a citizen.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  129. Jim

    The genius of the US Constitution is that is grants and expands people's rights and liberties. The only two amendments that limited people's rights were prohibition and only two terms for the president.

    While limiting the number of times a person could serve as president was not earth shaking, prohibition resulted in crime and problems that still are with us today.

    Yes, the states are strapped for money but you do not save money by limiting certain people's rights. If this happens, we will create a two tiered (or more) layer of citizenship that will cause no end of problems.
    Any money saved by saying only certain people are citizens will be more than offset by problems we cannot even begin to imagine.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  130. Chris, IL

    While the issue is obviously delicate, in the end, I think this is necessary. If a nation cannot control its citizenship, then it is no nation at all. We, the citizens of the United States, have the right to define what our citizenship is and to whom we want to grant it. Proponents want to support this because they believe it will help people. However, our ability to help people around the world depends on the stability and strength of our own system. We should not be put in a position where our system is destroyed or even weakened. It would be, in the long run, completely counterproductive to the goal of making the world a better place. As to citizenship, a far better system might be one where automatic citizenship is only granted to people with at least one biological parent that is already an American citizen.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  131. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I think it is morally bankrupt to deny a child citizenship due to their parents illegal immigration status and those who support doing so need to bow down on their knees and pray forgiveness. This is no more than the axis of evil.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  132. David L

    How would you explain to other Federal CRIMINALS as these people are Federal criminals Why they are locked up for there crimes and these people from other countries are walking the streets free to do as they please and others are locked up where is the justice in that these people should be DEPORTED with their kids and come back the way all TRUE immigrants are supposed to Drives me NUTS how this bunch in Wash Distict of Criminals do things

    January 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  133. Claire

    These illegal immigrants know how to abuse the system. They know that by giving birth to more American citizen children, they can have more support from the government (e.g. food stamps, etc). They deliver their babies in our hospitals without paying a single dime; and we, taxpayers, foot the bill. Since they do not limit the number of their children, unlike us, who raise our own without depending on the government, their children pack our schools. Only children of parents who are legally here in the U.S. should be given U.S. citizenship.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  134. Dennis from Memphis

    It's ridiculous that a person's location of birth creates citizenship of that location. A child should receive the citizenship of their parents. Hindsight is 20-20. It's time this issue receives proper review and consideration of the Supreme court.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  135. Marie Gardner

    There is no difference between children of illegal immigrants and the cohorts of a person that commits a crime. They are all breaking the law and accessories to the crime! None of them should be awarded a prize! Citizenship must be obtained through the legal process. It is not something to be given away.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  136. david seattle

    why does the u.s. keep allowing people to overstay their visa then help them bring money worhsiping relatives who continue same 3rd world culture... why wont the immigrants take loans and go back to where they are from and help solve problems so we dont have to waste time volunteering elsewhere while thier ruling class comes to take our homes and drive up the rent and say " survival of the fittest" seems hippocritical... we should give back the statute of liberty.. they are the ones who tried to missinterpret u.s. immigration policy and we suffer for it... they should kick out the parents for using loopholes to stay and breed more 3rd world welfare recipients who worship money

    January 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  137. Vicky


    Absolutely, enough is enough with illegal immigration.


    January 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  138. Larry

    No to birthright citizenship for illegals. It was written in our constitutuon to be exploited like this.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  139. Dave Powell

    Of course, the states should deny citizenship, education and health care to the children born of illegal aliens.

    Why are we any different from other countries?

    It is not a lack of compassion or anything else—it was the parents that placed these children in this position.

    It is time that the elected officials stand behind its citizens instead of behind what they perceive, will gain them favor down the road.

    I have a brilliant idea…

    Let’s Vote on it!

    Oh and while we have the voting machines out let us have the right to vote for pay raises for Congress and Senate…and lets , while we are at it, vote on term limits.

    I must be having a lucid dream.

    Dave Powell
    Lake Worth, Florida

    January 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  140. Sheila Lindsay

    I am a Canadian. It never ceases to amaze me how your motto is "bring me your tired, your hungry, your poor", but you don't really mean it. How do you think that your country was created? People came from all over the world to come live the "American dream" but you don't really want them any more. How can you deny someone who was born in your country the full rights and privileges of all American citizens? This is morally wrong.

    Kitchener Ontario

    January 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  141. don911

    Absolutely, every illegal, and child of illegals, should be denied birth place citizenship. In addition, the U.S. and States should learn from Costa Rica, and file civil suits against each and every illegal to recover a minimum of $100.00 (U.S.) a day for each and every day these folks and families were and are in the U.S. illegally; further, States should be collecting all costs related to welfare, medicade, food stamps, birthing and education of each child born. Illegals and their children are essentially thieves who have robbed States and taxpayers of billions, in benefits unjustly received. Any properties illegals have accumulated in the U.S. should be seized to offset some of the costs incurred by States and taxpayers.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  142. kym

    If the parents are not citizens then the children should not be citizens.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  143. Geo KS

    I believe that it's totally right to deny citizenship to children of illegals. It totally encourages immigrant to give birth if the U.S takes care of these children. Seems harsh, however we have every state cutting jobs and help to the needy because of issue like this. I think that by denying citizenship hopefully it might decrease or atlease have illegal immigrant think harder on having children or even comming to the U.S.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  144. Pied

    Jack, states can neither grant nor deny US citizenship to anyone. That's up to the US government. The Supreme Court needs to decide whether or not the 14th Amendment applies to the children of illegal immigrants; the states are filing their suits to force that decision. It's a valid issue, since no other nation in the world grants such citizenship.


    January 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  145. sami

    Considering the state of this country, what makes you think the children wanna stay here in the first place?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  146. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Guess where I'm heading now?

    We've all got a far better chance today of winning a big lottery 1 in 176 million than ever achieving "The American Dream".

    January 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  147. maria

    Just as 2 wrongs don't make a right, 2 ILLEGALS DON'T MAKE A LEGAL!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  148. Jack


    We can no longer afford this misinterpretation or misapplication of the 14th amendment. At minimum a moritorium should be imposed. The savings would have a major impact on our growing state and federal debt.

    Jack, Arizona

    January 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  149. Harry H. Snyder III

    I really don't see what the big conundrum is. The parents should not be here,(hence the label "illegal") so they should be treated legally as if they are not here. If they are not here, neither are their children.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  150. Lois Y.

    This kind of legislation should die a very quick death and never come back. Can you imagine the whole new government department we would need to decide who is legal? Second, how would you like congress messing with who is legal and who is not every few years? We do not need more government regulation at a time when we are already in a severe deficit situation.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  151. Jose

    Although this is the country of the land of the free, there needs to be a some sort of balance with accordance to the U.S. Constitution. The economy and population were different at the time. An act needs to be done in order to ensure a balance and decrease our budget deficits within our states. Unfortunately the 14th Amendment should be amended in order to help our states get back on there feet economically. If this isnt done there wont be anything to offer to our incoming immigrants in the future. Lets not forget that this country was established by immigrants but now it is necessary to have a population control.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  152. Hilda Roberts

    Answer: NO!
    As much as one can understand the reason women are crossing the border simply to insure that their children are American Citizens, it is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
    Why? Because of the thousands who have waited years to become LEGAL citizens. Because the country is drowning in debt caused in no small part by the countless billions that are spent on these illegals. AND – my bible tells me to 'obey those who have rule over you.' The rule is: Come in LEGALLY.

    Hilda Roberts, Hendersonville, NC

    January 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  153. Ken from Minneapolis

    My family came here in 1625, I wish all of you born since would go back to where you came from...really, does that make sense? There are a lot of people who are just concrete thinkers. My children are grown, so why do my taxes have to go to schools? In my mind it is simple, they are the future and the country needs it. When it comes to children, charity and mercy are at the forefront. The amendment does not refer to anyone's color. Those children can be taken in and become future citizens that give back to the country. And they need to be shown the ideals this country stands for, not the fair-weather ideals some here espouse.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  154. Pat

    Hi Jack,
    I dot not believe some of the comments from some of the people responding to this question. It has never been about immagration of foreigners to this country, the problem is ILLEGAL imagration to this country. Do whats right and you are rewarded to this great country and all it's benifits. Do wrong and neither you OR your relatives are rewarded with any thing.
    The people that these illegals are hurting the most, are the people that are doing the right thing and waiting there turn to enter this great land LEGALLY.
    I don't know about you, but when I throw a party at my house, I expect my guests to come in the front door. Not over my back fence.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  155. Pat

    While the 14th Amendment, as written, was intended to grant automatic citizenship to former slaves, it has been applied to every person born on US soil since its ratification. It means what it says, irrespective of the history behind it. The language is very clear.

    Citizenship is by definition a federal issue, so the states do not have the power to establish laws for citizenship. If any of them actually pass citizenship laws, they will be struck down in the courts. If the People want to change the method by which citizenship is determined, they will have to amend the Constitution.

    Warwick, RI

    January 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  156. Bob-ARIZONA

    Lazy people will always seek out the easiest way to survive....and America is handing it to them on a silver platter. Free healthcare, welfare, etc......all paid for by me! Enough is enough. We're going very much in debt trying to be nice to all the ILLEGAL immigrants who come into this country uninvited.......or illegally. Anything we can do to stop this idocracy.......or even slow it down is greatly appreciated by me......and the majority of U. S. Citizens! I hope this is one more step that takes us in the right direction, and keeps children of ILLEGAL aliens from becoming citizens of our country. And......it's not just the Mexicans!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  157. Alvah Brown

    This is a no brainer unless you are a politician. If you are not a citizen of this country then how can your offspring be considered a citizen unless you're a "bleeding heart liberal (progressive)" looking for votes. It's time our government woke up and addressed this problem. Anchor babies our bleeding our economy and do nothing except make more babies, bring in relatives and bankrupt the states.
    Al Brown-Gorham, NH

    January 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  158. lynner no dak

    Come in legally , not Illegally. Stop rewarding illegal behavior with abundant benefits.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  159. millie and rene

    If the new congress is all about cutting spending.....this looks like a good place to start. If the parents are already "illegal", it seems it should follow that we should not have to pay for their children.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  160. noreen salter

    Americans only can see one side of everything, what about the americans born in canada or any other country but they would be screaming if they couldnt have citizenship of the country they were born in. The states needs to get out of the past and move on and stop blaming others for their problems. One person was right when they said americans only know how to cry and weine about everything. Get your heads out of the sand and end the wars you started and keep your money in your country for your own ppl. It's ok for your ppl to work and take jobs from other ppl in other countries.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  161. Lilliam Mas

    Yes, we should not continue to give citizenship to children of illegals. As a naturalized citizen that waited patiently for my turn to come to the U.S., I think we should stop this free ride for so many. We are encouraging more and more illegals to come over, have as many children as they want since they all get so many free things. Actually free for them but paid by many of us that do not agree with this law. That includes given birth in our hospitals without paying a dime. Going home with a U.S. citizen baby and a walfare check paid by others. Only in America this continue to happen!!
    I have yet to hear them saying thank you for everything we give them.
    The more we give, the more they expect. We are broke and need to change our laws in a hurry. Hopefully our Fed. Gov. will do something right in the near future for the sake of the real honest and thankful U.S. citizens.
    Lakeland, Florida

    January 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  162. Norma

    Absolutely!!! It's about time all the states denied citizenship to the children of illegals. They are draining the economy of every state to which illegals run to to give birth, especially Texas and California. No wonder California is in such a mess financially. Also, why should we spend our education money to educate the children of people who are breaking the law every single day?

    I recall reading that in border towns in Texas, the school districts send buses to pick up children for school who were born in the US but live in Mexico with their parents.

    Incidentally, my parents and I came to thiscountry legally and I am now a citizen as were my parents. We followed all the rules and went through all the hoops. Why should someone be rewarded for breaking the law?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  163. Jose

    I agree with the states. I came to the U.S. illegally in the early 80’s when I was a child with my parents. One was a U.S. citizen and the other a resident alien. It was a long and difficult process, and today I am a U.S. citizen. I earned, as many before and after me, the right to be here through the process set in place. I know of many parents who have done this and stuck around for these benefits. I am very grateful for the opportunities that our great nation has afforded me. I am active duty service member with 19 years of service and have done so proudly. And plan to continue my service to our country hopefully in politics, but not once did I or my parents use the welfare programs. If they want their children be U.S. citizens then they better become citizens or legal residents. NO FREEBIES!! If you don’t like, leave the same way you came. Call me a hypocrite, I don’t care. I serve the U.S. citizens of the great nation, NOT illegal’s.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  164. portia in KY

    A big Yes for me. Illegal immigrants and their families are the one draining America's resources. They don't pay taxes and they dont even have a plan on how they will live. I work in healthcare and I've encountered a lot of illegal immigrant that have enjoyed free healthcare. They were never treated differently. they were taken care of just as how we will take care of the queen of England (with dignity and respect). But, if they dont pay taxes, why would we pay for their healthcare? If they are born by illegal immigrant parents, they should be considered illegal. a horse begets a horse. and an illegal immigrant begets an illegal immigrant.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  165. sarah

    Being born on US soil to someone that is not a citizen of US should not give you citizens birthrights. Good for those people in 14 states that are standing up for the citizens of the United States. This has just gotten total out of hand and we must take care of our own children that are true citizens. The 14th admendment has been hijacked by foreign nationals from all over the world....There are children that do not even live here, just born here that have US citizenship just because their mothers came here to give birth for that very reason. Do we look stupid to the rest of the world or what?????

    January 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  166. Terry Algranati-Lodi, NJ

    If I rob a bank, is it OK for my kids to keep the money?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  167. Spads

    Hard choices. I keep hearing about hard choices that must be made because our nation is going broke. This is a hard choice, so quit crying and make it. Gee, they may have to go back to Mexico and work in a General Motors plant. Boo Hoo.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  168. Superman

    Yes, of course! Children should be born the nationality of their parents. If an American couple is vacationing in Europe and the wife has a child, does that make the child not American?!?!?! No, it doesn't. It's absurd that we give "anchor babies" citizenship just because the mother illegally made it into the country!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  169. Bob Hayes

    They should not qualify for citizenship. All should be deported and the large number the Americn peopla have allowed to come in is not an excuse.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  170. Kevin C Texas

    When is enough enough! For once, I would like to see the politicians in Washington do whats best for the people who are citizens of this country (the people who voted them in office both Democrats and Republicans).

    January 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  171. Jerry - Fountain CO

    Doesn't matter what I think – the states can't do it. BUT they can perhaps put enough pressure on Congress to evaluate the issue.
    As our planet becomes ever more populated I think countries must become pickier about who they grant citizenship/legal residency to. And why not choose the best & brightest? Citizenship is a privilege – not a right.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  172. Joe citizen

    Tell me Jack... is there any other country in the world that gives away citizenship? Or can you name any other country that welcomes illegal immigrants and foots the bill to support them? The USA has turned into more than a "melting pot". It's turned into an immigrant land fill.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  173. GK

    Yes, they should be denied benifits. Maybe they will stop coming here. The taxpayers simply can't afford it and they take away from the citizens that need benifits.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  174. dale

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

    i think that pretty much states it......

    January 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  175. Dave, Jacksonville

    Take away the citizenship of all those not born in this country as well. Oh by the way John McCain was born in Panama.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  176. Bradley, Portland, OR

    Some people don't understand that the poem on the Statue of Liberty is is NOT part of the Constitution, is not our "motto," and holds no force of law. It's a poem, and that's all.

    Other people don't understand that we're talking about changing the citizenship law going forward, and we're not talking about taking away citizenship from people who aren't of American Indian descent.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  177. Shayla Priest

    YES, YES, YES..

    Illegal immigrants are definitely draining our economy especially our federal funded programs, which leaves many American citizens left in the dark and waiting for months to receive benefits. If we allow children of illegal immigrants to become citizens, then we will certainly be putting our country in jeopardy. Many illegal immigrants are working and making money “under the table”, and then sending most of that back to their home towns/countries; therefore, adding to our deficit and reducing the taxes that should/could be paid to our states and federal government. There have been many job cuts, and they have undeniably been made in the wrong places. We are setting our children up for failure, which is very sad!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  178. aperea

    Yes! We are a nation of laws that includes the 14 Amendment! From our historic inception, we are a great Country based upon the follow of Immigrants! Arizona law is nothing more than blatant stealth racists attempt to target Hispanics! However, we must require our elective Federal Representatives to reform our laws as well as enforce the sovereignty and safety of borders! Further, a special amendment need to be added to the reform law that other Countries that allow illegal migration need to be held fiscally responsible for the cost incurred for the welfare of its citizens that are here illegally. This seems both reasonable and fair!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  179. Pat, Wyoming

    Yes, Jack, we should deny all these illegals citizenship, by their very nature. The illegal parents own the guilt. What they want is for Americans to bundle the whole family together and confer citizenship.

    The Mexican government, and also I want to definitely add, the illegal, greedy Amercan employers, are all sitting there waiting for this government to enfold these children, and then their parents, in our big generous arms.

    There are other aliens in this country who are here legally, and it is insulting and hurtful to them to be shoved aside for the illegals.

    Let the illegal parents, employers and the Mexican government assume guilt for this situation which they are trying to place on the American government.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  180. Joseph Macko

    If these illegals want their children to be citizen they need to become citizens themselves first. Sneaking accross the boarder to have babbies to give their children US citenship is wrong. No other country rewards it illegals this way. US citizenship should not be a wordwide prize to children if their pregnant mothers can sneak over the boarder! That is not being mean to children. There is a legal citizenship process, use it.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  181. Ted

    Why pay for a cow when they get the milk for free...............

    January 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  182. Joe, Pa.

    When is it ever right to reward bad behavior? We must remove ALL incentives to illegal imigration. If these children are denied the rights of citizenship they will survive if they choose to remain in the USA. There are many thousands of other people living here without various benefits of citizenship. Denying their citizenship will remove one of the main incentives for illigal immigration. There is no need to deport these children, as the Federal Gov. can easily create a seperate catagory for them similar to the "green card" program.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  183. Jessie Staley

    So some want to punish children because their parents broke a law. That is not fair! These kids go to school here, know our culture and some have jobs. This would be cruel but I'm not surprised, too many hispanics some are thinking, well to bad, TOO many Europeans, thought the Native American when they took over this country.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  184. Linda P.

    Illegal Immigrants are just that, ILLEGAL. They, however, are not stupid. They know that they can come to the U.S., have a child, and get paid to stay ! Our Health, Education, and Welfare system was suppose to be for American citizens. But, have a white, non hispanic, or non Asian, person try to utilize this system ! We are left out in the cold to suffer, while the Illegal's benefit from the taxes WE have paid for decades.
    If Immigrants choose to come here , work (legally), pay taxes, and take responsibility for their own children, then they should be welcomed with open arms. Unfortunately, too many, come for the Free Ride our system gives them. The flood gates have opened and now the consequences are being suffered.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  185. steve - virginia beach

    Birthright citizenship for illegal aliens followed by chain immigration for all of the babies relatives is an effective way to take over our country without firing a shot. Which other country allows this or are we the only ones crazy enough to allow it?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  186. Thom Richer

    I find this to be very appropriate for citizenship to any country. At least one parent should be a citizen of the country in which a child is born. I am sure this is a practiced law in many countries of the world and the U.S. would be wise to enact this requirement as soon as possible.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  187. Judy Wimberly

    I live in Houston, Texas and I cannot tell you how many illegal immigrants we see each and every day. Absolutely, Mr. Cafferty. Each state and the U.S. Federal Government should deny birthright citizenship to illegal immigrants. In addition, each U. S. citizen and all U. S. employers should no longer be allowed to hire illegal immigrants in the United States of America under any circumstance. Doing so will STOP the encourgment of illegal immigrants from crossing the U. S. borders in hopes of pursing employment, and, it would give jobs back to Americans of all ages, to include citizens over 55 who have no retirement, the homeless and many of our veterans and soldiers returning home.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  188. Lin

    Legal immigration needs to precede any citizenship claims and the benefits there of. We cannot sustain illegal immigrants who expect all of the rights and benefits of legal citizens.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm |