Opposition to “birthright citizenship” in the U.S. has flamed anew in recent weeks. Politico lists more than half of the 17-member Republican presidential field as favoring an end or curtailment of the policy.
It is embodied in the 14th Amendment, passed by Congress following the Civil War and ratified by states in 1868 to recognize the citizenship of former slaves. It says anyone born or naturalized in the United States is a citizen.
Opponents say the policy is a magnet for illegal immigration, while supporters say it’s a basic tenet of American life. Which side do you favor?
Congress has sought to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to confer birthright citizenship only if at least one parent is a U.S. citizen or national, a lawful permanent resident or in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Americans can no longer afford to allow children to become citizens when their parents are not here legally.
— Karen Schoenbucher, Fort Worth
Citizenship should only be given to anyone born to an American citizen. Everyone else should go through the normal procedures.
— Carolyn Doshi, Aledo
The 14th Amendment was intended to correct a wrong.
That time has passed. Birthright citizenship is now being used by people from all over the globe as a mechanism to gain access to the U.S.
People are offended by the term anchor babies. What else would you call them?
— Troy Worthy, Hurst
Birthright citizenship is one of the great rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
It is a key factor in creating the melting pot/mosaic that is the United States of America.
Birthright citizenship should not — must not — be changed.
Historically, immigration and multi-generational assimilation of immigrants is our greatest strength.
— Paul R. Schattman, Arlington
Mexico has been abusing this privilege for 50 years or more, and now China and possibly other countries are doing the same.
This is just one change that must be made in efforts to correct the present immigration system.
— Dorothy Giles, Edgecliff Village
I can’t understand any American considering his citizenship so lightly that he is willing to dilute our share of Americanism by favoring such a privilege for the progeny of those who came illegally.
Our main hope is that the “new” ones will appreciate the U.S. rather than want to make it more like their failed homelands.
— Monte Swatzell, Cleburne
The visa process could be changed so that women in their last trimester would not be allowed to enter the country or would have to return to their country before they reach their last trimester.
For those who enter the country without permission and give birth, that child could receive the same status as a child of a diplomatic staffer, subject to recall by their country of origin or expulsion by ours.
— Gerald Treber, Fort Worth
A newborn should have the citizenship of the country of the mother.
— Deborah Fleischmann, Fort Worth
We have thousands of foreign nationals who fly, drive or walk across our borders daily just to give birth, along with the enormous number of births daily by immigrants here illegally.
This practice has cost American taxpayers untold trillions of dollars.
— Douglas Moore, Fort Worth
I don’t believe birthright citizenship should be completely abolished; there should be stipulations.
The birthright should apply only to the children of immigrants who came illegally but have lived here for at least six months to a year, worked, contributed to the economy, paid taxes and have a clean criminal history.
— Lavonia Messick, Fort Worth
This only encourages anyone from another country to come here to have a baby.
— Beverly Hindman, Burleson
The 14th Amendment does not define people by their ethnicity, religion, language or even shared history, and no principle of our country expresses American exceptionalism and optimism more fully.
— Patrick Jenkins, Arlington
Birthright citizenship in 2015 does not mean the same thing it did in 1868.
Those here illegally deserve no rights, save that of common human decency. That doesn’t include citizenship for their children.
They should all be deported and get in the line that allows them to come back the right way. They will be warmly welcomed because that’s what Americans do.
— Ralph M. Gill, Gruene
It’s easy to get angry over anchor babies. However, it’s not the child’s fault their parents want a better life.
Our ancestors did not come for the freebies, they came for the freedom.
There’s plenty of room in America for people who want to build a better life.
If we want America to be great again, we don’t need to waste money building a fence or deporting illegals. We just need to eliminate all the welfare programs that keep people from realizing their full potential.
— Ray Evans, Arlington
Our border will never be 100 percent secure, but we should work to get as close to 100 percent as reasonably possible. The elimination of birthright citizenship will help.
— Alan Wolfskill, Fort Worth
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