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Birthright Citizenship in the United States Essay


The issues of illegal immigration have been discussed for decades in the United States. The inflow of immigrants from all around the world is rather intense. According to the statistics, since the beginning of the 1990s, the rates of illegal immigration in the country grew steadily throughout the next decade; and by 2007, it has reached its peak when the approximate number of unauthorized immigrants comprised 12.2 million people (Krogstad and Passel par. 1).

The overall size of the immigrant population in the United States has reached over 42 million people in the second half of 2015 (Zeigler and Camarota par. 1). It goes without saying that such high rates of immigration produce a massive impact on all the spheres of social, economic, and political aspects of the life of the nation.

Logically, the questions as to the ways of handling the problem of illegal immigration in the most effective way have been discussed. Currently, the U. S. legislation automatically provides citizenship to all the individuals born on the territory of the country even if they are born to a family of undocumented immigrants (Eisgruber 54). This policy has been viewed as a factor preventing the illegal immigrants from being deported. As a result, the individuals and groups who are in favor of deportation as a way to slow down the inflow of the illegal population have raised a question concerning the banning of this policy.

The request is motivated by the argument that the 14th Amendment that grants automatic citizenship covers only the families of citizens (Ngai 2524). Currently, the opinions opposing and supporting the automatic citizenship are clashing.

As a solution to the dilemma, I propose that the individuals who request that the Supreme Court changes the interpretation of the 14th Amendment and ban the policy, turn their attention to the fact that having a child who is registered as a citizen of the USA does not prevent the undocumented immigrants from deportation. First of all, in order for the family of an American citizen to obtain green cards, the named individual is to be 21 years or older to petition for the relatives (NOLO par. 3).

Secondly, a child is viewed as a tie to the country only if the parents do not have criminal records; also, having a positive and ongoing employment history and a lengthy stay are reasons just as powerful as a baby to keep the undocumented individuals in the country. That way, banning automatic citizenship is not likely to make any differences on the deportation success.

Since Saint Leo University promotes Christian values and moral growth, the most fair way to address the problem following the University’s worldview would be to permit automatic citizenship to the children born in the USA but keep the government’s right to deport families with under-age children in case if the parents are criminals. In order to avoid further protests from the public, the population is to be thoroughly informed about the mechanisms according to which deportation works, and the role birthright citizenship plays in it. In my opinion, the deportation is to consider the history of the undocumented immigrants and such factors as the duration of stay, employment patterns, and behaviors and the primary determiners of whether or not the individuals should be deported.

Works Cited

Eisgruber, Chistopher L. “Birthright Citizenship and the Constitution.” N.Y.U. Law Review 72.54 (1997): 54-96. Print.

Krogstad, Jens Manuel and Jeffrey S. Passel. . 2015. Web.

Ngai, Mae M. “Birthright Citizenship and the Alien Citizen.” Fordham Law Review 75.5 (2007): 2521-2530. Print.

NOLO. 2016. Web.

Zeigler, Karen and Steven A. Camarota. . 2015. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 11). Birthright Citizenship in the United States. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/birthright-citizenship-in-the-united-states/

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"Birthright Citizenship in the United States." IvyPanda, 11 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/birthright-citizenship-in-the-united-states/.

1. IvyPanda. "Birthright Citizenship in the United States." September 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/birthright-citizenship-in-the-united-states/.


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IvyPanda. "Birthright Citizenship in the United States." September 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/birthright-citizenship-in-the-united-states/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Birthright Citizenship in the United States." September 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/birthright-citizenship-in-the-united-states/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Birthright Citizenship in the United States'. 11 September.

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