“Not all of the critics of birthright citizenship are xenophobes or hysterics. Nevertheless, the attack on it is ignoble, based on a canard that women are streaming into the United States to bear ‘anchor babies’ who will secure their own — and, with luck, their parents’ — residence in this country. The reality is that conferring citizenship on any child born in the United States — regardless of the immigration status of its parents — is an important affirmation that being an American doesn’t depend on bloodlines…
Birthright citizenship is an emblem of equality and inclusion. Many other countries confer citizenship on the basis of bloodlines, what the law calls jus sanguinis. That makes sense when nationality is conceived of primarily in terms of ancestry or tribe or race or ethnicity. But in America, a nation of immigrants, citizenship is defined differently. That principle was established when the 14th Amendment was adopted, and it should not be tinkered with today in an effort to keep out unwanted immigrants. Indeed, the decision to grant citizenship to everyone born on U.S. soil was made in part so that members of particular minority groups would not be required to win the favor of the majority to claim the privileges of American citizenship.
Birthright citizenship provides a clear standard that sweeps away questions about whether someone has the proper ethnicity or antecedents to be an American. There are too many examples in history of people being victimized because of who their parents were. There is no good reason to add to them.”Oct. 26, 2014