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Birthright citizenship looks like it’s here to stay

Wed, Sep 9 4:24 PM

It would take a Constitutional Amendment to lose birthright citizenship.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's bold call to end birthright citizenship has certainly brought the issue of immigration reform to the forefront of the political agenda in the upcoming election. Many of his Republican counterparts agree that immigration policies should at least be more strict. But defenders of birthright citizenship are quick to point to the language of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which awards citizenship to any person born on American territory.

"Conservatives should reject Trump's nativist siren song and reaffirm the legal and policy vitality of one of the Republican Party's greatest achievements: the 14th Amendment," David Rivkin and John Yoo wrote for the Los Angeles Times. 

Cornell University Law School professor Stephen Yale-Loehr thinks that the law will be on the books (as it reads now) for the foreseeable future.

"Some people believe that they could simply pass a statue to end birthright citizenship without having to amend the Constitution, but I think that most legal scholars believe that a constitutional amendment is required," he told Rebecca Kaplan of CBS News.

He and other scholars argue that by removing the opportunity for children of undocumented immigrants to become citizens, it becomes far less likely that they will assimilate to America at all because they will have few, if any, ties to the country. Without an amendment to the Constitution, birthright citizenship is here to stay.

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