We wrote about efforts by U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia to change the law last year.
But a new effort has gained steam recently since S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham waded into the controversy. It’s quite a move for the Republican Senator who has long worked with Democrats in search of a compromise on immigration reform.
The newest research on the "birthright citizenship" debate by the Pew Hispanic Center estimates 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were the offspring of unauthorized immigrants.
In editorial by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the writers argued that the United State simply needs to enforce the 14th Amendment's plain language. They say the second clause of the 14th Amendment (emphasis added below) straightforwardly denies birthright citizenship to newborns of illegal immigrants:
"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."Pew found that illegal immigrants comprise slightly more than four percent of the adult population of the U.S., but because they are relatively young and have high birthrates, their children make up a much larger share of both the newborn population (eight percent) and the child population (7 percent of those younger than age 18) in this country.
The Center for Immigration Studies took a look at the Pew’s findings. The enforcement advocacy group found that not only was the U.S. border porous for adult illegal immigrants, but also for young illegal immigrants.
“Mentioned, but not stressed, in the media coverage of the Pew study is one fact: there are 1.1 million foreign-born children of illegal alien parents. They are all 17 or younger. The strong implication is that almost all of them are in illegal status,” David North wrote for the Center.
North said most probably entered as toddlers without inspection along with their parents. Others may have come on tourist visas that expired.
"These 1.1 million children are a quiet proof of the laxity of our border controls," he said.