Question for the lawyers here: Anchor Babies


June 13, 2006, 11:09 PM
I read this article on World Net Daily ( about anchor babies, and the point that caught my eye is: Yet, that is not the case. Under closer scrutiny, we find the U.S. Supreme Court – long before it turned to activist decisions in the modern era – had ruled the 14th Amendment was, by no means, absolute on this point.

Here, in fact, is what the court ruled in the United States v. Wong Kim Ark case in 1898: "The fundamental principle of the common law with regard to English nationality was birth within the allegiance. … The principle embraced all persons born within the king's allegiance, and subject to his protection. Such allegiance and protection were mutual, and were not restricted to natural-born subjects and naturalized subjects, or to those who had taken an oath of allegiance; but were predicable of aliens in amity, so long as they were within the kingdom. Children, born in England, of such aliens, were therefore natural-born subjects. But the children, born within the realm, of foreign ambassadors, or the children of alien enemies, born during and within their hostile occupation of part of the king's dominions, were not natural-born subjects, because they were not born within the allegiance, the obedience, or the power, or, as would be said at this day, within the jurisdiction, of the king."

Now I'm no lawyer, so maybe that's why I can read this clear Supreme Court decision and conclude that under this case law, children born in this country of illegal-alien parents are not citizens of the United States.I'm no lawyer either, so I did a search for the decision of US vs. Wong Kim Ark and found this ( From the final paragraph of the decision, it looks to me that Joseph Farah is reading it wrong and children born here of aliens are indeed citizens.The evident intention, and the necessary effect, of the submission of this case to the decision of the court upon the facts agreed by the parties were to present for determination the single question stated at the beginning of this opinion, namely, whether a child born in the United States, of parent of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States. For the reasons above stated, this court is of opinion that the question must be answered in the affirmative.

Source: the question is, am I reading this correctly?

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June 13, 2006, 11:42 PM
Sindawe, sad as it is, I believe you're reading it correctly. IANAL in any case.


Don Gwinn
June 14, 2006, 12:04 AM
Looks very clear to me and I have to agree with you. However, this is off topic here.

Don Gwinn
June 15, 2006, 08:41 PM
We'll reopen this for now and see how it goes. Sindawe believes this issue is one of civil rights and will be debated in civil terms.
Prove him right, please.

another okie
June 16, 2006, 05:46 PM
Akhil Amar Reed, a professor of Constitutional law at Yale, once suggested that there was a way "around" the 14th Amendment, but I can't remember right now what it was. If you a search on his name you may come up with it. It's summer, and I'm too lazy to do it myself.

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