Birthright Citizenship

Birthright Citizenship Denial by Texas Officials Is Unconstitutional

And just plain mean-spiritedly stupid and wrong, too.


Cliff 1066/FLICKR

Today, the Washington Post has a great editorial, "Texas's war on birthright babies," excoriating officials in the Texas vital records office and their political enablers for denying birth certificates to children who are clearly born within the boundaries of the Lone Star State. As the Post's editorial board notes:

In an act of stunning official arrogance, the state has been refusing to issue birth certificates to increasing numbers of Texas-born children whose parents are undocumented immigrants. Without birth certificates, the children face barriers to being enrolled in day care and school, receiving Medicaid benefits — even being baptized.

The children, who so far number in the hundreds and possibly the thousands, are U.S. citizens. Yet by refusing to issue them birth certificates, on the pretext that their parents' documents — including passports and photo IDs issued by Mexican consulates — do not meet the state's standards, Texas is in effect making them stateless non-persons, devoid of rights and privileges.

No other state has pursued such a pernicious campaign against the blameless American-born children of immigrants in this country illegally. While half a dozen Republican candidates have said they favor overturning the 14th Amendment's guarantee of birthright citizenship, only Texas has adopted policies whose effect is to overturn it unilaterally.

My colleague Damon Root has brilliantly explained the plain meaning of the 14th Amendment in terms that even dim Texas bureaucrats and politicians can understand:

Let's start with the text. The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment says, "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." The primary author of those words was Republican Senator Jacob Howard of Michigan. "This amendment I have offered," Howard told the Senate on May 30, 1866, "is simply declarative of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States." …

"The Fourteenth Amendment," the [Supreme] Court [in 1898] observed in Wong Kim Ark, "affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes."

Root's whole analysis is well worth your attention.

If it is illegal for a county clerk to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples (and it is), then it is similarly illegal for vital records bureaucrats to deny birth certificates to U.S. citizens. The same penalties should apply.

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  1. Fine. Give them a birth certificate and deport them and their parents. No Medicaid for you!

    1. Conservatives sure do love their welfare state.

      1. Medicaid provides money for purchasing Depends for when they shit their pants. Of course they love it.

    2. There was an article in the paper in Tucson yesterday (I think) bemoaning the fact that, when we deport illegals who have kids, they often abandon their children in this country and many of them wind up in the foster system.

      Naturally, the article actually missed the key point: that these children are being abandoned by their parents, and focussed the blame on (a) deporting people who have no legal to be here and (b) the need for lots more funding to take care of their abandoned children.

      1. ” focussed the blame on (a) deporting people”

        Which is where the blame belongs.

    3. Nope. That’s not how a civilized country works. Can’t deport your own citizens.

      1. You can’t deport your own citizens, but that doesn’t make it OK for parents who are deported to abandon their children, does it?

        And, sorry, folks. I don’t believe that anyone who manages to arrive on our shores has a legal right to stay here indefinitely. So, I don’t see anything wrong in principle with deporting illegals.

        1. “I don’t believe that anyone who manages to arrive on our shores has a legal right to stay here indefinitely. ”

          Not only do they have every right, as long as they aren’t dangerous infectious or criminal scum or spies/terrists, the USG has no constitutional right to say no. Only to regulate naturalization.

          1. Cyto, explain to me why a sick person or someone convicted by a court that doesn’t measure up to our due process standards loses what is apparently their natural human right to be in the US indefinitely.

            1. Well, the dangerously infectious person (TB…can’t think of anything else) can infect others, and that would violate others. You make a good point about the difference in due process standards though. That bears thought, not more deportations.

          2. Can you name me one population change that has ever been peaceful? That’s whats wrong with you libertarians, other than the guy who runs this site thinks he’s Fonzy, you have no concept of importance of culture. You assume that it means absolutely nothing.

        2. “And, sorry, folks. I don’t believe that anyone who manages to arrive on our shores has a legal right to stay here indefinitely.”

          Why not?

          1. Especially considering that all of our ancestors arrived on these shores at some point and stayed indefinitely. But I guess they have theirs, so fuck anyone else, right? That’s what liberty is all about!

            1. Damn it Epi, these folks broke the law, and as a libertarian, I cannot countenance that!

            2. Hey it worked in the past, and we know nothing ever changes, right?

              1. Well we know that immigration scare-mongerers has been wrong every single time. They have a 0.000 batting record.

                1. Yeah, if you keep your eyes firmly shut, you never see anything. Funny how that works. I don’t even bother posting links to prove my point to you any more, because you either ignore them or come up with some intellectually-feeble but loud and rude dismissal.

                2. Care to list the times that you believe it has worked. When has population replacement ever been peaceful?

              2. Didn’t work out so great for the Injuns.

          2. The United States has every right, just like every other country in the world, to regulate immigration.

            The problem we have now is the giant shit-mess that has been created by having a dysfunctional immigration system, made so deliberately for political reasons. And I add, made so by people who are staunch enemies of liberty.

            I don’t want to debate immigration until we talk about what rarely gets mentioned: We need a sane immigration system that serves the best interests of our country.

            1. That last sentence makes you a slavemongering scum worse than Hitler, to the Cosmos.

        3. But *you* arrived on our shores. At one point you *weren’t* in the US, and at another you *were*.

          Is there something magic about passing through the birth canal or being cut out of the mother that is different from stepping over an imaginary line in the sand?

      2. Yes you can. If they’re minor children being reunited with their families.

  2. Popcorn cooking …. Texas does some things right, but they balance it out with the fuckwits.

  3. Okay but these assholes can be fired for not doing their job as required by the US Constitution, right?

  4. Shouldn’t United States citizenship records be uniform across the nation? It’s one of those few things that doesn’t seem like it should be left up to the states.

    1. That’s one of those holdovers from back when the states were Mostly Sovereign, and there were no United States citizens. People were a citizen of the state they lived in (and most considered “state” to have it’s original nation-state connotation), and states set their own citizenship requirements.

      Personally, I think that’s the state we should return to – it fits better with the original design of the federal government.

  5. Texas is in effect making them stateless non-persons, devoid of rights and privileges.

    I’m pretty sure this is bullshit, and those kids have the same citizenship as their parents, regardless.

    So, I’m curious here. Since issuing birth certificates is a state function, to what extent are the feds allowed to dictate to the states how they do it?

    Is libertarianism no longer sympathetic to the notion of divided government, devolved powers, local rule, etc., so that we default to national control and the reduction of states to mere Euro-style administrative departments of the national government?

    I have no clue as to whether the Texas documentation requirements are reasonable, and if they are being applied as written. This may be a dead easy case, as it sounds like the Texas authorities are being obtuse as hell here, but it strikes me that our Reason writers may be a little quick to jump to the conclusion that we should have the feds micromanage traditional state functions, because there is a telegenic talking point to be had.

    Liberty is lost in little slices. What’s left of state sovereignty is being lost in little slices as well. I have a hard time believing that, in general and in principle, micromanagement by a plenary national state is a healthy environment for liberty.

    1. RCD: With respect, as I understand it, the 14 Amendment was adopted specifically to preempt individual states from determining who is and is not a citizen/resident.

      1. That was definitely part of it, keeping in mind that they weren’t concerned nearly as much with immigrants, as with residents who had been slaves.

        But, does that also entail that they should dictate to the states how the states go about confirming that someone actually was born here, and what their identity is?

        At what point do we just say “Fuck it. The national government is the only government that will guarantee our rights. We should just abolish states as quasi-independent entities, and call them departments of the national government”. We’re getting closer all the time, with very little if any opposition from Reason writers. Do the Reason writers have an opinion at all on centralized v devolved authority? Is this not an issue of relevance to libertarianism?

        1. It’s one thing to question whether states should acquiesce to policy made by unelected Executive agencies. It’s another thing entirely to suggest that they shouldn’t be held to a duly ratified and clearly delineated constitutional amendment.

          1. Fair enough.

            However, the 14th doesn’t actually say a single thing about birth certificates. It does grant Congress the authority to pass laws enforcing the 14th. Seems to me Congress needs to pass a law here to create detailed federal requirements for birth certificates.

            Our options, otherwise, are one of those unelected executive agencies setting the rules, or an unelected court setting the rules. Although, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised that we don’t actually need new national laws on birth certificates. I’d bet money these bureaucrats aren’t following Texas law as written.

            Unless we’re giving up on separation of powers, as well.

            1. The question I have is what happens to US citizens who have no birth certificate and are deported with their parents? Seems to me that would effectively deny them their US citizenship as they would have no way to later prove that they were born here. That is a serious breach of their constitutional rights and I think it would therefore be appropriate for a court to step in. Though I agree that it would be best if congress did it sooner than later to create a uniform system for guaranteeing people their citizenship rights at birth.

            2. Except, in this country, you *don’t have full access to those rights and priviliges of citizenship* if you don’t have that birth certificate.

        2. At what point do we just say “Fuck it. The national government is the only government that will guarantee our rights. We should just abolish states as quasi-independent entities, and call them departments of the national government”

          Pretty much never.

          Because the ridiculous concept of joint sovereignty is a useful tool for statists to avoid accountability and blame for there failures.

          Control without consequences, the best possible outcome for political tyrants.

    2. Is libertarianism no longer sympathetic to the notion of divided government, devolved powers, local rule, etc., so that we default to national control and the reduction of states to mere Euro-style administrative departments of the national government?

      Decentralization is a strategy not an end in and of itself. An anti-liberty policy is anti-liberty no matter what level of government does it.

      1. Decentralization is a strategy not an end in and of itself.

        It was one of the core founding principles of this nation. Were the founders wrong that it should be a strong default assumption?

        1. It was a core founding principle as a strategy for helping prevent anti-liberty policies. What part of “anti-liberty policy is anti-liberty” aren’t you getting?

          1. Yeah but Epi what of one state wants to become an authoritarian regime that deports natural born citizens and confiscates money with criminal convictions and arrests kids for not inventing the clock and choking out people who sell loose cigarettes and replaces toilet paper with three seashells? Shouldn’t they have the freedom to do so? or do you ‘libertarians’ hate freedom?

            1. Remember, Hugh, doing horribly anti-liberty things is fine when it’s done to people you don’t like. Always remember that.

              1. “Well I don’t approve of his Bart-killing policy, but I do approve of his Selma-killing policy.”

          2. My concern is that, by treating each of these assertions of federal authority in isolation, we may be winning tactical victories, but losing the war by effectively ratifying a plenary national government with no real devolution of authority.

            Or, you may believe that a plenary national government actually is the recipe for liberty generally. I don’t, but outside of legal pot, I don’t see anyone who seems to agree with the founders that devolution and local control are essential bulwarks of liberty, and a plenary national government is the primary threat to liberty.

            1. They’re all threats to liberty. Local governments can often be the most tyrannical of all. The point of decentralization is to cause a tug of war between the local government and the federal. By playing them off each other, you may be able to maintain more liberty overall.

              Decentralization is a strategy, as has been said multiple times here. It is not an end game. You are treating it like an end game here because you like its results in this case. Even though they are anti-liberty.

              1. The point of decentralization is to cause a tug of war between the local government and the federal.

                This is the key, I think. Local control by itself is not inherently liberty enhancing at all. Except possibly by giving people the ability to move to a more liberty friendly locale. But why the fuck should people have to leave their homes to maintain their rights? Before the 14th there was a whole lot more local control and states could shit all over anyone’s rights as much as they wanted. Of course the 14th has also been abused and a lot of things have gone downhill since then too.

                1. There is an interesting monopoly-challenging feature to the federal/state/local structure that the US has (though it has never been challenging enough), in that it often caused competition and territoriality between different facets of the government. While not truly being competition or a lack of monopoly, it at least caused a little of the positive behavior that competition and lack of monopoly tend to engender.

                  Of course, the different facets are learning to work together more and more and eroding even that bit of positiveness, but it’s still been interesting to see it in action.

        2. The founders were clearly pretty wrong in letting states decide if they should have slavery or not. Decentralization is not always appropriate.

          1. Decentralization is not always appropriate. Neither is centralization, but that is the almost universal solution these days.

            What should be the default? The founders said “decentralization” on the theory that a plenary national government is the primary threat to liberty.

            Were they wrong? Is an all-powerful central state actually the best protection for liberty?

            1. Ah the gamey tang of the false dilemma.

          2. The founders didn’t “let states decide”, they just didn’t force a change in the status quo ante. Still not right, but not the same. Decentralization *is* appropriate, at all times, because the closer to people the laws are made, the easier they are to change.

            1. 1) Okay fine.

              2) No. That didn’t work in the south in 1860, and it didn’t work in 1960 for civil rights. The federal government had to step in for freedom.

            2. The status quo was letting the states decide.

          3. The alternative was likely that there would have been no Union.

            So they kicked the can of slavery down the road, and we suffer from the effect still.

            Good or bad, right or wrong…. bring back Madison in another thousand years and ask him. For now, we just have to live with it.

    3. “Liberty is lost in little slices.”

      Allowing the state to arbitrarily deny people citizenship (particularly when they’re constitutionally entitled to it) is a pretty damn big slice.

    4. If the children are born in the US they have US citizenship. Apparently Texas is not issuing birth certificates to a very small percentage of children born in Texas to undocumented residents because their parents do not have the necessary identification from either the US their home country. The editorial aside, it sounds as if Texas has made it somewhat more difficult to obtain the birth certificates but that most are still obtaining them and those denied can do so as well as long as they go through the extra effort now required. It is more a matter of bureaucratic crap than an immigration/14A issue.

  6. I guess they’re not required to follow the laws, either.

    Oh, wait…SNAP!

  7. Throw those uppity bureaucrats in the slammer.

  8. Can we also throw the entire Border Patrol in jail too? They’re also criminals.

    1. You are five feet tall, fat, and Canadian. Shut the fuck up.

    2. Why don’t you spend your time on some blog arguing about Canada’s fucked up political system and STFU about ours?

    3. Can we also throw the entire Border Patrol in jail too? They’re also criminals.

      Exactly! I tried to enter the country for a “visit”- but was denied entry because of a DUI 15 yrs ago, and I didn’t ask for permission beforehand,

      Wait, that was Canadian Chickenshit’s country…

  9. The stated reason for not issuing birth certificates is what is beyond reproach.

    If you have a problem identifying the parents, fine: state that on the birth certificate.

    But if the child was born in your county, the child gets a birth certificate. This is not hard to figure out.

    1. The Federal government doesn’t recognize birth certificates without properly identified parents. I think this might be the unreported part of what’s going on. The birth certificate you propose wouldn’t allow the child to obtain a passport for example.

      1. Not according to the State Department:

        Certified U.S. Birth Certificate (must meet all of the following requirements):
        Issued by City, County, or State of birth
        Lists bearer’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth
        Lists parent(s) full names
        Has date filed with registrar’s office (must be within one year of birth)
        Has registrar’s signature
        Has embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal of registrar

  10. and subject to the jurisdiction thereof

    Do illegal aliens qualify as subject to the jurisdiction? Show your work.

    1. Can they be arrested, tried, and jailed? Then they’re subject to the jurisdiction.

    2. Isn’t that just meaningless flavor text, like you see in MMORPGs? I.e., no game effect? Though, I can see why you’d think that would muddy the waters.

      The Wong Kim Ark SCOTUS citation also muddies the waters with its “including all children here born of resident aliens”. “Resident alien” legally refer to permanent residents, and does not include either undocumented aliens or those on temporary visas.

      (What’s with the use of “brilliantly” here, as describing Root’s explanation? I see this a lot, “brilliant job”, “brilliant explanation”, “brilliant take down”, etc. I doubt Root’s ego needed the stoking, so what gives?)

      1. It’s not entirely meaningless. I believe it was meant to exclude children of foreign diplomats, who are immune to prosecution in the US.

  11. She’s adorable.

    1. She looks angry.

      1. She must read Reason.

  12. Good for Texas. The children of illegals are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States which means they are not citizens and therefore have no standing to demand anything, let alone birth certificates, from the Texas government.

    1. The children of illegals are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States

      The United States disagrees.

      1. Yeah, I have no idea where people come up with that nonsense. Except for certain diplomats, everyone within the borders is subject to the jurisdiction of the US.

        1. It’s also so nonsensical, because the only party that can answer whether a person is considered under the jurisdiction of the US is… the US government. Your or my opinion doesn’t matter. And the US has been saying for a while that it considers these people under its jurisdiction.

          Maybe it will change its policy tomorrow, and the children of illegals can commit a bunch of federal crimes with no fear of prosecution. But I doubt it.

        2. Because people mistake the derogatory term “illegal aliens” for “people lawfully arrested, adjudged to be in this country without proper documentation in violation of US immigration law, and liable for deportation”.

  13. Texas-born children whose parents are undocumented immigrants.

    . . .pretext that their parents’ documents ? including passports and photo IDs issued by Mexican consulates . . .


    So they *are* documented. They might just not have *permission* to enter the country – and so are *illegal* immigrants.

    You can say that you know – illegal immigrant. It just means they’re breaking a law, doesn’t mean that the law they’re breaking is just.

    And that’s coming to you from someone who’s actually pro-*undocumented* immigration – as in ‘you don’t need permission to travel and seek employment.

    In any case, I don’t see how having or not having an Mexican ID is relevant here. You can’t use as a pretext that a Mexican ID does not meet state standards when there is no requirement to have an ID in that state in the first place. Meaning that you don’t *have* to show ID to have a child. All that matters is that you meet the certification requirements for showing the state that a live birth happened within its borders.

    So, those having their children at *home* might have difficulty – and even white people would face that burden – but having the kid in a hospital (or equivalent for maternity) would have that already sorted out.

  14. I don’t think we’re getting the whole story here.

    As the Post’s editorial board notes

    Some sources other than an editorial might make things clearer.

    1. How about the NPR and NYT stories that the editorial links out to?

      1. They paint a different picture than the editorial.Like that the birth certificates exist and the parents not having a physical copy does not prevent their US citizen-children from attending school or qualifying for welfare benefits.

        We’re getting a story on a lawsuit and some editorializing on immigration. Texas is registering all live births and issuing birth certificates to most undocumented families with US citizen children.

        I was hoping for something on the 2011 change in federal immigration law that seemed to have precipitated the changes Texas requires to obtain a copy of the birth certificate.

        1. “Like that the birth certificates exist and the parents not having a physical copy does not prevent their US citizen-children from attending school or qualifying for welfare benefits.”

          That is hardly the only importance of a birth certificate.

          1. You are a five foot tall rage addled Canadian. Mind your own business nerd. Let the people that can ride roller coasters figure this one out.

            1. Look, I don’t know about you, but if *I* meet a five-foot-tall rage-addled Canadian I tread very lightly just in case he’s inclined to stab me with his Adamantium claws.

  15. “Without birth certificates, the children face barriers to being…baptized.”

    That’s not good.

    I looked up some Catholic dioceses, and yes, they either require or encourage parents to provide a birth certificate. But some of them say that in certain instances a certificate of live birth (issued by the hospital) might do the job.

    1. I did a cursory inspection of the canon law and it does require that the priest record, promptly after the baptism, the child’s name, (usually) the names of the parents – including the name of an unmarried father if the name is on a “public document – and the date and place where the child was born. So I understand why they want official documents to confirm these things. But if the parents don’t have the documents, through no fault of their own, I don’t see anything authorizing a delay of the baptism. Maybe the canonists here can help me out.

      1. Not a canonist but – there is nothing authorizing a delay. The ‘required’ information is required – but there’s no required *source or corroboration* for that information.

        If the people presenting themselves as parents provide the information for filling out the parish’s records then, unless the priest has reason to suspect that they are providing fraudulent info, there’s no reason to deny them a baptism.

        All that stuff is just record-keeping, what’s important is the *baptism* itself, and that’s ‘valid’ whether or not the priest knows who the kid is, where he was born, who the parent’s are, etc.

    2. Can’t let you into heaven without your papers.

      1. Who knew St. Peter was German?

  16. This seems like a good place for this…..hey-marry/

    1. I imagine that was the policy for straight couples before the Feds recognized same-sex marriages? If not that’s some bullshit.

      1. Of course it was.

        1. I’ve always thought that policy was unfair too. It discriminates against single people. If married people get benefits for a spouse and kids, why shouldn’t everyone get the same deal on benefits for a few extra people. I guess (in the private sector at least) it’s mostly down to tax policy.

          1. “discriminates against single people”

            Which just brings home the whole point. Why is your relationship status any of the governments business.

  17. This is way off topic, but why the ever loving shit can’t you bring some Spanish Jamon into the US? It is possible to buy it here now, so why can’t I bring some home? I bet the customs dicks just want it all for themselves.
    Oh well, at least I consumed as much Iberico de belota as possible in the past week. I think I’m starting to suffer from withdrawals.

    1. The customs dickheads got so used to confiscating (and obviously eating) the jamon and salami that people would try and bring back through (prior to 2009 or so, there was some stupid trade shit that didn’t allow jamon importation except through very laborious means; those restrictions were lifted finally and that’s why you can find jamon legs in delis now) that I imagine they have just kept on doing it even though they are probably technically not allowed any more.

      It was annoying enough that my Spanish ex-girlfriend stopped trying to bring it through and just had her father mail us shrink-wrapped jamon slices instead. Because as soon as the customs dickheads see that you are coming back from Spain, they will be all over your bags because they want that delicious, delicious jamon. And if you paid for Iberico and then they take it…

      That’s why you should only try to smuggle Serrano. It’s cheap enough that you don’t lose your mind if they take it.

      1. I should have just gone for it. Customs didn’t really give me any scrutiny. I was over there for a funeral, so that probably helped.

        1. Maybe they’ve stopped doing it because of the trade change. But both my ex and myself had our shit searched every time we came back. A few times they missed stuff (like dry salami) and other stuff is ok to bring (like Manchego or canned tuna), but they never missed jamon. Never. Which leads me to believe that was primarily what they were after.

          1. I asked at the airport duty free shop in Madrid and they said that the US was still the only country you couldn’t take it to. I think that the stuff that is imported now has to be from certain companies that have been FDA or USDA approved.

    2. I’ve never had Jamon but I think I have a new quest.

      1. If you like cured meat at all, it is simply the best.

        1. Oh I do. Will have to score some. One of these days I’m going to Spain. Been talking about it this year actually. I’d like to learn a littel Spanish before I go.

          1. Spain is just fantastic. I’m an idiot for letting 10 years pass and it taking a death in the family to get me back over there. Especially since I have an extremely generous uncle over there and several places to stay for free whenever I want.
            Unfortunately it’s not as affordable as it once was, but still better than a lot of places.

            1. Anyplace in particular you would recommend? Someplace beautiful?

              1. My main experience lies in Barcelona and Catalonia in general, and they are pretty great. Arid desert for the most part outside of towns and the coast, but still nice. And the food is phenomenal. Having seafood paella on the shore of the Mediterranean after swimming in it (nude, obviously) is pretty fucking amazing. And just the tapas alone in Barcelona…

                1. Sweet. I need to set a date and start planning it. I’ve definitely heard about the Tapas there. Sounds pretty awesome.

              2. I’ve spent more time in the middle of the country, in Madrid and in Cuenca province. Madrid is a great, fun city, and is surrounded by a bunch of really cool old medieval and older cities, beautiful mountains. Cuenca has some amazing Karst landscapes, big limestone gorges and more cool old stuff. That might be my favorite area for just plain natural beauty.

                The most awesome trip I’ve had in Spain involved driving South from Madrid to Andalusia, through Granada and Cordoba, ending up in some little Mediterranean beach town that I’d never heard of. There are some pretty great stretches of coast without a ton of tourist resort stuff.

                Haven’t really been in the north-west, but I hear it’s great too.

                1. Oh, that sounds lovely. My wife and I love the mountains. That sounds right up our alley. Thanks to both for the tips:)

      2. It’s like prosciutto, but better. Especially jamon iberico. But that will generally run you $90-100 per pound. Jamon serrano isn’t as good (though still delicious), and isn’t that much better than prosciutto, but it’s only about $30 per pound, much more on par with a Parma prosciutto.

        You should be able, since that trade change, to find it in high end delis, and even some medium end delis. For instance, even the QFC here has jamon serrano now, and the Metropolitan even has jamon iberico. And of course DeLaurenti has all kinds of jamon and prosciutto.

        1. We have a meat market around the corner. I bet he could get it. Thanks:)

        2. The price here is nuts. I think I was looking at 30-40 Euro/kilo for Iberico de belota in Segovia.

      3. I ate it at least once every day I was in Barcelona. Jamon and Clara are all you need.

  18. Without birth certificates, the children face barriers to being enrolled in day care and school, receiving Medicaid benefits

    Look at all this free shit they won’t get!
    I know that’s not the whole story, but forgive me for finding it difficult to generate sympathy.

    1. So you’re all for taking away the ‘free shit’ from American citizens? Good, then let’s close down public schools and welfare.

      1. If public schools are free I want my property tax money back.

        1. But what about the ROADZZZ?

          ROADZ and SKULZ goes the argument, not just SKULZ.

        2. I want my property tax back – because I don’t have kids and resent paying for someone else’s life-choice.

          1. I feel your pain. I homeschooled my rug rats so I got to pay twice.

      2. So you’re all for taking away the ‘free shit’ from American citizens? Good, then let’s close down public schools and welfare.

        Yup. And since you allow the Gov’t to take 30-40% of your income, you won’t mind when I steal more from you…

  19. These kids have citizenship, they have Mexican citizenship because their parents are Mexican.

    1. Why doesn’t Texas print up some Mexican birth certificates and issue those?

      1. You’re a genius!!!!!!!

        1. No, I’m just an asshole:) lol

    2. And being born on US soil gives them American citizenship regardless of what other nationalities or citizenship they might have. Also, do you think all illegal immigrants are Mexican?

      Your comment isn’t even actually correct. Mexico differentiates between a national and a citizen. To be a citizen, you must be 18 years old.

    3. No they don’t – they weren’t born in Mexico.

      1. Doesn’t matter, their parents are Mexican so the baby is Mexican. Just like if two American citizens have a baby in Mexico, the baby is American

        1. So, what if one parent is American?

          1. Then the point is moot because the baby is an American born to an American parent.

  20. The solution seems obvious to me. The 14th Amendment was a hotfix to keep state governments from shenanigans with newly freed slaves, but obviously that isn’t pertinent any more. The 14th needs to be amended so that citizenship is only granted to children of American parents, just like other countries do. Two of my children were born in Great Britain, but neither is a British citizen, because their parents aren’t British citizens. The Constitution was meant to be amended when things changed, not legally weaseled around.

    1. Who cares what Great Britain does?

      1. It was an example. I don’t care. Neither do I believe in citizenship of any sort….silly lines on a map business. All I was trying to point out is that if people don’t like the rules of the government game (immigration–birthright citizenship), then they should work to change the rule they disagree with rather than legislate exceptions and shadows of penumbras. Or just disobey quietly and get on with their lives.

    2. I want 14A restored, not repealed.

    3. You can move to Britain if you hate immigrants getting citizenship through birth that much.

      1. I’m an anarchist. I think citizenship is a silly concept. I’m just pointing out that if most Americans think that birthright citizenship is a problem, then there’s the straightforward legal answer to their desires.

        1. I’m an anarchist.

          Well that explains the broken window at Starbucks.

          1. Oh, that wasn’t me. I prefer pitchforks and torches, occasionally a woodchipper…

    4. The 14th needs to be amended so that citizenship is only granted to children of American parents, just like other countries do.


      Anyway, good luck with the amendment process.

      1. If they can’t get the momentum for a amendment, then maybe they need to shut the fuck up because obviously it’s not THAT popular then?

    5. Yeah, it would have been better if all of the children of immigrants who arrived in the late 19th and 20th centuries had to go through some convoluted naturalization process.
      (That’s sarcasm, in case you were wondering.)

      1. Because you shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy the bounty delivered upon the American people by their government if you haven’t shown sufficient loyalty to that government.

        That’s why we need a ‘Social Credit Score’ here in the United States also.

        Only genuinely ‘good’ citizens should be able to reap the full bounty of government largess.

  21. The Federalist Society has a podcast debate on birthright citizenship at Each side has valid arguments. The issue does not seem as clear-cut as Damon makes it out.

    1. MATT DAMON!!!!!

      Oh, sorry.

      Wrong Damon.

  22. Jesus Christ. All these words and not one


    I am disappoint. Also….whatever.

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  24. The way to get a ruling from the SC is to force a ruling – and pray that it is the correct ruling, and not one of pique.

  25. I disagree with your analysis of the 14th amendment. What you and so many others seem to fail to recognize is where the amendment addresses the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. There are two types of jurisdiction being addressed in the clause: geographic jurisdiction and political jurisdiction. The geographic requirement is addressed in the phrase “born or naturalized in the United States”. The political jurisdiction is addressed in the next phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. Political jurisdiction is the authority of the government to force a citizen to pay income taxes or to serve in the military, for example. When someone who is residing in the US illegally, they are still under the political jurisdiction of the nation of their citizenship. If they have a baby, that baby is also under the political jurisdiction of that same government. That is precisely why American Indians were originally excluded from natural born citizenship. It was because they owed “an allegiance to their tribe” to quote Senator Jacob Howard, a member of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction and proponent of the Citizenship Clause. If simply being born on US soil granted citizenship status, there would be no need for the additional phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”.

  26. As noted by the author, then ignored, the 14th Amendment has two provisions for citizenship, birth on American soil AND subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

    If that 2nd part has no meaning, then it was not necessary to include it. But it IS there, so what does it entail? Note that there has been no court ruling on the citizenship status of illegal immigrants. Current law is an interpretation of the 14th Amendment, whose author on the floor in Congress stated plainly that it applied to former slaves. No mention of immigrants, especially illegal ones. Granted, the law is as currently interpreted, and Texas is likely bound by it, but this may spark a court ruling, and/or a formal interpretation by Congress.

    Still, to excoriate those who see the whole text of citizenship requirements in the 14th Amendment and choose to apply both halves is unfair and intellectually dishonest. Or,in other words, standard fare by the Left.

  27. The lawsuit is about what can be accepted as ID for the parents requesting copies of certified birth certificates. It is not about who is a citizen. Read the lawsuit. The Mexican embassy and their consular offices offer a free or low cost “card” as ID which has been proven over decades to be completely fraudulent. Instead of issuing true and correct passports they issue these cards to facilitate fraud. Everyone knows it. In the 1980’s ID theft was so serious and widespread that the US government issued guidelines to the states on what must be done to cut this fraud and that included the ID presented by anyone trying to get a birth or death certificate. The birth certificate fraud was so bad in Texas that entire counties birth records were considered worthless due to fraud and bribes paid to county records officers. Thefts of blank birth certificates were rife.

    Mexico could and should issue passports to their citizens. But they won’t because of fraud. They like it. It pays and their citizens can go from jurisdiction to jurisdiction changing their identity in the US. This has nothing to do with birthright citizenship but rather people selling their children’s identity to be used by a new fraud crossing over.

  28. Because the Supreme Court has not yet spoken to the exact issue presented by the Texas denial of citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants, Mr Bailey is certainly premature in his analysis. The Wonk Kim Ark (1898) case was decided before the United States had laws regulating immigration into the country and, therefore, is inapplicable to the Texas cases in which the parents there are clearly prohibited from becoming residents in the country. The dictum in the case of INS v. Rios-Pineda (1985) is similarly inapplicable because the issue there was the discretionary powers of the US Attorney General, not the citizenship of the 2 children born after the initial order of removal. Therefore, until and unless the Supreme Court speaks to the issue, the question of birthright citizenship actually remains unanswered in the United States and both Mr. Bailey and Mr. Root are only expressing their personal opinions, not the law of the land.

  29. It’s completely constitutional – we cannot force citizenship on foreign nationals. A little known fact – there is no such thing as an anchor baby. They’re born Mexican citizens, per the Mexican constitution.

    The Mexican Constitution Chapter II Article 30:
    The Mexican nationality shall be acquired either by birth or by naturalization.
    A. Mexicans by birth shall be:
    III. the individuals born abroad from naturalized Mexican parents, from a naturalized Mexican father, or from a naturalized Mexican mother

    If either parent is a Mexican, the Mexican constitution claims them to be Mexican citizens – even if born on foreign soil.…..nsting.pdf

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