by Chip Bok at

See page 2 for more back-and-forth political cartoons on the topic of “anchor babies,” or babies born in the US to illegal aliens, who are nonetheless currently deemed US citizens according to the Supreme Court’s historical interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

Weekend question: Do you think the 14th Amendment should be repealed?

Backdrop – and a couple of the quandaries – as explained by Yale Law Professor Peter Schuck, in an August 13 New York Times op ed:

The citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, provides that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…” This language has traditionally been interpreted to give automatic citizenship to anyone born on American soil, even to the children of illegal immigrants.

Congress plans to hold hearings this fall on a constitutional amendment to change that language, something even moderate Republican senators like SC’s Lindsey Graham support. With a new study showing that undocumented mothers account for a disproportionate number of births, even some Democrats might find it hard to stand opposed to altering the citizenship clause….

The clause’s purpose was to guarantee citizenship for former slaves – a right Congress had enacted in 1866 – and to overrule the infamous Dred Scott decision, which had denied blacks citizenship and helped precipitate the Civil War….

Congress did not, however, discuss the status of children of illegal immigrants – at the time, federal law didn’t limit immigration, so no parents were here illegally….

The argument against any birthright citizenship is that these children are here as a result of an illegal act and thus have no claim to membership in a country built on the ideal of mutual consent.

In the extreme case of “anchor babies” – children born after a mother briefly crosses the border to give birth – the notion of automatic citizenship for the child strikes most people as not only anomalous but also offensive. No other developed country except Canada, which has relatively few illegal immigrants, has rules that would allow it.

At the same time, we rightly resist punishing children for their parents’ crimes. Without birthright citizenship, they could be legally stranded, perhaps even stateless, in a country where they were born and may spend their lives. And because more than a third of undocumented parents have a least one American child, ending birthright citizenship would greatly increase the number of undocumented people in the country….

Some more political cartoons (accurate or not) to add to your consideration…

by Don Wright at

by Michael Ramirez at

by Nick Anderson at

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