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Civics 101: What does the 14th Amendment say?

Hank Hayes • Nov 5, 2018 at 1:12 PM

The Constitution says that if you’re born in the United States, you are a U.S. citizen.

President Donald Trump said in a recent interview he plans to sign an executive order ending birthright citizenship for babies of non-citizens born on U.S. soil.

Here’s what the 14th Amendment to the Constitution says on that subject: “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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Section 5 says Congress shall have power to enforce, “by appropriate legislation,” the provisions of this article.

“This clearly repudiated the Supreme Court’s notorious 1857 Dred Scott decision, in which Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote that a black man, even if born free, could not claim rights of citizenship under the federal Constitution,” according to the History Channel.

A Pew Research Center report published in 2016 suggested the number of babies born in the U.S. to so called “unauthorized immigrant parents” was on the decline.

The 14th Amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868.

The 13th Amendment, ratified on December 6, 1865, abolished slavery.

Source: U.S. Constitution.

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