Thursday, January 06, 2011

In Reply: "Here in the US, we define US citizenship according to US law..."

In reply to Steve King (R-Iowa) Submits Bill To Stop Anchor Babies | Right Wing News, and in particular, the following comment:
"rep You're wrong! Citizenship laws apply to their parents and the children. Even Mexico's laws state that. I doubt you'd find any nation that would willingly abdicate the citizenship of children born to it's citizens just because they were born of foreign soil.

But if you can find laws that prove you are correct I'll gladly review them and concede the point."

I think you're misunderstanding what I said, B... Yes, "citizenship laws" apply to everyone, whatever they say, and whoever they grant citizenship to or withhold it from. But each country's citizenship laws only apply to those who they deem to be under their jurisdiction.

Mexico's citizenship laws are different than ours. That's fine for them, but Mexico's citizenship laws are not binding on us (US citizens, and/or US law,) except to the extent that we in the US determine they should be, under US law.

Here in the US, according to current US citizenship law, we have defined who a citizen is, and what the requirements are to be/become one. Among these, is the fact that those born on US soil--whatever their parentage, except for diplomats, I believe (see diplomatic immunity, above)--are American citizens. Mexico is also welcome to say that, because the child was born to Mexican parents, s/he is a Mexican citizen, according to Mexico's citizenship laws, but that has no bearing on US citizenship law or the 14th amendment.

Foreign law is no more or less binding on the US than US law allows it to be. In all cases, US law is what governs, at least here in the US, and for US citizens.

If you're arguing that US citizenship law should more closely resemble Mexican citizenship law, that's fine. (There are some parts of US law I would change to more closely resemble foreign laws, as well.) But US law prevails, and currently, US citizenship law says that those born on US soil--whatever the citizenship of their parents, apart from foreign diplomats--are US citizens, according to US law, and regardless of what the citizenship laws of other countries say about that same child.

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