Menu

Redefining the 14th Amendment

A Texas lawmaker is introducing a bill in February that would battle the 14th amendment, which grants citizenship to children born on American soil — including those born to illegal immigrants.

Lawmaker Leo Berman believes that immigrants are committing a crime against the U.S., from the time they're in the hospital — but we grant their children citizenship anyway. "They're violating our sovereignty and we're granting them citizenship," he said.

Democratic Texas lawmaker, Joaquin Castro says Berman is trying to interpret the Constitution to fit his agenda and create a name for himself. "It's a low blow against children," he said. Watch the Video!

Do you think anyone born on American soil — including children of illegal immigrants — should get automatic citizenship? E-mail us and jump in the discussion!


Here's What FOX Fans are saying:

"The 14th amendment to the Constitution was written to ensure that the children of former slaves would be given automatic U.S. citizenship upon birth. There are no children of former slaves living in the United States today. The 14th amendment no longer applies and should be repealed." — Robert

"The baby should share the parents' citizenship. America has changed since the early days of our country; we do not need an influx of uneducated, illegal immigrants. If we suddenly took away all the illegal children and children of illegal parents, we would not have to build new schools." — FD

"I believe that the 14th amendment is correct. However, it was meant to provide automatic citizenship of children of LEGAL immigrants. While LEGAL immigrants were pursuing naturalization, it allowed them to start having a family without placing upon them the burden of naturalizing their children as well. Its intent was not to allow someone to illegally step across the border and give birth to an 'American Citizen.' It's time to make that perfectly clear." — Jeff (Huntington, WV)

"To resolve the issue presented of an individual born in the US of parent(s) who may not have valid resident visas, the Congress needs to have legislation stating clearly the exact status of the baby's citizenship at birth. The issue may possibly cause unforeseen difficulties for Americans living overseas, because foreign countries can pass legislation affecting the children of Americans living overseas, in retaliation for what they perceive as discriminatory treatment of their citizens. The real problem is what do we do with the illegal parents of a child who has American citizenship through birth in the US?" — Richard

"Allowing people who are here illegally to be rewarded with US citizenship for their children cheapens U.S. citizenship for us all. Then, if Congress sells us out by granting amnesty to illegal parents, we will be flooded with even more illegals." — Cathy (East Windsor, NJ)

"There is no reason to battle the 14th amendment. There is a reason to read it carefully and apply it. The language of the 14th amendment specifically rules out children of illegal aliens already. Like so many have said so often ... APPLY THE LAWS WE ALREADY HAVE." — Mike

"Absolutely NOT. The parents know when they come here that they are breaking the law. Why should they get citizenship for their children, when they don't have it? Why should they get free healthcare when we have natural born citizens who do not? " — Ann

"Absolutely not! If all illegals were permitted to stay here without any problems, the country would be inundated with them, and there wouldn't be room for the legal citizens. In my opinion, they are criminals, should be dealt with as such and deported forthwith. If caught here again they should be imprisoned." — George (Orlando, FL)

"Changing the 14th Amendment, Section 1 should read: Section 1. All persons born to parents that are citizens of the United States, 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." — Neal

"I do believe citizenship by birth should be restricted to those who are here as a legal resident only. To do otherwise, demeans the efforts of those who worked hard to come here, and increases the tax burdens upon the rest of us. To claim that the U.S. born children of illegals are victims and to deny them citizenship is cruel is disingenuous. It is their parents who put them in a no-win situation." — Kristen

"Babies of illegal aliens, no way. It gives parents a foot in the door, we end up paying for their medical insurance and everything else. If the parents become legal citizens, than yes. Certain parts of the Constitution have become archaic and out dated for the times." — RR

"No they should not become citizens. I live in California and we are being over run by illegals and there children. The schools are so crowded we have to put up portable class rooms. Enough is enough!" — Clint

"Yes the child should be given citizenship! The Constitution is very clear on this issue. I am a LONG time Republican but this is sickening. ANYONE that supports this is a racist." — Bill (Dallas, TX)

"Many years ago, a foreign leader claimed that they 'would one day take the United States without firing a shot.' What better way to do this than by sneaking into our country, populating it, and sucking up all of the resources, money, and services meant for legal citizens? No, the children born of illegals should not be granted citizenship. " — Pamela (Bakersfield, CA)

"It is a difficult and hard call, but we must redefine the 14th Amendment, children born here in this country from illegal immigrants should not automatically get citizenship. It is a different time; it is a harder time for the United States, with many different challenging issues facing our country, our people and this is could be just one small step in the right direction." — Bill

"Only a few countries grant citizenship merely from birth on their soil (jus soli). These "anchor babies" are almost always paid for by the tax payers and eventually, at age 21, the USC baby will be able to immigrate their "illegal parents". We are rewarding illegal behavior. The Border Patrol works hard to keep the illegals out only to have all the liberal give away social programs reward them for their effort. There was atime when the 14th amendment made sense. Not now. Mexico, for example now recognizes dual citizenship. These USC babies are now citizens of both countries and can live and work in whichever country they choose. And when push comes to shove, so you really think of the U.S. as their "home"? The protests and "Viva la raza" should provide a clue. When we stop the magnet we will slow illegal immigration. Until then, they will keep coming. Afterall, if you're going to be poor and pregnant, why not do it in a country where you can get free housing, medical care, food stams, and cash assistance. Do our political leaders not see this? We are putting band-aids on a cancer." — Dan

"NO, if they cannot come to the United States of America through legal means, then NO to any children born here. When those coming here to escape Europe's poverty, they came in and were given the opportunity to earn a citizenship over the years. Those coming in illegally need to be sent back to where they left. Take the criminals and put them in jail in their country. If those countries do not accept them in and jail them, then we brand them, jail them and stop giving money and aid to that country, block all trade with that country and demand any American owned business return to the USA and bring back those jobs that left. Americans can survive better with those jobs here. Remember: Hear that sucking sound! That's jobs leaving the USA. " — Lee

"No. It's sad how 'nice' people get taken advantage of. America is great because we are 'nice' people. It's time to prove that 'nice' doesn't mean 'stupid.' It's time to be 'nice' to LEGAL citizens and stop making us foot the bill for illegals. we have 'nice' rules for becoming a US citizen. Let those coming to America be 'nice' and follow them." — Beth (Atlanta, TX)

"I don't think the children of illegal immigrants should come legal because (but if they do, it should be a charge) I believe this is the reason of 11 million illegal people are here now and more to come. Also, the majority of this people come from areas from Mexico where there is no school, so the majority can't read or write. I think before the kids come legal the parents should be responsible to learn some basic laws and rules. I don't believe it should be amnesty either, if there is I want my money back that I spent to become a resident first and then U.S. Citizen. I was born in México and have been in the U.S. since 1984 in Minneapolis." — Carlos

"NO! If the parents are both illegal aliens, their children shouldn't be rewarded American Citizenship for their parents' breaking our laws. If the parents are illegal, then the children, regardless of where they are born are illegal. The only way around this, is to give the children citizenship, but take them from the parents and put them up adoption and deport the parents. " — Mark (Kevil, KY)

"The 14th amendment was meant to ensure that former slaves who were born in the U.S., were not denied citizenship, based on their status as children of slaves who were not considered citizens at the time. It was not meant to convey citizenship on the children of persons in this country illegally." — Ken (Orting, WA)

"It is evidently constitutional law that if you are born in the U.S. you are a citizen. The fact that the parents are illegal aliens is really mute as far as the child is concerned. The problem then becomes how to deal with an illegal alien with a child who is a legal U.S. citizen? Do we send the illegal alien back and put the citizen up for adoption? That is one way to surely curb the problem and there are many instances where, for the 'good' of the child custody is given to the state etc. If the illegal alien knows that their child will be taken away by social services and they sent back to their native country they would probably think twice about having a child under that circumstance. This is an extreme view, but then the illegal alien problem has become an extreme problem in the U.S. border states." — Dennis

"The people need to stand up to the wealthy elite who are so well represented by George W. Bush and say, 'Seal our borders! Stop the practice of citizenship by illegal birth! Being an American Citizen is a sacred honor that should not be stolen.'" — Craig

"Babies born to illegal aliens in the U.S. should never have been given American Citizenship. Only children born to U.S. Citizens should be American citizens. This is just another way non-citizens can take advantage of welfare programs and to be allowed to stay in the U.S., even though they are illegal. Change the law now. No benefits should be paid to such parents. John Payne, MS." — John

"The term "illegal" used to mean something - now it means "open to interpretation"... They are illegal, send them packing - I'm all for people coming to the US - the same way my grandparents did — legally and speaking English." — Michael

"Of course not. Pregnant women from Mexico come here to give birth and their children become Americans. I wonder why don't they ALL come here to give birth. " — Adolfo (Miami, Fl.)

"President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on June 19, 1941 said, " We, too, born to freedom, and believing in freedom, are willing to maintain freedom." The words of one of our greatest presidents is explanation enough for me as to why anyone born here should automatically become a citizen." — Jim (Telluride, CO)

"Illegals sneak into our country often with the intention of having babies that become citizens by a misinterpretation of the 14th amendment. This was never the intent of that legislation. Those babies are not morally, socially, or should be legally, U. S. citizens. Illegal immigrants are destroying America and empowering the socialist elites who run Mexico. Mexico needs a revolution so their people can share the same rights U. S. citizens share, but not in the U.S.A." — Leonard

"Here is a scenario. What if a European couple, here on vacation, have a baby. Is that child still a U.S. citizen, and do they have to renounce U.S. citizenship on return to Europe? It has to stop. One of the reasons many come across the border is to have the child born here NOT to get a job. Then they can apply for support/food stamps/ school. It never ends." — Katie

"I think that babies born to illegals should not be automatic citizens under any circumstance." — Barry

"I don't think that anyone in this great country, that is here illegally, should be entitled to any government benefits. That includes any children born in this country to an illegal immigrant. Why should they be entitled to something that we have to work for and it is a right, when you are a citizen. These people and their offspring aren't here legally and have no right to citizen benefits." — Donna

"No — there's a difference between immigration and invasion!" — Steve

"If you are in this country illegally there is no way our country should allow you any rights, they should deport you and yours immediately. If an American went to Mexico without proper credentials, they would not give our children citizenship and they would not provide all our health care, or supply English speaking teachers for our children." — Jodie

"Illegal immigrants should NOT be entitled to automatic U.S. Citizenship!" — Bob (Miami, FL)

"All babies born here from illegal aliens, should also be illegal. The illegal aliens are taking advantage of a loophole in our Constitution. They figure if they have their child here, there is no way we would separate them. Not only should the children be illegal, but we should revoke citizenship from the children already born here from illegal aliens." — Sarah

"Children born on U.S. soil should only be granted citizenship if both parents are documented citizens of the United States. The only exception would be if Mom is a U.S. citizen and Dad is deceased." — Sandra (Alamogordo, NM)

"I don't think any child born on American soil should be given the right to become a citizen. When this is done, then it means the whole family of that child will also become citizens, as you cant leave a child here, and send the parents back to their country. Where does it end? There's too many Americans that need the services that illegal aliens are getting for nothing." — Libra

"No — if the parents are illegal then any child born while in the U.S. should not be granted citizenship. That wasn't the intention of the 14th Amendment." — Joe

"Finally someone able to stand up for what is right. There is absolutely no way that a child born to illegal immigrants should be granted citizenship solely because they were born on American soil. These people are here ILLEGALLY. What is it about that concept that is so hard for people to understand?" — Joe (Virginia)