Aug. 19, 2020

As Reported in protectingtheconstitution.home

Before the 14th Amendment was ratified, the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, its intended purpose to give citizenship to the former slaves. Democrat President Andrew Johnson vetoed the Act, but the House and Senate were able to get 2/3rds vote in both, thereby overriding Johnson’s veto. The Act stated, “That all persons born in the United States and NOT SUBJECT TO ANY FOREIGN POWER, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States…”

However, the Republicans were concerned that some Democrat-controlled Congress and Presidency of the future might overturn the Act, so they decided an amendment to the Constitution was needed and proposed the 14th amendment. In addition, the 1857 Supreme Court ruled in the “Dred Scott” case that Negros could never be citizens so the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was in direct contradiction to the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott ruling.


Senator Jacob Howard, author of the 14th Amendment, made it quite clear in 1866 that the 14th Amendment does NOT give citizenship to the children of foreigners born in the U.S. when he said during a speech on the Senate floor:

“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. This will NOT, of course, include persons born in the United States who are FOREIGNERS, ALIENS, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”

Senator Edward Cowen further clarified this at the time:

“[A foreigner in the United States] has a right to the protection of the laws; but he is NOT a citizen in the ordinary acceptance of the word…”

Senator Trumbull, sponsor of the 1866 Act stated:

“What do we mean by ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.”

Senator Trumbull went on to explain how this clause might apply to an American Indian:

“It cannot be said of any Indian who owes allegiance, partial allegiance if you please, to some other Government that he is ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.’”

Senator Reverdy Johnson (D-Md.) explained that parents must be “subject to the authority” of the United States if their children born here are to be classified as having acquired the status of U.S. citizen:

“Now, all that this amendment provides is, that all persons born in the United States and not subject to some foreign Power…shall be considered as citizens of the United States. … [T]he amendment says that citizenship may depend on birth, and I know of no better way to give rise to citizenship than the fact of birth within the territory of the United States, born of parents who at the time were subject to the authority of the United States.”

This understanding was upheld in 1872 in the Slaughterhouse Cases which dealt with the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the opinion, the Supreme Court stated the 14th Amendment:

“…overturns the Dred Scott decision by making all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction citizens of the United States. That its main purpose was to establish the citizenship of the negro can admit of no doubt. The phrase, “subject to its jurisdiction” was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.”

The Supreme Court addressed “subject to the jurisdiction” again in 1884 in Elk v. Wilkins, a case that focused on the citizenship of an American Indian who had been born into a tribe but had later severed his tribal ties. Here, the Court emphasized that a person not born into U.S. citizenship could not make himself “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States without the consent of the United States. According to the Court: “no one can become a citizen of a nation without its consent.” Specifically, the Court held that although the plaintiff was born in the United States, he was not granted U.S. citizenship through any treaty or statute and was consequently not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States under the 14th Amendment. The Court defined the jurisdictional requirement of the Citizenship Clause as requiring a person to be:

“…not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance.”

The portion ‘subject to their jurisdiction’ means the individuals are subject to the gov’t. Any person in the U.S. that is not a citizen is NOT subject to the U.S. gov’t. They are subject to the gov’t from which they came to the U.S.

If they are British and the British gov’t makes a law, that law applies to all British citizens, whether or not they are in Britain. If they are Mexican citizens and the Mexican gov’t demands all of its citizens return to Mexico, then those citizens are required to return to Mexico or face the consequences of refusing that demand. Any laws implemented by Britain or Mexico would, in no way, impact an American citizen in the U.S. or France or Italy, etc.

U.S. citizens living and working in another country are still required to pay U.S. income tax because they are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.

ANY child born in the U.S. to non-citizens ARE non-citizens. ALL of them need to be deported. If they then want to become U.S. citizens, they need to apply and follow the same process as anyone else.

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