The 14th amendment served an admirable purpose when it was created, giving citizenship to former slaves, but now it is being taken advantage of by illegal immigrants to give citizenship to their children. This aspect of the amendment basically means that when a pregnant woman walks on American soil and gives birth to a child here, it will have instant citizenship for the rest if its life. Americans will then be required to take care of that baby for it’s entire life.
Pregnant women from all over the world travel to the United States just to give birth. When they do, the American taxpayers have to pay for the social benefits that they automatically receive when they have a kid here. The New York Times states, “Every 93 seconds, a baby is born in the United States to immigrant parents who are here illegally.” This shows that too many people can take advantage of this system.
This unintended consequence of the 14th amendment encourages people to come in to the United States illegally. The system allows them to get all the financial, legal, and social benefits that legal citizens get, but the immigrants get them illegally. “There’s even a growing industry in China catering to wealthy women who come to the US to give birth,” as stated by The New York Times. This shows that many people want to get these benefits without going through the proper legal processes.
With the 14th amendment now outdated and easily exploitable, some people do not see how changing it will help the country and they believe changing the 14th amendment would alter how we see ourselves as a country. As stated in an article from Business Insider: “Democrats and pro-immigration-reform activists have been quick to condemn the idea, claiming that changing the concept of birthright citizenship would alter the idea of the US as an immigrant friendly country.” This suggests that many people don’t support an idea that will keep the country safer.
According to Senator Vitter’s letter to the New York Times, illegal immigrants get all of the same social benefits that legal citizens get just by giving birth in the United States. This legal loophole could be fixed by Congress by having the 14th amendment only apply to some, or illegal immigrants will keep coming for free citizenship.
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