Until recently the issue of birthright citizenship had not been a notably hot topic. However, with immigration being one of many key debate issues for presidential hopefuls, it has been given a spotlight. While the U.S. is one of only two developed countries offering birthright citizenship, the other being Canada, numerous other countries not classified as 'developed' offer it as well. So if the U.S. is not the only country that offers it, why is it becoming such a discussed issue?
The U.S. offers birthright citizenship thanks to the 14th Amendment which basically states that anyone that is born within the U.S. is a citizen of the U.S. Although the Amendment reads in a way that is easily understood by most, some people question if its definition extends to cover children born of illegal immigrants. At the time the Amendment was enacted, its primary focus was on African-American as a way to grant citizenship to former slaves after the Civil War.
Thankfully, times have changed, and we no longer have to rely on the 14th Amendment to bridge the gap of equality. All men are actually created equal. And although the Amendment's purpose was a great one, the concern now is that it's being used as a loophole for illegal immigrants to gain access to the U.S. While some agree it is being taken advantage of, others believe the 14th Amendment is a basic American value and should be honored.
While illegal immigration has always been a well-covered topic among candidates, a large spread of conservative runners have honed in on birthright citizenship as a contributing issue. Although we may be a long way from changing the constitutional rights of Americans, the possibility of taking away birthright citizenship is something that stands to impact millions.
If you have questions about your immigration status or are looking for information about naturalization, speaking to a trusted immigration attorney may help.