A group of state lawmakers from across the country intends to challenge birthright citizenship to children born to immigrants. A western Pennsylvania lawmaker is leading the multistate charge.
Butler County Republican Daryl Metcalfe says children born to immigrant parents should not become automatic citizens. Metcalfe plans to introduce legislation based on what he calls a misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Here’s how the Amendment reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Metcalfe said an important distinction resides in the word “jurisdiction.”
“It was very clear that to be under the jurisdiction thereof meant that your parents had an allegiance to the United States of America,” Metcalfe said Tuesday. “That has been something that has been ignored, as our government has allowed for citizenship to be granted to children of foreign nationals.”
Metcalfe is confident the bill will pass now that the Republicans control Harrisburg. But he does expect legal challenges.
The ACLU’s Mary Catherine Roper has a different view of the 14th Amendment.
“That means everybody born here is a citizen of the United States, it’s pretty clear,” she said.
Roper said if the bill does gain traction in Harrisburg, it won’t pass muster in the federal courts.