Opinion Columns & Blogs

Kobach thinks Congress can limit birthright citizenship

In a Talking Points Memo post, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was quoted backing up Donald Trump’s controversial idea of ending automatic citizenship for all children born in and under the jurisdiction of the United States. Kobach claims that the 14th Amendment’s phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” means there are limits to automatic citizenship. “There’s some people excluded, because that’s what the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ mean and the Supreme Court has never had an occasion (to examine) what that means, and to specifically look at the question of the children of illegal aliens,” Kobach told TPM. Kobach, an attorney who has helped states write laws aimed at restricting illegal immigration, said Congress could pass a law limiting birthright citizenship to the children of citizens and permanent residents, and that he’s confident such legislation would be upheld by the Supreme Court. Most legal analysts think otherwise and say such a change would require amending the Constitution. – Rhonda Holman