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Brigham Young University Prelaw Review

Abstract

This article examines the legal case behind denying birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens born on U.S. territory and thereby correcting the present interpretation of the Citizenship Clause. Currently, children of illegal aliens born on U.S. territory are automatically granted citizenship jus soli. This removes the sovereignty of the American citizen by supplanting the citizen with an illegal alien in determining who can become citizens of the United States. To resolve this problem, Congress must enact legislation specifically restricting birthright citizenship from children of illegal aliens. While other articles focus on the morality of accepting refugees or illegal aliens, this paper fills the gap in those publications by examining the effect on the citizen, the undermining of constitutional sovereignty, and the historical precedent that would support such legislation. Ultimately, the Citizenship Clause should not be interpreted in a fashion that undermines the sovereignty established by the rest of the U.S. Constitution.

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