Citizens by Law /the 14th Amendment

Amendment XIV  Section 1.

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.

There is a world of difference between being “within” (or “under”) a jurisdiction or dominion and being subject to authority.  “Within” is related to a geographic delineation within which a legal authority wields power.  “Subject to” does not refer to geography but to rightfully applied authority.  Immigrants are subject to Washington’s jurisdiction but certain aliens are not.  If such an alien gives birth “within” U.S. jurisdiction, the child is not a U.S. citizen but is born with only the citizenship of the alien parents or mother because the parents are not “subject” to federal jurisdiction as citizens and immigrants are.  The list of who those aliens are is spelled-out in U.S. law, and one of them is foreign students, NOT just children of diplomats.  Visit the Cornell University Law Library online and read the page of Definitions related to immigration law.—-000-.html

You’ll be shocked to learn that being born in the U.S. is not a guarantee of legitimate citizenship, whether or not the law is followed by the State Department or any other department.  Millions of persons born in the US have erroneously been deemed to be citizens in contradiction to US law.  And some have been deemed to be “natural born citizens” in contradiction to natural law which governs the meaning of the phrase.

After an immigrant becomes a naturalized citizen, any children born to him outside the United States before he was naturalized becomes naturalized automatically.  AUTOMATICALLY.  Such a child is NOT a natural born citizen because he/she was born to a foreign national in a foreign nation, but something happened on his behalf automatically after the father became naturalized.  He was made into a United States citizen without any naturalization process.
Similarly, any child born to him within the US is automatically a natural born citizen of the United States without ANY immigration law needed for that to be so since immigration law only covers citizenship issues in relation to foreigners, -and not citizens.
Lastly, any child born to him inside the US before his naturalization is AUTOMATICALLY a United States citizen because he was born to one who was, by reason of being a legal immigrant, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.   It is US policy and law that children born to legal immigrants are born as American citizens automatically, i.e. -citizens at birth, but they are not natural citizens because they are born to a foreign father and not an American father.  They are therefore describable as constitutional citizens.   Statutory citizens are not eligible to be the President, and if the father is not even an immigrant but is merely a student guest of the government then his child is not a U.S. citizen at all.  AN

One not only is not a natural born citizen by simply being born in the U.S., -one may not even be a citizen at all.  The policy ascribing citizen via a U.S. birth is a bastardized administrative policy based on an asinine misunderstanding and misconstruence of the 14th Amendment which totally distorts or omits outright the jurisdiction requirement.  There’s a word in the 14 Amendment that dunderheads don’t seem to understand, and that word is “AND”.  “And” means “also”, as in not just born here but also subject to U.S. jurisdiction.  Only citizens and legal immigrants are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.  Illegal immigrants are an undecided category.  But foreign visitors and students are NEVER subject to the political will of Washington, and can’t be drafted or required to register with Selective Service.  No child born to them can be explained as being a U.S. citizen by any logic in this life or the next.    AN

Jeff Robison, your approach to the issue is from a totally wrong perspective. What’s relevant is not what anyone believes but what is actually true. Minority or majority, neither change what the truth is and you are ignorant of the meaning of the 14th Amendment which has no bearing on Obama when interpreted correctly since he was not born to an immigrant but to a temporary guest of the U.S. who was not subject to U.S. jurisdiction, thus neither was his son through him. Rather, his citizenship (if he is a citizen) is derived solely from his mother, which is a form of statutory citizenship, and not natural citizenship because when the 14thAmendment was written, American women who married foreigners lost their U.S. citizenship and adopted that of their husband, (via the Derivative Citizenship Statute) thus keeping the family as one homogenous unit, including their children.  Obama claims that his mother and father were married.  That makes him a statutory citizen or only a citizen of Kenya.

Steven Feinstein, Vattel’s “Law of Nations” was not applicable to Wong Kim Ark because the child was not born to natives of the nation but to immigrants.  Natural citizens are those born to citizen parents.  Wong was a constitutional citizen-at-birth by the allowance of the American government through the codification of immigration policy contained in the 14th Amendment.
He was not a natural citizen and only a fool would call him such.  He would not have been eligible to be the President in anyone’s eyes.  Obama is even less eligible since he was fathered by a non-immigrant alien father who was not subject to U.S. jurisdiction and was probably born outside the United States.



What it all boils down to is the fact that in life there are gray areas, but the law has to be as specific and clear as possible, -yes or no, black or white.  But some things are so lacking in specific guidelines that one must resort to splitting hairs, to inference, inferring how to apply something (the 14th Amendment) that doesn’t spell out how to apply it.  It has some clear lines of delineation but in the middle it’s all gray, and hairs must be split.
The hair that must be split is that regarding which aliens are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.  The usual easily agreed non-subject aliens are not in the gray area.  Those who are, and are in question, are the permanent legal resident alien parents living, working, and paying taxes in the US.  If they are not subject to US jurisdiction then no one is, which would beg the question, “who then IS the 14th Amendment referring to?”  I see no possible answer.
So if they are deemed to be subject then by the wording of the 14th Amendment their US born children must be considered to be US citizens -which is a reasonable choice for a legal judgement or a government to make since the children grow up to be Americans, with or without citizenship.


Your first two sentences contain more errors per inch than I’ve ever seen before, all unsupported and unsupportable.  Such as the claim that “alien visitors and illegal aliens…are subject to United States jurisdiction under the 14th Amendment by the mere fact of being born on United States soil.”  You fail to grasp that the 14th wasn’t written to repeat something supposedly already  known to be a fact.  If native birth made one automatically subject to US jurisdiction, then there would be absolutely no need to add that as a second requirement.  In order for your erroneous view to be true, the 14th would have to have this wording: “All persons born in the Unite State…being subject to…”. But it does NOT say that, it says “AND”! i.e. -a second condition is required.  Namely; subjection. Your interpretation makes the jurisdiction requirement totally redundant and superfluous.  That isn’t how Amendments are crafted.  AN


“When the United States claims jurisdiction “over” someone…Such jurisdiction is declared to be nothing less than total when such persons are located physically within the United States,”
Open your eyes, government “claiming” jurisdiction is a separate reality from an individual being in subjection to a government.  The 9-11 hijackers were in no way being subject to the US government.  Rather, you could say they were in a state of being the opposite of subject to it.  You continue to miss the point that if subjection is the perennial and permanent state in which all persons on US soil are judged to be, then that fact would be “a given”, not needing to be stated anymore than it would be needed to state that government authority is supreme over religious authority.  That is something that is nowhere stated in US Law because it is “a given”. Such statements do NOT appear in Constitutional Amendment language. Hence the jurisdiction statement is NOT a redundant re-statement of what everyone already knows and universally accepts.  It is a secondary requirement that is in addition to the fact of birth on US soil.  Requirements are NOT “givens” since “givens” do not need to be stated.  They are superfluous and unnecessary.  Requirements  MUST be stated, though stating them more clearly would save a lot of hassle.  AN


“Jurisdiction over” and “under the jurisdiction of” are NOT “subject to the jurisdiction of”.   The two you quote are very related, one being from the government’s perspective (over) the other being from the individuals perspective (under).  But “subject to” is neither of those, and a quote from the State Department nearly 150 years after the writing of the 14th Amendment in no way is definitive in explaining its meaning when it was written.

A conception of mine has been that subjection to US jurisdiction was needed at birth, (born and subject to…) but that is not at all stated. Which would mean that the SCOTUS could rule that children born to visiting or illegal aliens in the US, who grew up in another country, could return to the US and, as permanent residents, expect to be granted full citizenship based on place of birth, regardless of whether or not their parents were legal residents.  Such is the conundrum of overly-simple wording of such important things as Constitutional Amendments.

In a perfect world, a Native American who severed ties with his tribe, worked and lived and married into American life, would meet the 14th Amendment requirement for being a US citizen, but there is no way to determine conclusively that such a person doesn’t retain allegiance to his tribe. Thus the conundrum of possible dual allegiance gave the court the option of erring on the side of caution and against the unnatural situation of dual allegiance, which they chose in Elk v Wilkins.

“Being born in the territorial limits [in the territorial jurisdiction) does not automatically place one under the personal jurisdiction”.
But the Obamatrons want to erase the jurisdictional aspect of the 14th Amendment so they can claim he is a citizen merely by birth on US soil, (regardless of his father’s nationality and non-residency) and thus be able to argue that all citizens born in the US are natural born citizens as if native birth alone conveys natural born citizenship.  That is a dishonest and logically bankrupt claim since the two are not synonymous because the nationality of the father has direct barring on who is or isn’t a natural born citizen.  AN


It’s a baseless leap to declare that anyone who is a citizen (by birth in the U.S.) is by some miracle of logic also a natural born citizen just because some “experts” have conflated the two (native and natural) .
What they are failing to grasp is that by both possible definitions of natural born citizen, Obama does not qualify.   They must and do shun, and ignore the second requirement of the 14th Amendment, which is that such a person must be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  How is that requirement fulfilled?  Only one possible way.  The child must be subject through the subjection of its parents.  How are parents judged to be subject?  There’s only one possible explanation.  The parents are judged to be subject if they are legally living and working (and having children) in the United States.  If they are children of foreign government employees or foreign visitors, they are not judged to be subject.
By this logic, Obama fails to be eligible even by 14th Amendment birth in the United States because his foreign father was not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States since he was a mere student visitor.  He could not be drafted by the US government, nor ordered to not visit Cuba, or North Korea, or Iran.  He was not treated like the State Dept. treats aliens who are permanent legal US residents.  They are free to stay as long as they like and would only be in danger of deportation if they committed espionage or maybe an assassination attempt (after serving a prison sentence).  Whereas Obama Sr. lost his student visa status and was force to leave the country.
Conclusion:  Obama is not eligible to the office of POTUS by any standard honestly applied and understood.    He wasn’t born to a US father.  His father was not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States -though it could be argued that his mother was. But for her status to be fully controlling over her child, Obama Sr. would have had to have died or abandoned her before junior was born. AN


There’s two separate subjects inferred by your question.  One is the subject of citizenship.  The other is the subject of citizenship-by-Law.  They really aren’t one and the same. Citizenship is either the type that’s inherited naturally and outside the purview of elected government, or something conferred, or granted by passed Law or Amendment.

But a logic error occurs when one reads the 14th Amendment and infers that it is an affirmation of citizenship by native birth alone (without the jurisdiction requirement implying residency), but the larger error is the natural presumption of thinking that it is referring to the principle by which every citizen has citizenship.
It does NOT state that ONLY those born within the US are citizens.  Citizens can be born anywhere.  And how is that possible?  Via the principle that does not need to be stated, natural citizenship through birth to citizens.  Essentially all naturally born citizens are native born, with exceptions like John McCain, and that is, and was, so universally true that it was never necessary to address it in any statute.  What was needed was inclusionary statutory language that would finally make it clear that, with exceptions like the sovereign nations of the Native Americans, and employees of foreign governments, birth to US resident parents was automatically fulfillment of the only criteria necessary for citizenship of all persons who were not natural citizens. So while all persons born to legal resident parents are citizens, not all who are citizens are so because of birth to resident parents, but rather, because of birth to citizens.  AN


the true nature of jus soli is not embodied by the 14th Amendment.  Just as jus sanguinis is simple and clear, and without exceptions, so is jus soli. There is no other criteria than place-of-birth in determining citizenship, but that is not what is written in stone in the 14th Amendment. It has the added criteria of being subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal government.
Illegal aliens, foreign government personnel and visitors are not subject of US jurisdiction, while legal residents are considered to be.  Thus the 14th does not sanction citizenship because of a US birth to an illegal alien mother.  And Gray’s Wong Kim Ark decision did not grant citizenship based on jus soli, which, in the strictest sense, includes no requirement of residency.  Rather, Wong was deemed to be a citizen per the 14th because his parents were legal permanent residents.

While the Chinese emperor considered him a Chinese subject, the US conferred citizenship on him because his parents were US residents.  The 14th doesn’t split hairs.  It doesn’t say outright that residency is a requirement, nor for how long, nor what the race of the parents is, so Gray and Court were stuck with minimalist language that they had to interpret, and their interpretation was that subjection to US jurisdiction was evidenced by US residency.  So citizenship for children of aliens is contingent not on jus soli by itself, but in combination with its co-requirement.

Illegal alien mothers: 1. not legal residents. 2. Not subject to US jurisdiction. 3. babies are not citizens (Constitutionally speaking).

Wong Kim Ark parents:  1. legal residents. 2. subject to US jurisdiction.  3. their child: a US citizen  AN


“Nothing is better settled at the common law than the doctrine that the children even of aliens born in a country while the parents are resident there under the protection of the government and owing a temporary allegiance thereto are subjects by birth..”

Elk v. Wilkins, 83 U.S. 36 (1872): The Court denied Elk, a Native American, the right to vote as a US citizen even though he was born on US soil, because he was born on an Indian Reservation. Elk was not born subject to the jurisdiction of the US, because he “owed immediate allegiance to” his tribe, a vassal or quasi-nation, and not to the United States. The Court held Elk was not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States at birth.
This ruling was rendered moot when native Americans were granted citizenship in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.

Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872): The Court discussed the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment:   the phrase ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign states, born within the United States.

Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874): In this case decided after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court stated (pp. 167–68):
The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.

United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898): In this case, the majority of the Court held that a child born in U.S. territory to parents who were subjects of the emperor of China and who were not eligible for U.S. citizenship, but who had “a permanent domicile and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the emperor of China” was a U.S. Citizen.
The Court stated that:The constitution nowhere defines the meaning of these words [citizen and natural born citizen], either by way of inclusion or of exclusion, except in so far as this is done by the affirmative declaration that ‘all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.'[13]
Since the Constitution does not specify what the requirements are to be a “citizen” or a “natural born citizen”, the majority adopted the common law of England:

The court ruled:
It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born. III. The same rule was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally established.

The dissent argued that the meaning of the “subject to the jurisdiction” language found in 14th Amendment was the same as that found in the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which provides: “All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.” On the meaning of “natural born citizen,” the dissent also cited the treatise on international law by Emerich de Vattel entitled “The Law of Nations”:[14] “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”[15] The dissenters also noted, arguing that birth on the soil was not sufficient to grant citizenship at birth, that: it is unreasonable to conclude that ‘natural born citizen’ applied to everybody born within the geographical tract known as the United States, irrespective of circumstances; and that the children of foreigners, happening to be born to them while passing through the country, whether of royal parentage or not, or whether of the Mongolian, Malay, or other race, were eligible to the presidency, while children of our citizens, born abroad, were not. [13]


Lynch v. Clarke & Lynch, decided Nov 5., 1844, opinion written by a Judge Sandford. Found in Volume 3 of the New York Legal Observer from 1845.

Page 255  2nd column  “First, Persons who are born in a country are generally deemed to be citizens and subjects of that country.  A reasonable qualification of the rule would seem to be, that it should not apply to the children of parents, who were *in itinere* in the country, or who were abiding there for temporary purposes, as for health, or curiosity, or occasional business.  It would be difficult, however, to assert, that in the present state of public law, such a qualification is universally established.” (Story’s Conflict of Laws, 47, 48.)  Thus, the learned commentator sets out with the common law principle; and while he suggests certain modifications of the general rule, which might be deemed reasonable, but which are unknown to the common law; he does not consider them as fully established, even in the public law.

Page 256  Vattel says the natives, or indigenes, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. That in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen, for if he is born there of a stranger, it will be only the place of his birth, not his country. (Vattel’s Laws of Nations, B. 1,ch,16 & 212.)  He futher says…”that by the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers and enter into all their rights. ” But he puts forth that opinion, on the supposition that the father…has fixed his abode in a foreign country, he is become a member of another society, at least as a perpetual inhabitant, and his children are so too.  Thus the rule of Vattel is controlled by the *intention* with which the father takes up his abode in the foreign country.
Puifendorf, who is also cited in support of the civil law rule, says that all those who are born of a citizen are deemed by that circumstance alone, to submit themselves to the sovereign power on which their parents depend.
In Chancery  Lynch v Clark & Lynch


Until massive waves of immigration began, it was a fact that almost 100% of persons born in the US were natural born citizens, born of citizen parents. How do you differentiate between those who were citizens by fulfilling the principle of just soli as opposed to those fulfilling the principle of jus sanguinis?  You can’t. No one can because they fulfilled both!!!  How can anyone not grasp that conflating the two came naturally to people, even though there was an enormously significant difference between the two principles.

That difference only came to light in the rare case of someone born in the U.S. to a foreign citizen working for their foreign government,  or a foreign visitor, and those born to RESIDENT aliens. Subjection to US jurisdiction then differentiated between the two classes of alien parents.  The children of the former were NOT citizens, while those of the later were granted citizen via the 14th Amendment.  Natural born citizenship is NOT granted nor addressed by the 14th Amendment.


If you were born 200 years ago to citizen parents would you have ever asked yourself, “I’m I a citizen because I was born here or because I’m born of citizens?”  If you had, you wouldn’t know “THE ANSWER”  because there was none, there was only each individual’s opinion which might not have figured that it might be because both were true.  Confusion prevailed but men who strongly believe in principles also believed in certainly, so they formed a most certain opinion and often declared it as a fact, even though they could not point to any firm basis for any strong opinion.  Exactly like today, when no one can make any rational argument for their case, relying instead on the similarly baseless opinions of “experts”.
Things firmed up in a legal sense with the passage of the 14th Amendment.  It laid-out some principles that could be applied but not without first inferring what they were.  That was done in the Wong Kim Ark decision when citizenship for alien children was affirmed based on the residency of the parents being evidence of meeting the requirement of being subject to US jurisdiction.

But consider this hypothetical case.  A resident alien mother-to-be delivers one twin on one day, the next day she completes the US naturalization process, followed by delivering the second twin after that.  Both twins would be US citizens, but only the second one would be a natural born citizen because by then the mother had been natural-ized.  Without natural-ization, off-spring of resident aliens are citizens in all respects except in regard to Presidential eligibility.


“The Courts have said that temporary residents are in the jurisdiction of the United States because ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ is deemed to be subject to the laws — and temporary and permanent residents are equally subject to the law. ”

I don’t question that there is such a court decision, but I question the logical basis for their conclusion.  The problem is the the word “subject” is ambiguous, so deciphering it’s meaning is only possible by reviewing comments of the authors. But they may not have ever commented on it to clarify its ambiguity. Without knowing what was in their minds one can’t know what they intended.  But what I can deduce is that the meaning they intended was the one implying voluntary subjection, which is not dependent on being helpless against the ever-present martial.power of the state to enforce its will.  That is “a given”, and to include a statement that citizenship is dependent on being under that power would be 100% superfluous.   Therefore the reference to being subject to US jurisdiction must have been related to the state in which one lived while in the United States. Was one (the alien) in a position of subjection/allegiance to the will and laws of the United States federal government, or to their home nation?    It is a clear fallacy that “temporary and permanent residents are equally subject to the law”.  The US government cannot tell a foreign visitor that they cannot visit Cuba, nor do business with Iran.  But it can tell resident aliens that they are under such prohibitions. It could tell the Japanese natural born citizens that they would be forced to live in concentration camps, but it couldn’t tell foreign visitors such a thing. That would be a gross violation of international law.  AN


Naturalization law has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the citizenship of natural born citizens.  Their citizenship is NOT covered by any act of Congress except in regard to giving birth on foreign soil. And even in that case, it was mentioned not to establish a principle but merely to reaffirm what already was the accepted tradition of most, if not all, nations on earth.

It’s a distraction from natural citizenship to discuss Naturalization acts and jus soli vs jus sanguinis because those acts did not pertain to natural born citizens, but only to aliens and children of aliens.  So NO principle was rejected nor was any confirmed regarding the citizenship of 99.99% of U.S. newborns since they were not even covered by Naturalization law.
Under the 14th Amendment, jus soli was NOT affirmed as the sole principle upon which citizenship is based since citizenship via the 14th Amendment is dependent upon being subject to US jurisdiction, a condition meet by ALL natural born citizens, and ALL native born legal residents regardless of the nationality of their parents.  But its purpose was not to declare how citizenship is ascribed (jus soli vs jus sanguinis) but to merely state or declare the conditions that are true of all citizens and cannot be disputed or disregarded.
Those conditions are fulfilled differently by different groups.  Children of citizens fulfilled them naturally by their parents living in and giving birth within their own country, while children of aliens fulfill them by native birth and legal habitancy. The two are similar, but different since the nationality of the alien parents is not passed to their off-spring, while that of the citizen parents is.
But if the parents were NOT legal residents then their children were NOT citizens.  Citizens of foreign governments who work for those governments are not legal US residents because they are not domiciled here in any sort of permanent sense. They, and their fellow countrymen who are visiting the U.S., are considered to be aliens who are NOT subject to US jurisdiction, Therefore their children CANNOT constitutionally be U.S. citizens.


“Justice Thompson in his majority opinion in Inglis v. Sailor’s Snug Harbour, stated: “It is universally admitted that ALL PERSONS born within the colonies of North America, WHILST SUBJECT to the crown of Great Britain, were NATURAL BORN BRITISH SUBJECTS”

This statement demonstrates the necessity of alien resident parents being considered to be subject to the jurisdiction of the State as the basis of ascribing  citizenship to their children.  Citizenship based on birth within the domain of the State/Sovereign is contingent upon being subject/obedient to authority of the national government.


“If the statutes (and any treaties) granting the specific diplo/Military (and other) exceptions were repealed, ALL children born inside our borders WOULD BE U.S. jus soli citizens under the 14th Amendment.”   Since the 14th Amendment contains the requirement that anyone born in the US must be SUBJECT to its jurisdiction in order to be a citizen, no such alien child would be a US citizen.  Foreigners who do not reside here, who work for their foreign governments, who are just passing though, are NOT subject to the United States.  They are free to travel where ever in the world they want, to leave when they please, to engaged in commerce with whatever country they chose.  They yield NONE of their independence to the United State government.  It does not matter what you think the attitude of the US government is regarding its “jurisdiction over” such people, they nevertheless do not acknowledge any such imagined authority over themselves.  It is THEIR ATTITUDE that is of consequence in relation to the 14th Amendment, not your imaged attitude of the US government.
“it is only the sovereign and complete jurisdictional power of the United States to enact laws within its borders, that gives force of law to the statutes which specify which foreigners’ children are excepted from the jus soli rule.”  The logic of this statement is totally flawed.  1st. There is no jus soli rule that requires exceptions since such a rule would regard ONLY place of birth, subjection to jurisdiction does not exist is the jus soli principle but it sure exists in the 14th Amendment.
2nd. Simply stating an exception in a statute does NOT indicate that the exception does not pre-date the statute nor that it is stated for any reason other than clarity, so as to leave no doubt that the exception exists, regardless of the statute.  The exception can’t be construed, simply by inclusion, as being an exception by statute, rather than an exception by international tradition or treaty.  Exceptions to US jurisdiction do not need total US jurisdiction in order to have force of law if US practice has always been to NOT have jurisdiction where it accepts that it has none.  A King does not have to have total jurisdiction over his neighbors in order to “grant” them freedom from his jurisdiction!  He merely has to not have the gall to think he has jurisdiction in the first place.  AN


To PhoxarRed:  You’ve missed the truth hidden in the subtleties.  By your reckoning the authors of the 14th Amendment were stupid repeaters of an obvious fact.  By your reckoning, they could have left out the jurisdiction requirement and it would have made absolutely no difference since every breathing human being locating within US boundaries is “under” US jurisdiction.  How stupid do you think the author’s were?  What’s with including such a pointless statement of an obvious fact ?
Well, they weren’t so stupid, they were not stating an obvious fact that was “a given”.  They were requiring a certain condition which some aliens would meet and others would not.  Otherwise explain to us why it doesn’t simply read: “All persons born in the United States, or naturalized, are citizens.”? Period.  You can’t explain because you don’t grasp that it isn’t the attitude of the alien parent or child that the government considers, it’s the attitude of subjection that is inferred from the fact of their legal permanent residency.  By their choice to join the American society and raise their family here, they are deemed by that circumstance to no longer be subject to the nation of their citizenship.  They are viewed as having made a choice, just as those choosing naturalization and swearing allegiance are deemed to have made a choice of subjection to the totality of US jurisdiction.
The government’s possession of martial power and the ability to make all bend to its will does not produce the kind of subjection that is promulgated in the statutes of a free and democratic society.  But it’s fine if you live in North Korea.


Naturalization law has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the citizenship of natural born citizens.  Their citizenship is NOT covered by any act of Congress except in regard to giving birth on foreign soil. And even in that case, it was mentioned not to establish a principle but merely to reaffirm what already was the accepted tradition of most, if not all, nations on earth.

It’s a distraction from natural citizenship to discuss Naturalization acts and jus soli vs jus sanguinis because those acts did not pertain to natural born citizens, but only to aliens and children of aliens.  So NO principle was rejected nor was any confirmed regarding the citizenship of 99.99% of U.S. newborns since they were not even covered by Naturalization law.
Under the 14th Amendment, jus soli was NOT affirmed as the sole principle upon which citizenship is based since citizenship via the 14th Amendment is dependent upon being subject to US jurisdiction, a condition meet by ALL natural born citizens, and ALL native born legal residents regardless of the nationality of their parents.  But its purpose was not to declare how citizenship is ascribed (jus soli vs jus sanguinis) but to merely state or declare the conditions that are true of all citizens and cannot be disputed or disregarded.


All presumed allegiance to a foreign power must be resolved before the children of aliens can be viewed as having US citizenship.  That former allegiance is presumed by the government to have ended when one adopts the US as his/her new home by obtaining permanent legal residence.  Obama’s father was not a permanent resident but a mere visitor with presumed allegiance to his homeland and thus was not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Thus his son could not be included in even a liberal description of natural born citizen.  AN

In the year 1873 the United States Attorney General ruled the word “jurisdiction” under the Fourteenth Amendment to mean:
The word “jurisdiction” must be understood to mean absolute and complete jurisdiction, such as the United States had over its citizens before the adoption of this amendment… Aliens, among whom are persons born here and naturalized abroad (becoming citizens of their father’s country), dwelling or being in this country, are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States only to a limited extent. Political and military rights and duties do not pertain to them. (14 Op. Atty-Gen. 300.)

House Report No. 784, dated June 22, 1874, stated, “The United States have not recognized a double allegiance. By our law a citizen is bound to be ‘true and faithful’ alone to our government.” There is no way in the world anyone can claim “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” affirms the feudal common law doctrine of birth citizenship to aliens because such doctrine by operation creates a “double allegiance” between separate nations. [and one cannot be subject to the jurisdiction of two nations at once]

Naturalization Act of 1790 “And the children of Citizens of the UnitedStates, that may be
born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the UnitedStates, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the UnitedStates. (Note: “descend” means citizenship by descent,  not by native-birth)

For the English common law to be in effect, the alien father had to be under English jurisdiction, and be a resident of the state/colony. Therefore, he was a subject of the state/colony merely by habitancy, and thus his children citizens of that state.

2 Responses to Citizens by Law /the 14th Amendment

  1. arnash says:

    There’s another hair to be split, and that regards children of ILLegal aliens. They may or may not be considered to be subject to US jurisdiction, it depends on who or what is making the judgement, -judges, Congress, SCOTUS, or bureaucrats? It IS a gray area, and the common assumption that it is not is erroneous. Children of illegal aliens have no established right to US citizenship merely based on the jus soli principle because that principle is not at the heart of the 14th Amendment, rather it’s a dual-requirement. Jus soli citizenship does not involve any other requirement, but the 14th Amendment does. Hence it is NOT “a given” that such children are US citizens, and the SCOTUS has the authority to make that US law but has never done so. Is that because the issue has never come before them? Yes. But why has it not? AN

  2. arnash says:

    “Under our Constitution, a naturalized citizen stands on an equal footing with the NATIVE citizen in all respects, save that of eligibility to the Presidency. Baumgartner v. United States, 322 US 665, 673 (1944)”

    Again with the unsupportable conflation of native and natural born. Native Americans are still called “Indians” even being administered over by the Bureau of INDIAN Affairs, even though they are not Indians, and have no connection to India. Such is the state of affairs when it comes to correct use of significant terms. AN

    Unlike the Wong Kim Ark decision, the Elk decision is distinctly apart from
    the wording of the 14th Amendment’s description of who is born a citizen. Native Americans, as sovereign nations, gave birth to children who were under the jurisdiction of their tribe, not the United States. Therefore they were not U.S. citizens merely based on their native birth.
    But Wong Kim Ark was not born under a separate sovereignty since his parents were legal permanent US residents, and as such were subject to US jurisdiction, regardless of their Chinese status as subjects of China. The US government did not recognize the authority of China over Chinese permanent US residents. Hence the court was bound by their interpretation of the wording of the 14th Amendment. And they interpreted subjection to US jurisdiction as existing in all cases of permanent residency. Hence he was ruled to be a US citizen, (although not a natural born citizen) AN

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