Guest Editorial

By Russell Pearce  |  SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

The 14th Amendment as written
and intended

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russell pearceAre they confused, corrupt or don’t they care?  The issue is back and as usual the liberal media has it all wrong, and even more disturbing is the ignorance of presidential candidates.  They want to lead the nation and yet are confused on the Constitution.  They have no clue about the 14th Amendment, which is available here: /rr/program/bib/ ourdocs/ 14thamendment.html.  This is a critical Constitutional issue. The 14th Amendment had a very specific purpose – right a wrong dealing with slaves and their children. The legacy belongs to a moral Congress and that of the African Americans, in righting a wrong.

We must restore common sense and sanity to this nation by demanding we enforce our current laws by eliminating illegal sanctuary policies, securing our border, eliminating any and all rewards for breaking the law and applying the 14th Amendment as intended. 

• No Amnesty
• No jobs
• No Free taxpayer stuff
• Secure the border now
• Enforce our laws
• Stop unconstitutional Declaration of Citizenship to those born to non-citizens
The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment states that U.S. citizens are “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF.” Federal law uses almost identical language. 

“Subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is an essential part of the definition. They meant what they said and history confirms the importance of and necessity of those five words. American Indians, despite their GPS birth location did not receive U.S. Citizenship until it was conferred by congressional acts in 1887, 1901 and 1924, long after ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

For nearly two centuries, the Supreme Court faithfully made it clear and citizenship was consistent with the Constitution and the intent of our Founders.

In 1884, in Elk v. Wilkins, the Court held that even though Indians were born in the geographical boundaries of the United States they were not Citizens of the U.S.

In 1942, a federal court in the District of Columbia re-confirmed the conditions of citizenship: "Of course, the mere physical fact of birth in the country does not make these children citizens of the United States …."

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the States wherein they reside." The language is clear, the debate was clear.

The author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob M. Howard (MI) introduced it to the United States Senate in 1866:

Mr. HOWARD: I now move to take up House joint resolution No. 127. (H.R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

“I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been fully discussed in this body … it is simply declaratory …  This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, …”

Senator Trumbull continues, "Can you sue a Navajo Indian in court? Are they in any sense subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States? By no means. We make treaties with them, and therefore they are not subject to our jurisdiction. If they were, we wouldn't make treaties with them.

Sen. Howard concurs with Sen. Trumbull's construction: In other words, only children born to American citizens can be considered citizens of the United States since only a American citizen could enjoy the "extent and quality" of jurisdiction as an American citizen now.

The Constitution of the United States is clear. The 14th Amendment does not grant citizenship at birth to just anyone who happens to be born within America. A child’s birth parents determine the child’s citizenship, not geographical location. 

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the immigration impacts the United States:
• Births to immigrants at all-time high: nearly one fourth of new mothers are foreign-born.
• 383,000 or 42 percent, of births to immigrants are to illegal alien mothers.
• The issue of births to illegals also shows that a “temporary” worker program would inevitably result in the permanent addition of hundreds of thousands.
• The states with the most dramatic increase in births to immigrants in the last decade are Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Nebraska, Arkansas, Arizona.

Russell Pearce, former President of the AZ Senate, Chief Deputy of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Judge and leading national advocate of the Constitution as written and the rule of law. Visit