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Rep. Matt Gaetz Introduces Bill to End Unqualified Birthright Citizenship

"American citizenship is a privilege – not an automatic right to be co-opted by illegal aliens."

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has introduced legislation to end unqualified birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens.

The “End Birthright Citizenship Fraud Act of 2023” would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to “reflect the original intent” of the 14th Amendment’s “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause.

In a press release about the bill, the congressman’s office said, “If passed, the legislation would deny automatic citizenship at birth to children born within the United States whose parents are not U.S. nationals ­­–– excluding aliens lawfully admitted as refugees or permanent residents or performing active services in the U.S. Armed Forces.”

“Birthright citizenship has been grossly and blatantly misapplied for decades, recently becoming a loophole for illegal aliens to fraudulently abuse our immigration system. My legislation recognizes that American citizenship is a privilege – not an automatic right to be co-opted by illegal aliens,” Rep. Gaetz said in a statement. “This is an important step in preserving the sanctity of American citizenship and ensures that citizenship is not treated as a loophole to be exploited but rather a privilege to be earned when legally migrating to our country.”

The legislation notes that laws surrounding naturalization fall on Congress to decide, as stated in Article I, section 8, clause 4 of 15 of the Constitution, which states, ‘‘The Congress should have power . . . To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization . . .’’

“Unqualified birthright citizenship provides a strong incentive for illegal immigrants to cross the southern border of the United States,” the bill states. “When their child is born on United States soil, the family can return to their home country, and 21 years later, the family may return as a part of chain migration not subject to the numerical limitations by which we control most international migration.”

The bill continues, “Millions of illegal immigrants have at least one child who is deemed a citizen under the erroneous interpretation of the 14th Amendment. Estimates show that most children of unauthorized immigrants are citizens by birth, and the number has been increasing exponentially since 2003.”

Additionally, Rep. Gaetz pointed to the black market birth tourism industry, which helps approximately 33,000 women come to the United States to have their babies each year on tourist visas, “and hundreds of thousands more” that are born to mothers who are illegal aliens or present on temporary visas, “many of whom have misrepresented the purpose of their trip to avoid scrutiny.”

Former President Donald Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, has vowed to end birthright citizenship his first day in office if he is elected back to the White House.

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