cphite wrote:The two phrases used within Section 1 of the 14th Amendment are "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" and "within its jurisdiction" and they mean two similar but slightly different things.
I'm referring to:Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens...
(note: the focus is on the person)
Diplomats are not subject to the jurisdiction thereof, and are not the subject of my comment, nor of Trump's "reinterpretation".
Illegal aliens however are
subject to the jurisdiction thereof. A French citizen, while in the United States, is subject to the jurisdiction of France, and
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He's also within
the jurisdiction of the United States, which is (pretty much) what triggers the fact that he is subject to
the jurisdiction of the United States (if he's not a diplomat). If the French citizen commits an act that is a crime in the US, he can be prosecuted in the US. If he commits an act in the US that is a crime in France, then depending on French law
, he can be prosecuted in France even though he committed the act in the US. If this French citizen remains past his visa, or had entered the country illegally, all of the above still holds
, by the raw text of the Constitution and all legal interpretations so far.
Now, the argument that children of illegal aliens are not citizens of the US because they are not subject to the jurisdiction thereof
, would imply that they are not subject to the jurisdiction thereof. This is of little concern while they are babies, but when they grow up it would be a problem. To wit, that they are immune from the law (or at least from prosecution). It is the logical conclusion of the argument.
This is the thing somebody should tell Trump. As if he cared about logic.
Now, the second sentence: No State shall [...] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
(note: the focus is on the territory)
Any person who is within
the (given) State is entitled to equal protection of the laws. This includes citizens, illegal aliens, diplomats, and (probably) corporate persons too, but I'm not sure about that last one. When I'm in Georgia, I am within its jurisdiction, even if I reside in Alabama (or France). That's kind of what it means to be "in" Georgia, in a legal sense. Because I am within its jurisdiction (the territory), I am subject to its laws. If I'm 19, and the drinking age in Georgia is 21, but the drinking age where I reside is 15, I am not allowed to buy alcohol
while I am in Georgia, because I am within the territory
administered by Georgia. Similarly, if murder is legal where I come from, but is prohibited in Georgia, then while I am in Georgia
, anybody who tries to kill me commits a crime, and this clause makes it clear that Georgia is on the hook to protect me from this crime and to prosecute such criminals. Georgia cannot create a law that makes it legal to kill out-of-state visitors but not Georgians.
There's not a lot of room for interpretation here. The words are pretty clear.