Reid calls Vitter’s proposed amendment stupid … now

Harry Reid (Screen grab from Roll Call video)

Harry Reid (Screen grab from Roll Call video)

While most of the talked-about controversy over an anti-human trafficking bill in Congress is over a provision that bars federal funding for abortion services, a proposed amendment from a Louisiana senator is also catching heat.

Republican Sen. David Vitter wants to offer an amendment to stop so-called birthright citizenship in which the child of parents in the country illegally is automatically granted citizenship simply because of where it is born here. This is because of an 1898 Supreme Court interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

Harry Reid calls the proposal “Vitter’s stupid amendment.

“It’s astounding that we’re allowing foreign citizens to exploit the loopholes of our immigration system in this manner, and Congress has the obligation to stop it,” Vitter said in a statement, according to Roll Call. “This practice comes down to a fundamental misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment, and we can stop the massive problem with some simple clarification.”

Now where have we heard that before? Oh, yes:

That was then. This is now.

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64 comments on “Reid calls Vitter’s proposed amendment stupid … now

  1. How can you tell if Harry is lying…again…uh huh!

  2. nyp says:

    “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.”
    14th Amendment to the Constitution

  3. So Harry was for the amendment…before he was against it. Typical…

  4. In Wong the opinion and dissent dissected “subject to the jurisdiction” till it was mincemeat.

    From the dissent: “The right of a nation to expel or deport foreigners who have not been naturalized or taken an steps toward becoming citizens of a country is as absolute and unqualified as the right to prohibit and prevent their entrance into the country.

    “But can the persons expelled be subjected to ‘cruel and unusual punishments’ in the process of expulsion, as would be the case if children born to them in this country were separated from them on their departure, because citizens of the United States? Was it intended by this amendment to tear up parental relations by the roots?”

    Would any same country do that, Harry?

  5. nyp says:

    I kind of understand why you would wish to hang on to a dissenting opinion from a 120 year-old lawsuit, instead of looking at the actual text of the Constitution. That is because Constitution is crystal-clear, and contradicts your position:
    “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.”

    Not much room for maneuver there.

  6. The definition of the word “and” is: conjunction
    1.
    used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences that are to be taken jointly.

    AND subject to the jurisdiction thereof …

    A lot of room for maneuver.

  7. nyp says:

    No, there is not.

  8. nyp says:

    Good luck with that!

  9. Steve says:

    AS usual…nyp changed the topic under fire.

    Harry Reid used to be for something before he was against it.
    It is NOT the 120 old court decision under fire here. IT IS Harry’s sudden and complete change from what we used to vote for to what he has now become.

    Harry has not “evolved” he has climbed the DC ladder of power and he does not want to fall off the upper rungs. So he has swallowed the poison and become one with the devil.

    So to speak.

    Suffice to say, today’s Harry Reid is not the Harry Reid I remember and voted for back then.

    Washington DC changes all who remain there more than a couple cycles.

  10. Winston Smith says:

    A politician who flips positions? Which way is the wind blowing?

  11. nyp says:

    Remember back when President Obama’s policies were going to lead to the swift debasement of our currency and the devaluing of the dollar in international markets?

    Whatever happened to that meme?

  12. Steve says:

    Bernie Sanders keeps pushing it.

  13. nyp says:

    no, he doesn’t.

  14. Steve says:

    Yes he does.

    Nya-Nya!

    TAG yurit!

  15. nyp says:

    There is no “tag.” I can guarantee you that Senator Sanders has never contended that President Obama and the Fed’s policies would lead to lead to devaluation of the dollar and debasement of the currency. Never. Not once.

    Paul Ryan, however, made precisely that prediction.

    Hasn’t quite worked out the way he predicted.

  16. Steve says:

    Sure didn’t read that way to me when he spoke March 11. Hell, he even lambasted Obamacare!

  17. nyp says:

    That is because you appear not to be capable of reading.

  18. Steve says:

    So Bernie did NOT say these things….

    “Despite the modest gains of the Affordable Care Act, 40 million Americans continue to have no health insurance and more people are living in poverty today than almost any time in the modern history of America.”

    Or
    “What I’m saying is not that the Fed’s power should be curtailed but that it should be redirected, I want the Fed to work for the needs of small businesses and ordinary Americans.”

    Or
    “I intend to investigate whether these secret Fed loans turned out to be direct corporate welfare,”

    Been reading what he says for for a few years now, Nyp. It appears you are simply ignoring what you wish not to be true.

  19. Steve says:

    Indeed.

    Bernie said it…swallow it, nyp.

  20. nyp says:

    Just for you, I will try this one more time, only very slowly.

    I noted that conservatives had predicted that the policies pursued by President Obama and the Fed would lead to massive devaluation of the dollar and “debasement of the currency” (at Paul Ryan put it.) That was six years ago, and nothing of the kind has happened. In fact, economists are currently worried that the dollar is too strong. Yes there has been no attempt by conservatives to come to terms with the lessons of their completely wrong economic forecasts.

    In response, you note that Senator Saunders, as a representative of what remains of the left wing of the Democratic party, is critical of President Obama for being too much of a centrist. He thinks the unemployment rate is still to high, that the Fed is too accommodative of the financial sector, etc.

    One really does not have anything to do with the other. It is as if I had noted that conservative predictions that health reform would destroy the American economy had proved to be completely, objectively false, and you had chosen as a rejoinder to note that some on the left criticize the ACA for not covering illegal aliens.

  21. Steve says:

    While he carefully avoids Obama’s name, he certainly invokes both Obama’s and the Fed’s actions and calls them out as evil. (without using that word either)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/a-real-jaw-dropper-at-the_b_791091.html

    Take that, put it in your hash pipe and smoke it.

  22. Steve says:

    While he carefully avoids Obama’s name, he certainly invokes both Obama’s and the Fed’s actions and calls them out as evil. (without using that word either)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/a-real-jaw-dropper-at-the_b_791091.html

    Take that, put it in your hash pipe and smoke it.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot, he also claims to have fixed it with his legislation. What a gas!
    DeRP’s are SO entertaining.

  23. Rincon says:

    Reading the article, I see Sanders criticizing only the Fed, not any other part of the administration. From Auburn University: “Because the President can not fire them from their positions before their fourteen-year terms expire, members of the Board of Governors normally feel relatively free to ignore or oppose the President’s preferences when they make U.S. monetary policies.” http://www.auburn.edu/~johnspm/gloss/federal_reserve_system

    So how did this get to be about Obama? And why no answer to nyp’s assertion that the Conservatives were wrong about Obama’s policies causing an impending devaluation of the dollar? Is it true or false?

  24. Steve says:

    Reading the article Bush signed the law but it didn’t get blown all out of proportion until 2009!

    Now just who was in the White House by then?

  25. Barbara says:

    NYP – Please get your references correct. The 14th Admendment does not grant citizenship to “anchor’ babies. It was written to ensure citizenship to native born Black Americans that were former slaves. It had nothing to do with illegal immigrants. Of course, since President Obama is disregarding the law and Congress refuses to stop him, our Constitution for all intents and purposes has become irrelevant.

    See http://www.14thamendment.us/birthright_citizenship/original_intent.html

    Indeed, in 1924 Congress passed an act to grant full citizenship to American Indians who were born within the borders of the United States but were not considered citizens under the 14th Admendment.

  26. Rincon says:

    “What have we learned so far from the disclosure of more than 21,000 transactions? We have learned that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout signed into law by President George W. Bush turned out to be pocket change compared to the trillions and trillions of dollars in near-zero interest loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution in this country.” Is this what you’re referring to Steve? If so, does the President have the power under this law to order the Fed to give out these loans and other goodies or is it the prerogative of the Fed?

    I may have done you a disservice Barbara. I sort of expected you to be a strict Constitutionalist. The others, I’m sure, agree that anchor babies are citizens by the strict terms of the 14th amendment.

  27. Steve says:

    Rincon…hmmph. Think about your own question. Then answer mine.

  28. nyp says:

    Barbara: my references are clear and so is the text of the 14th Amendment: “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.”

    You simply don’t like the words of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Instead of engaging in pretzel logic, you ought to simply advocate a constitutional amendment to achieve your objective: deporting millions of people who were born in the US and have lived here all their lives.

  29. Barbara says:

    NYP – You misunderstand the 14th Amendment and how it has been applied by the courts. It does not grant citizenship to anyone born on US soil. The legal record is clear on this which is why subsequent laws were enacted to grant full citizenship to native Indians. Your reading of the Amendment would remove the clause, “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”.

  30. nyp says:

    Nope. Supreme Court dealt with that over a century ago.
    A child born in the United States is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. If there were to be a child custody issue in the United States relating to a child born in the United States from foreign parents, for example, no one could plausibly argue that an American court did not have jurisdiction over the issue. In the 19th century American courts did not have jurisdiction over Indian territory.

    You ought to simply be honest and advocate for a constitutional amendment. That would achieve your objective of deporting millions of American.

  31. Barbara says:

    NYP – cite the case. Other immigration laws have been passed which could apply. The 14th Amendment does not.

  32. nyp says:

    Let’s see now. There was US v. Wong Kim Ark (1898); Plyler v. Doe (1982); IRS v. Rios-Pineda (1985).
    All read the 14th Amendment to mean exactly what it says:
    ““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.”

    You guys are extremely selective in your readings of the Constitution. Clauses that you don’t like you simply ignore.

  33. Barbara says:

    Plyler v. Doe is a case involving education of illegal aliens. The ruling specifically stated that illegal aliens and their children are not citizens but still must be allowed to attend school if in the United States.

    IRS v. Rios-Pineda – also not a 14th Amendment case. The legal question of this case involved the authority of the Attorney General, under Section 244(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to suspend deportation proceedings. “it is not for the judiciary to usurp Congress’ grant of authority to the Attorney General by applying what approximates de novo appellate review. See Jong Ha Wang, 450 U.S. at 450 U. S. 144-145; Phinpathya, 464 U.S. at 464 U. S. 195-196. Because we conclude that, here, the refusal to reopen the suspension proceeding was within the discretion of the Attorney General, we reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals.”

    US v. Wong Kim Ark is a 14th Amendment. Wong’s parents at the time of his birth were in the United States legally. They lived and conducted business in the United States and did so for 20 years. Essentially, they were “resident aliens” and as such were subject to the jurisdication of the US. Wong also lived in the US and did not leave until age 17 for a temporary visit to China. He was admitted on his return and then at age 20 left for a temporary 2nd visit to China. It was on the 2nd return that his citizenship was challenged. The ruling found that he was afforded the protection of the 14th Amendment because his parents were legally within the US and subject to its jurisdiction due to their residence and business transactions and the time he had continuously resided in the US. This was a much different circumstance than a child born to an illegal alien.

  34. At the time, Chinese were prohibited from becoming naturalized citizens.

  35. Steve says:

    “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”
    Is the qualifier. To be such, one must be here legally.

  36. nyp says:

    Barbara: Your ability to Google nativist websites is, in its own way, kind of impressive. Your ability to actually read constitutional caselaw? Not so much.

    Here is what the Supreme Court wrote in Plyler v. Doe: “Appellants argue at the outset that undocumented aliens, because of their immigration status, are not “persons within the jurisdiction” of the State of Texas, and that they therefore have no right to the equal protection of Texas law. We reject this argument. Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is surely a “person” in any ordinary sense of that term. … Appellants argue at the outset that undocumented aliens, because of their immigration status, are not “persons within the jurisdiction” of the State of Texas, and that they therefore have no right to the equal protection of Texas law. We reject this argument. Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is surely a “person” in any ordinary sense of that term.”

    In U.S. v. Wong Kim Arc, the Court wrote that “[t]he Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory,”. and, accordingly, concluded that “every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States, and needs no naturalization.” Applying that principle, a unanimous Court in INS v. Rios Pineda found that the child born in the U.S. to an illegal alien was, in fact, a citizen of the United States.

    The Fourteenth Amendment could not be clearer: “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.” Like so many conservatives, when you find something in the Constitution that you do not like you choose to disregard it.

  37. nyp says:

    Steve: A person who is in the United States illegally is nevertheless subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    You disagree? Well, you would be on the wrong side of more than a century of Supreme Court precedent, and of the clear legislative history of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    You would also (once again) be on the wrong side of elementary logic. Consider pickup truck of illegal aliens traveling along an Arizona highway. A cop car pulls the truck over for speeding, and asks the driver to show his ID. His response? “No, you can’t make me show you my ID, for I am an illegal alien and am therefore not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” I don’t think he would have any more luck with that argument than you have with your argument that the 14th Amendment does not mean what it says.

  38. Steve says:

    I stated that is the qualifier. It is also the basis for every argument on the issue.
    SCOTUS made its decision long before any of us were born. As many liberals argue today (albeit over different issues) perhaps it is time to make changes to those outdated decisions.

  39. Barbara says:

    NYP – I am well versed in both reading and teaching Constitutional case law going all the way back to the 1980s.

    From Pllyer v Doe “the question presented by these cases is whether, consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Texas may deny to undocumented school-age children the free public education that it provides to children who are citizens of the United States or legally admitted aliens.”

    “In May 1975, the Texas Legislature revised its education laws to withhold from local school districts any state funds for the education of children who were not “legally admitted” into the United States. The 1975 revision also authorized local school districts to deny enrollment in their public schools to children not “legally admitted” to the country. Tex. Educ. These cases involve constitutional challenges to those provisions.”

    The Supremes upheld the ruling of the 5th District that children of illegal aliens could not be denied entry to public schools. “If the State is to deny a discrete group of innocent children the free public education that it offers to other children residing within its borders, that denial must be justified by a showing that it furthers some substantial state interest. No such showing was made here. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals in each of these cases is Affirmed.”

    Holding that children are “persons” does not equate to holding that they are “citizens”. The Supremes also found in Plyler v. Doe that “the Court expressly — and correctly — rejects any suggestion that illegal aliens are a suspect class, or that education is a fundamental right.”

    NYP you cannot take a court case and twist it to relate to a question that was never before it. Likewise in INS v. Rios Pineda:

    ” We granted certiorari, 469 U.S. 1071 (1984), because this case involves important issues bearing on the scope of the Attorney General’s discretion in acting on motions to reopen civil requests for suspension of deportation.[471 U.S. 444, 449] ” The Supremes never issued a ruling in this case concerning citizenship because the question before it only concerned the authority of the Attorney General acting in civil requests for suspension of deportation.

    Keep searching for a case in which the Supremes specifically ruled that an illegal alien born within the borders of the US is a citizen of the US due to the 14th Amendment. You won’t find one.

  40. nyp says:

    Ah. I see.
    So when the Supreme Court holds that ““Every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States, and needs no naturalization,” it is not saying that every person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof becomes at once a citizen of the United States.

    And when the Court holds that “no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment “jurisdiction” can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful,” it is not saying that no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment jurisdiction can be drawn between legal and illegal aliens.

    I suppose that makes sense if one is the sort of person who believes that the 14th Amendment’s provision that “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” does not mean that all persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States.

  41. Barbara says:

    Court rulings are narrowly construed to the legal question at hand. You have no legal understanding of the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. Congress debated the meaning and you can find it if you are really interested in the truth instead of making the 14th Amendment into what you wish it to be.

  42. nyp says:

    Actually, Supreme Court constitutional rulings are certainly not narrowly construed to the legal question at hand. Of course, the legislative history of the 14th Amendment clearly supports what the Supreme Court has repeatedly said — that when the
    14th Amendment states that “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,” it means that all persons born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are citizens of the United States.

    You really cannot wish away provisions of the Constitution that disturb your nativist sentiments.

  43. Steve says:

    “all persons born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction”

    AND

  44. nyp says:

    A child who is born in the United States is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The Supreme Court has held many times that the 14th Amendment means what it says.

  45. Steve says:

    THAT is the decision you cannot cite, nyp.

  46. Rincon says:

    Can you specify someone who was born in this country, lives in this country, and is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States?

  47. Barbara says:

    Children of diplomats, POWs, and foreign criminals residing in the United States including children of illegal aliens. All these people retain allegiance to their native countries.

  48. nyp says:

    Wow. So an illegal alien traveling along a highway cannot be stopped and made to turn over his papers, because he is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    Instead of trying to ignore what the Constitution says you should simply try to enact a new Amendment that would achieve your goal of kicking millions of young Americans out of the country.

  49. Barbara says:

    Under Obama, you are correct. Illegal aliens can no longer be deported. I have several friends who work for ICE and the Border Patrol in Texas and they tell me daily how they are prevented from carrying out their constitutional duties.

    I have concluded you are either willfuly ignorant of the histroy of this country, or you have such disdain for the system of federalism that you truly believe that the “elite” should govern and to hell with everybody else.

  50. nyp says:

    Ha, ha, ha. Law enforcement has no jurisdiction over aliens. Very funny.

    Wait until I tell your future nominee, my fellow elitist Jeb Bush.

  51. Rincon says:

    You’re right about the children of diplomats, but how are POW’s and foreign criminals not under our jurisdiction? They don’t have to obey our laws? No matter what Obama does, the immigrant children born in this country must obey all of the laws that the rest of us do. If this isn’t being under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government, I would ask you to define the word jurisdiction, because it must certainly be different from mine.

  52. Steve says:

    So the bay born of foreigners, in an airplane flying over the US, is a citizen?

  53. Steve says:

    Baby…where’d that “b” I typed go?

  54. Barbara says:

    When dealing with Constitutional issues, it is not my beliefs or yours that are to be considered. Rather, the historical context is paramount as a phrase cannot mean what it never meant.

    Briefly, “Subject to the jurisdiction thereof” means having complete allegiance to only the United States and no other country. For a full discussion see:

    http://www.federalistblog.us/2007/09/revisiting_subject_to_the_jurisdiction/
    .

  55. nyp says:

    I see. So a baby born in Kansas to completely legal resident aliens is not a citizen under the 14th Amendment. And a child born to an American father and a foreign citizen mother is not a citizen. And a child born to parents who have dual American-Israeli citizenship is not an American citizen.

    The number of current American citizens whom you wish to deport under your loopy wingnut theory keeps growing and growing.

  56. nyp says:

    By they way – I just realized that you are aiming for a wingnut twofer: under your interpretation President Obama is not an American citizen! Back to Kenya, right?

  57. Barbara says:

    nyp you are such a child. Are you really incapable of removing your feelings from a topic and looking at the historical record? Must everything revolve around your “feelings”?

    As far as Obama is concerned, even if the “birther” contention was correct (and I’m not saying it is) that he was born in Kenya, he would be a “natural” citizen under Title 8, Section 1401( or so I’m told by those who know federal statutory law which I do not). I also am not familiar with state law in Hawaii, so unlike you, until I educate myself on the written record, I refrain from offering any opinion.

    I suggest that if you want to be taken seriously, you spend some time researching and contemplating the historical record rather than letting emotion rule your thoughts.

  58. nyp says:

    That is really generous of you to concede that it possible that President Obama was not born in Nairobi.

  59. Barbara says:

    Well, there you go again – injecting emotion into a discussion. I guess you are hell bent on proving reason and logic are alien cocepts to you.

  60. nyp says:

    Good point. We should have a sober, unemotional discussion about whether the President of the United States was actually born in Mombasa and whether his birth certificate is a forgery.

    Unfortunately, I am afraid I am not equipped to have such a discussion because your theory that the American-born child of a dual Israeli-American citizen is not a US citizen has left me too emotional to engage in reasoned discussion.

  61. 4TH ST8 says:

    […] this year, Republican Sen. David Vitter wanted to offer an amendment to stop so-called birthright citizenship in which the child of parents in the country illegally is […]

  62. […] called the proposal “Vitter’s stupid amendment.” A similar bill has been introduced in the […]

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