The 14th Amendment of the Constitution -- specifically Section 1 which grants automatic citizenship to anyone born in the United States -- has been a hot topic of discussion for the Republicans this week. It seems a few from the minority party, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, would like to hold hearings in Congress to discuss the 14th Amendment's legitimacy and relevancy, and to, I assume, remove this provision. According to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), as reported by station KSAT in San Antonio, "It should not apply to 'foreigners' and so it is being totally misinterpreted today." Smith is co-sponsoring the effort to change the way the 14th Amendment is interpreted. They want to do away with "anchor babies", those bundles of joy born on U.S. soil and entitled to full American citizenship. When I initially heard this, and started surfing around the web to find more about it, I was ecstatic! Here's why!
This might be the lure that could eventually bring the light of day to the idea behind "corporate personhood"! Unknowingly...I'm sure...the Republicans will also have to face the scrutiny and questions about personhood as it applies to artificial and non-human entities -- not just the citizenship of "anchor babies". Why, you may ask? Because the whole corporate-dominated paradigm we're living within today, the total framework which allows corporations to have the same rights under the Constitution -- as you, and I, as human persons -- lies within the same section of the 14th Amendment of which they want to deem as invalid. The expansive view of the 14th Amendment, since Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad in 1886, has allowed the proliferation of all sorts of "foreigners", as noted by Rep. Smith, to qualify for legal citizenship -- corporations included!
Do you think the Republicans, or even the Democrats, are going to amend or repeal the 14th and sacrifice their most coveted benefactors? Neither do I. But if they should dare open Pandora's Box, let's insist they insert the word "natural" in between the first and second words of Section 1. That should be all that's needed to break the back of the corporacracy we've been subjected to for almost 125 years.
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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.