15 Tul. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 265 (2006-2007)
Addressing the Call for the Elimination of Birthright Citizenship in the United States: Constitutional and Pragmatic Reasons to Keep Birthright Citizenship Intact

handle is hein.journals/tulicl15 and id is 269 raw text is: Addressing the Call for the Elimination of
Birthright Citizenship in the United States:
Constitutional and Pragmatic Reasons To Keep
Birthright Citizenship Intact
Katherine Pettit*
I.   INTRODUCTION    ................................................................................. 265
II.  LEGAL BACKGROUND       ....................................................................... 266
A.    Current Political Context in the United States ...................... 266
B.    Current Law of the United States ........................................... 267
C    Intem atonalLaw    .................................................................... 270
Ill. THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN A UNIQUE HISTORICAL
SITUATION THAT NECESSITATES REPEALING BIRTHRIGHT
C ITIZENSHIP  ...................................................................................... 272
A.    The United States PreviouslyAttempted and Ultmately
Failed To Limit Citizenship Rights for Specific Races
or Ethnic  Groups ..................................................................... 272
B.    The CurrentAttempt To Limit Bztbnght Citizenship
Targeted at Undocumented Immigrants Is Functionally
No Different and Should Not Be Treated Differently ........... 275
IV REPEALING BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP WILL NOT IMPROVE
THE AMERICAN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM OR RESULT IN FEWER
ILLEGAL  A LIENS  ............................................................................... 278
A.    Lessons Learned from Germany ........................................... 278
B.    Pgmat  c Reasons Why Ending Bifhl'ht Citizenship
Will Not Workin the United States ........................................ 281
V    CONCLUSION     .................................................................................... 289
I.   INTRODUCTION
With provocative rhetoric and emotionally charged messages,
members of Congress throughout the United States are renewing the age-
*    J.D. candidate 2007, Tulane University School of Law; B.A. 2002, Whitworth
College. The author would like to thank Boalt Hall School of Law professors Maria Echaveste
and Lucas Guttentag for welcoming her into their immigration classes following Hurricane
Katrina and inspiring the topic of this Comment. She would also like to thank Nathan Smith for
his encouragement and support.
265

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