By Malcolm Pearl, CIS.org
Malcolm Pearl is a pseudonym for a Foreign Service officer who has served abroad as a consular officer.
One aspect of the debate over immigration concerns how to curb the number of children born to temporary or illegal alien residents in the United States who then become U.S. citizens, based on the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S Constitution. Trying to pass legislation that changes birthright citizenship rules likely will face several legal and political challenges. A smaller step that can go long way in reducing the problems associated with this practice, and one fraught with fewer potential land mines, is to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to detect, deter, and penalize foreigners who come to the United States on tourist or other temporary visas for the purpose of giving birth and returning home. Presently there is no prohibition, nor concerted U.S. government effort to stop, individuals from taking advantage of our liberal citizenship policies in order to make their children instant U.S. citizens.