American Citizenship Draining Away Through “Citizen Child” Loophole

Thousands of people from around the
world will raise their right hands, swear

to the United States, and become proud
American citizens this weekend. They will become
Americans because they choose to do so, they love what
we stand for, and they are willing to renounce any

to all other

foreign governments
in order to become one of us.

And then there are “Americans” such
as Yaser Esam Hamdi. These are “Americans” by accident.
“Americans” on paper. “Americans” who invoke their
citizenship privileges only when it comes time to save
their hides or cash in on government benefits.

Hamdi was

in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on September
26, 1980. His parents were both citizens of Saudi
Arabia. Hamdi`s father was here on a temporary work
assignment as a chemical engineer for the Saudi Arabia
Basic Industries Corp., a Saudi government-controlled
industrial giant. When Hamdi was three, his family went
back to Saudi Arabia.

For the next two decades, Hamdi was
raised in the Saudi kingdom. He spoke their language,
not ours. He went to their schools, not ours. He
embraced their culture, their religion, and their way of
life. Not ours.

In late fall of 2001, Hamdi was
captured in Afghanistan by our boys. He was armed with a

rifle, fighting as part of a Taliban or
al Qaeda unit, which surrendered to Northern Alliance
forces. Our government declared him and

hundreds of his comrades
“enemy combatants”
and sent them to

Guantanamo Bay
for interrogation and detention.

The feds soon discovered that Hamdi
had been born in the U.S.A. Press reports and
civil-liberties activists last spring decried the cruel
fate of this “Yankee Taliban.” Yankee? If Hamdi`s
a Yankee, I`m a Mayflower descendant. The captured
warrior was

to a naval brig in Norfolk, Va., and
lawyers quickly claimed Hamdi`s

right to counsel
as an “American.” His Saudi parents
indignantly demanded that their “American” son be freed.

Hamdi got his hearing. In January,
the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [PDF]
unanimously in Hamdi`s case that American citizens
captured on foreign soil can be detained indefinitely as
enemy combatants without the usual constitutional
protections afforded to citizen-defendants:
“For the judicial branch to
trespass upon the exercise of the warmaking powers would
be an infringement of the right to self-determination
and self-governance at a time when the care of the
common defense is most critical.”

The panel of
Reagan and Clinton appointees noted:
"Hamdi is not any American citizen
alleged to be an enemy combatant by the government; he
is an American citizen captured and detained by American
allied forces in a foreign theater during active
hostilities and determined by the United States to have
been indeed allied with enemy forces."

Left unresolved, however, was whether
Hamdi should even be considered an American at all.

As the

Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement,
a New
York-based immigration reform group,

in a complaint seeking

federal court review
of Hamdi`s claim to

birthright citizenship
: “Mr. Hamdi is not an
American in any real sense of the word.”


citizenship clause
in the 14th Amendment states: "[A]ll
Persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the
United States."
But FILE argues persuasively that
the custom of blanket birthright citizenship is
supported neither by the Fourteenth Amendment nor by
legal precedent.

American Indians
who, as members of foreign tribal
governments, were not “subject to the jurisdiction”
of the U.S., did not receive birthright citizenship
until more than a half-century after the

14th Amendment
was enacted. Moreover, the
long-upheld practice of excluding children of foreign
diplomats from birthright citizenship shows that the
amendment allowed for exclusion of certain U.S.-born
children based on the legal status of their parents.

Clearly, the
custom of granting

automatic citizenship
at birth to children of
tourists and

temporary workers
such as Hamdi, tourists, and to

“anchor babies”
delivered by

illegal aliens
on American soil, undermines the
integrity of citizenship—not to mention national
security. Originally intended to ensure the citizenship
rights of newly freed slaves and their families after

Civil War
, the citizenship clause has evolved into a
magnet for alien lawbreakers and a shield for terrorist
infiltrators and enemy combatants.

If the courts
refuse to close the birthright citizenship loopholes,
Congress must.

Citizenship is
too precious to squander on accidental Americans in Name

Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores

for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click

for Michelle Malkin`s website.