Definition of birthright citizenship in US English:

birthright citizenship


  • (especially in the US) a legal right to citizenship for all children born in a country's territory, regardless of parentage.

    ‘he wants to amend the Constitution to remove birthright citizenship’
    • ‘She rejected the idea that the case was about immigration and naturalization; it actually concerned birthright citizenship.’
    • ‘Modern courts interpret this to mean birthright citizenship is granted to anyone (except diplomats' children) born on American soil, no matter who the parents are.’
    • ‘Previous rulings have affirmed that nearly all such children were entitled to birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment.’
    • ‘It was the state lawmakers' initiative that moved the highly emotional issue of birthright citizenship, which had long been marginal in the immigration debate, to the front of the Republicans' immigration agenda in the 112th Congress.’
    • ‘Birthright citizenship tells you that if you can get into a country and have a baby there, there's a good chance you'll never have to leave.’
    • ‘The Senator's remarks, quoted above, should guide us as we decide to whom birthright citizenship should be granted.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the jurisdiction requirement was written into the clause to ensure that birthright citizenship would not become the law of land and that allegiance would remain a vital element of citizenship.’
    • ‘Congress should do likewise, perhaps conditioning birthright citizenship on a certain number of years of education in American schools.’
    • ‘It sought to toughen penalties against illegal immigration and alien smuggling, end birthright citizenship for the U.S.-born children of illegal alien mothers, and increase the size of the Border Patrol.’
    • ‘The import of the jurisdiction requirement, affirmed by its drafters' expressed intent, is that after dealing with the special case of freedmen the Citizenship Clause confers birthright citizenship only on citizens' children.’
    • ‘And it is very hard to reconcile it with granting birthright citizenship to the children of legally resident aliens, who retain allegiance to their ancestral homelands.’
    • ‘It's that second clause that undermines the claim of birthright citizenship.’
    • ‘But both sides agree, the debate should not be focused on the issue of birthright citizenship, but on reforming immigration altogether, the same complex issue that has challenged this country for generations.’
    • ‘A rising number of lawmakers want to end so-called birthright citizenship for babies who are born to illegal aliens.’
    • ‘The specific goal is to raise the debate about the question of birthright citizenship.’
    • ‘In fact, the case is galvanizing support for efforts to deny birthright citizenship to children of illegal aliens.’
    • ‘The clause also excluded from birthright citizenship people who were not "subject to the jurisdiction thereof."’
    • ‘These asymmetries have occurred in the various categories of specific rights and obligations, including not only voting and taxation, but inclusion in the pool of jurors, the obligation to avoid vagrancy, and entitlement to birthright citizenship.’
    • ‘That analysis is resonating among some House Republicans who see birthright citizenship as a powerful draw for illegal aliens.’
    • ‘He queried Howard's language, but not because he favored birthright citizenship.’