Practical Problems With Attempts To Change The Fourteenth Amendment Through An Interstate Birth Certificate Compact

Originally published in 17 Bender’s Immigration Bulletin - May 1, 2012.

Recently, many politicians have proposed changing the Fourteenth Amendment’s Citizenship Clause to exclude the U.S.-born children of persons who do not hold an immigration status of which they approve. Most scholars believe that a constitutional amendment would be necessary to change the Clause’s meaning, but others have discussed the possibility of changing the Citizenship Clause through a model Interstate Birth Certificate Compact. How likely is it that the meaning of the Citizenship Clause could be changed through an interstate compact? What would be the practical implications of implementing an interstate compact regarding birthright citizenship?

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