Born in the U.S.A.

One Texas legislature is pushing for legislation aimed at denying citizenship rights to children born in Texas to undocumented parents. 

House Bill 28 would deny all U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants access to public education and health care, as well as gaining any kind of state issued license or permit to work. They would also be denied any public housing,welfare, disability, or retirement benefits, and college admission.

Analysts think it is the first-ever state challenge of birthright citizenship. 

Sponsored by Representative Leo Berman (R, Tyler) who wants the courts to reconsider their view of the 14th Amendment, to the U.S Constitution, which grants citizenship to everyone born in the United States.

Newschannel 10's Julia Bagg spoke with Berman, who hopes to spark a federal court battle.  "The Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to foreigners, and number two it does not apply to individuals who have allegiance to another country.  This excludes illegal aliens and I think it's madness that we're giving away 350,000 U.S. citizenships erroneously every year."

But some area representatives disagree with the proposed legislation. Representative David Swinford (R, Amarillo) does not support the proposal. "I don't think that Constitutionally you can't do that.  I think when those people are born, regardless of who their parents are, they become U.S. citizens if they're born in United States."

Swinford also believes the legislation, if passed, would be a burden on panhandle taxpayers.  "If it was to go through then the bottom line is all of my citizens in the panhandle would have their taxes raised to take care of them instead of the federal government and the state."

Berman says he and other bill supporters are confident they'd win a court battle challenging federal rules of automatic citizenship. "They wouldn't be allowed to get any state benefits under this bill, and if the bill passes we expect to be sued immediately by either the ACLU or by LULAC, and that s exactly what we want.


Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.