Fox Continues To Push Discredited Argument That 14th Amendment Does Not Protect Birthright Citizenship

Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

Earlier today, we documented how Fox News' Megyn Kelly and Peter Johnson Jr. (both attorneys) twisted the facts to claim that the Fourteenth Amendment was not meant to provide citizenship to children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants. Not to be outdone, Fox's Bill O'Reilly claimed that "the Constitution is being misused" by parents of so-called "anchor babies."

Why Fox chose today to return to their attacks on these immigrant children is unclear.

But credible scholars, including conservative scholars, continue to debunk their argument. Yesterday, James Ho, a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas and aide to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed stating that the children born in the United States are citizens even if their parents were not legally present in the country. Indeed, Ho says "[t]he plain meaning of this language is clear" that these people are citizens.

And Ho isn't some lone conservative legal scholar bucking the rest of the movement. Libertarian-conservative law professor Eugene Volokh stated that as a matter of policy "I think that children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens or legal alien tourists should in principle not automatically get U.S. citizenship as a result." But Volokh also said: "My sense is that [Ho] is quite correct on the constitutional question."

And Freshman Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) told Chris Matthews today that birthright citizenship is "a settled question. They're American citizens":

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Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly, Peter Johnson Jr.
The O'Reilly Factor, America Live
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