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Immigration Law

The Non-Controversy Over Birthright Citizenship

The Non-Controversy Over Birthright Citizenship: Defending the Original Understanding of Jus Soli Citizenship

By Margaret Stock* and Nahal Kazemi**

November 2, 2020

This article aims to examine and refute arguments against the widely understood meaning of birthright citizenship. Specifically, this article looks at Professor John Eastman’s most recent theory of birthright citizenship and explains why it is neither supported by legislative nor judicial history nor is it a workable theory of citizenship. Professor Eastman’s recent views on birthright citizenship would apply not only to Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, but also dozens if not hundreds of American politicians including the current President, Donald J. Trump. Professor Eastman’s views would throw into question the citizenship of millions of Americans who contribute tremendously to their communities and our country. This article draws on previous works written by the authors, including American Birthright Citizenship Rules and the Exclusion of “Outsiders” from the Political Community by Margaret Stock. To read the full article, click here

*Margaret Stock focuses her practice on immigration and citizenship law. She is a nationally known expert on immigration and national security laws, and has testified regularly before Congressional committees on immigration, homeland security, and military matters. As a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Military Police, U.S. Army Reserve, Margaret has extensive experience with U.S. military issues. She has also worked as a professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and as an adjunct instructor at the University of Alaska. Margaret has served on the board of the Federal Bar Association’s Immigration Law Section and is a former member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration. In 2013, she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (“genius grant” recipient) by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

**Nahal Kazemi is Senior Counsel at Keller/Anderle LLP, where she combines a strong background in broad, high-stakes litigation with extensive experience as a diplomat. Nahal also served as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Budapest, Hungary; Baghdad, Iraq; and Casablanca, Morocco. During her years with the State Department she developed a deep expertise in consular, political, and political-military affairs. Nahal received her J.D. in 2004 from Harvard Law School, cum laude, where she was Executive Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. She teaches civil practice foundations as an adjunct professor at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, speaks at conferences locally and nationally, and has authored several articles in business and legal publications.