Question of the Day

Does the U.S. Constitution require that all people born in the U.S. have a right to U.S. citizenship?



Correct Answer

Tell Me More

In addition to being born in the U.S., the Constitution also requires that people be "subject to the jurisdiction" of the U.S. in order to be citizens. The U.S. Senator who proposed this language stated: "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons." He also stated: "The word 'jurisdiction,' as here employed, ought to be construed as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States ... that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now. Certainly, gentlemen cannot contend that an Indian belonging to a tribe, although born within the limits of a State, is subject to this full and complete jurisdiction."

DocumentationBirthright Citizenship