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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Basic Questions on U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization

Basic Questions on U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization

Date: March 3, 1992
Creator: Eig, Larry M.
Description: U.S. citizenship is conferred at birth under the principle of jus soli (nationality of place of birth) and the principle of jus sanguinis (nationality of parents). The U.S. Constitution states as a fundamental rule of jus soli citizenship that "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." The exceptions to universal citizenship comprehended by the requirement that a person be born "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" include: (1) children born to a foreign sovereign or accredited diplomatic official; (2) children born on a foreign public vessel, such as a warship; (3) children born to an alien enemy in hostile occupation; and (4) native Indians.
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Birthright Citizenship and Children Born in the United States to Alien Parents: An Overview of the Legal Debate

Birthright Citizenship and Children Born in the United States to Alien Parents: An Overview of the Legal Debate

Date: October 28, 2015
Creator: Wyatt, Alexandra M.
Description: This report provides a brief historical review of U.S. citizenship from the time of the founding through the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868.
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Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Date: August 12, 2010
Creator: Lee, Margaret Mikyung
Description: This report provides background information on birthright citizenship to alien parents in the U.S. The report ends with a detail of amendments in the 112th Congress that would amend the Constitution to exclude from citizenship at birth persons born in the United States whose parents are unlawfully present in the United States or are non-immigrant aliens.
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Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Lee, Margaret Mikyung
Description: Background of birthright citizenship to alien parents in the U.S. The report ends with a detail of amendments in the 112th Congress that would amend the Constitution to exclude from citizenship at birth persons born in the United States whose parents are unlawfully present in the United States or are non-immigrant aliens.
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Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Date: August 20, 2015
Creator: Lee, Margaret M.
Description: This report traces the history of birthright citizenship under U.S. law and discusses some of the legislation in recent Congresses intended to alter it. In the current and recent Congresses, some Members have introduced or supported legislation that would revise or reinterpret the Citizenship Clause to address several concerns.
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Border Security and Military Support: Legal Authorizations and Restrictions

Border Security and Military Support: Legal Authorizations and Restrictions

Date: May 15, 2006
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Description: The military generally provides support to law enforcement and immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in violence and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border region. President Bush has reportedly announced an interest in sending National Guard troops to support the Border Patrol. Addressing domestic laws and activities with the military, however, might run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits use of the armed forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement unless explicitly authorized. There are alternative legal authorities for deploying the National Guard, and the precise scope of permitted activities and funds may vary with the authority exercised. This report will be updated as warranted.
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Border Security and Military Support: Legal Authorizations and Restrictions

Border Security and Military Support: Legal Authorizations and Restrictions

Date: May 23, 2006
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Description: The military generally provides support to law enforcement and immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in violence and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border region. President Bush has reportedly announced an interest in sending National Guard troops to support the Border Patrol. Addressing domestic laws and activities with the military, however, might run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits use of the armed forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement unless explicitly authorized. There are alternative legal authorities for deploying the National Guard, and the precise scope of permitted activities and funds may vary with the authority exercised.
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Border Security and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Border Security and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Date: January 2, 2004
Creator: Blazakis, Jason
Description: The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to improve border security is a technique that has garnered congressional attention. This report examines the strengths and limitations of deploying UAVs along the borders and related issues for Congress. This report is not intended to provide in-depth information regarding technical or military capabilities of UAVs, but to discuss their application at the border.
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Border Security: Apprehensions of “Other Than Mexican”Aliens

Border Security: Apprehensions of “Other Than Mexican”Aliens

Date: September 22, 2005
Creator: Nuñez-Neto, Blas; Siskin, Alison & Viña, Stephen R
Description: As the United States Border Patrol (USBP) discharges its mission it encounters unauthorized aliens from around the world attempting to illegally enter the United States. In fiscal year (FY) 2004, USBP agents apprehended 1.16 million people attempting to enter the country illegally between official POE; 93% of these aliens were Mexican nationals. Because the vast majority of people apprehended each year by the USBP are Mexican nationals, the agency categorizes aliens as Mexicans or Other Than Mexicans (OTM). Over the past three years, OTM apprehensions have more than tripled nationwide and have been concentrated along the South Texas border. The reasons for this dramatic increase, and its geographical concentration in Texas, are not altogether clear.
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Border Security: Barriers Along the U.S. International Border

Border Security: Barriers Along the U.S. International Border

Date: September 21, 2006
Creator: Nuñez-Neto, Blas & Vina, Stephen R
Description: Congress has been considering expanding the barriers currently deployed along the U.S. international land border. Currently, the United States Border Patrol (USBP) deploys fencing, which aims to impede the illegal entry of individuals, and vehicle barriers, which aim to impede the illegal entry of vehicles (but not individuals) along the border. A number of policy issues concerning border barriers generally and fencing specifically may be of interest to Congress, including, but not limited to: their effectiveness; their costs versus their benefits; their location; their design; and their potential diplomatic ramifications. Prominent bills include House-passed H.R. 4437 and H.R. 6061, and Senate-passed S. 2611, and H.R. 5631.
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