Module 1/Reflection Essay

Please answer the following question. You may use your book, presentations, and films. You are encouraged to research this subject using the internet. However, be sure that you cite any sources you are using outside of class. (MLA format is acceptable). *500 word minimum

1. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that, with few discrete exceptions, people born in the United States are citizens of this country, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or national origin of their parents. The Amendment was ratified to rectify one of the most infamous U.S. Supreme Court rulings in our nation’s history – the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision of 1857, in which the Court held that no individuals of African descent, including slaves and free persons, could ever become U.S. citizens.

In response to Dred Scott, Congress passed and the states ratified the 14th Amendment. The very first sentence states unambiguously: “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 intent of these powerful words was to put citizenship above the politics and prejudices of any given era, a goal that is as important today as it was at the time of the 14th Amendment’s ratification.

Recently, some politicians have suggested that we remove this piece of the 14th Amendment and therefore deny automatic citizenship to those who are born in the United States. What do you believe? Should people born in the United States automatically be granted citizenship? Do you agree with our current immigration system? If so, why? If not, what do you suggest we change?