Skip to content

US Citizenship, was it negated in 1982?

I am in discussion on another  group about  Illegal Aliens in the USA having citizenship rights and  have come across several US Supreme Court cases which indicate that  ANYONE  within the country is indistinct from a citizen, but especially a Supreme court ruling of 1982. All discussion  derives to the  Fourteenth Amendment.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/rightsandfreedoms/a/illegalrights.htm

Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886)
In Yick Wo v. Hopkins, a case involving the rights of Chinese immigrants, the Court ruled that the 14th Amendment’s statement, “Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” applied to all persons “without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality,” and to “an alien, who has entered the country, and has become subject in all respects to its jurisdiction, and a part of its population, although alleged to be illegally here.” (Kaoru Yamataya v. Fisher, 189 U.S. 86 (1903) )

Wong Wing v. U.S. (1896)
Citing Yick Wo v. Hopkins, the Court, in the case of Wong Wing v. US, further applied the citizenship-blind nature of the Constitution to the 5th and 6th amendments, stating “. . . it must be concluded that all persons within the territory of the United States are entitled to the protection guaranteed by those amendments, and that even aliens shall not be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

Plyler v. Doe (1982)
In Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law prohibiting enrollment of illegal aliens in public school. In its decision, the Court held, “The illegal aliens who are plaintiffs in these cases challenging the statute may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that no State shall ‘deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’ Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is a ‘person’ in any ordinary sense of that term… The undocumented status of these children vel non does not establish a sufficient rational basis for denying them benefits that the State affords other residents.”

1. Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) – “an alien, who has entered the country, and has become subject in all respects to its jurisdiction, and a part of its population, although alleged to be illegally here.” (Kaoru Yamataya v. Fisher, 189 U.S. 86 (1903) )  The key words are “in all respects”.  Most would  think that being under the jurisdiction in all respects would include, as it does for the  candidacy for US President, being a CITIZEN of the country, and  “not owing allegiance to another country”, and by the ruling of 1903, the condition is “allegedly illegal”. One  would assume, that if a person is determined to BE illegally in the country that  Citizenship rights would not apply to that person, because they owe allegiance to their homeland. If one is here illegally “all respects” are not met.

2.Wong Wing v. U.S. (1896) – further applied the citizenship-blind nature of the Constitution to the 5th and 6th amendments, stating “. . . it must be concluded that all persons within the territory of the United States are entitled to the protection guaranteed by those amendments, and that even aliens shall not be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”  Although this ruling doesn’t confer citizenship upon illegal aliens, it does establish that under the constitution they are protected from self-incrimination and have the right to a trial by jury. It invokes the  5th & 6th amendments, but if one section of the Constitution applies to Illegal aliens, then by reference the whole Constitution applies.

3.Plyler v. Doe (1982) – ruled that any “person’ has equal protection under the  Constitution, and thus the mere presence in the Country regardless of ” The undocumented status of these children vel non does not establish a sufficient rational basis for denying them benefits that the State affords other residents.” [http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=12010798883027065807&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr for the ruling transcript]

My question is: Does the ruling in Plyler v. Doe (1982). establish that the mere presence in the United States is under the Constitution equivalent to possessing ALL rights of citizenship, and  since the “Jurisdiction” definition in this ruling departs from “in all respects’ to merely being present, does it negate all distinction between the rights of a Citizen of the United States and any one else who happens to be present? Has this effectively cancelled out Citizenship? My argument is that it has, because in order to be a member of a class, there has to be distinction between those who are members and those who are not. If you make two classes indistinguishable from one another, then they BOTH become a single class.

ALSO the judges ruled that ALL rights and privileges afforded to citizens apply to the “person” in the US. And that you can not deny Illegal Aliens that which you freely entitle a citizen.

Does this Supreme Court ruling make it illegal to deny  non-citizens the right to VOTE?, License a car? Keep and Bear Arms? Purchase real estate? Have a Social Security number?

The ruling was non-specific, and  was indeed inclusive of ALL rights and Priveleges.

“”The last two clauses of the first section of the amendment disable a State from depriving not merely a citizen of the United States, but any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or from denying to him the equal protection of the laws of the State. This abolishes all class legislation in the States and does away with the injustice of subjecting one caste of persons to a code not applicable to another.. . . It will, if adopted by the States, forever disable every one of them from passing laws trenching upon those fundamental rights and privileges which pertain to citizens of the United States, and to all persons who may happen to be within their jurisdiction.

So this ruling of 1982 makes Citizenship rights and the rights of any person in the state(s) one and the same. It also makes unconstitutional any  State law which would have the effect of denying any person in the country the rights which are held by a citizen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.