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Senate Proceeding on Apr 5th, 2011 :: 0:11:50 to 0:22:05
Total video length: 2 hours 59 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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David Vitter

0:11:46 to 0:12:09( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: madam president, america's illegal immigration problem is clearly, clearly way out of control. we can all agree that we desperately need to better protect our borders, ensure that only citizens and legal residents can be hired for jobs in this country and reverse misguided policies that serve as

David Vitter

0:11:50 to 0:22:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: David Vitter

David Vitter

0:12:10 to 0:12:30( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: a magnet for further illegal immigration. today i'm introducing a bill that falls into that third category, to get rid of these magnets that encourage further illegal activity. the bill would amend the immigration and nationalization act in order to change our current practice of granting

David Vitter

0:12:31 to 0:12:51( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: automatic citizenship to the children of illegal aliens born on american soil. when it comes to u.s. citizenship, it's not just where an individual is born that matters. at least it shouldn't be. the circumstances of a person's birth and the nationality of his or her parents are of at least

David Vitter

0:12:52 to 0:13:13( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: equal importance. and i simply don't believe that our constitution confers citizenship on children who happen to be born on u.s. soil when both of their parents are foreign tourists or illegal aliens. the constitution does not mandate or require that.

David Vitter

0:13:14 to 0:13:35( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: and yet, that's our policy. each year 300,000 to 400,000 children are born in the united states to at least one parent who is an illegal alien or a foreign tourist. a significant subset of that number includes children born to two parents who are not u.s.

David Vitter

0:13:36 to 0:13:57( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: citizens, that category that my bill attacks. despite the illegal status of foreign citizenship of the parent, the executive branch, our government, now automatically recognizes these children as u.s. citizens upon birth. now, this practice is not mandated by federal law or the constitution.

David Vitter

0:13:58 to 0:14:18( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: it's based on what i believe is a fundamental misunderstanding of the 14th amendment of our constitution. and as such, this policy is incompatible with both the tax and legislative history of the citizenship clause. i don't think the 14th amendment grants this birthright citizenship to children of

David Vitter

0:14:19 to 0:14:40( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: illegal aliens. in fact, all we have to do is look at history and the actual text of the constitution as our guide. the 14th amendment doesn't say that all persons born in the u.s. are citizens, period, end of story. it states that citizenship extends to -- quote -- "all

David Vitter

0:14:41 to 0:15:01( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: persons born or naturalized in the united states, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." close quote. now, this latter phrase is important. it's conveniently ignored or misconstrued by advocates of birthright citizenship, but of course a fundamental role in terms of constitutional

David Vitter

0:15:02 to 0:15:22( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: interpretation is that words are assumed to be there for a purpose, and if those words had no meaning, had no impact, then the founders would not have written them in to that part of the constitution. its original meaning refers to the political allegiance of an individual, and the jurisdiction

David Vitter

0:15:23 to 0:15:44( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: that a foreign government has over that person. that's why american indians and their children didn't become citizens until congress actually passed the indian citizenship act of 1924. i'm introducing today's legislation because it's apparent that congress must reassert its plenary authority

David Vitter

0:15:45 to 0:16:06( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: over naturalization and make clear that -- quote -- "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" close quote -- does not include children born in this country to illegal aliens or foreign tourists. those parents are clearly subject to the jurisdiction of foreign governments. my bill limits birthright citizenship to individuals born

David Vitter

0:16:07 to 0:16:28( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: in the united states to at least one parent who is a legal citizen, a green card holder or an active member of the united states armed forces. congress clearly has the power to determine that children born in the u.s. to illegal aliens are not subject to american jurisdiction.

David Vitter

0:16:29 to 0:16:49( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: as judge richard posner of the seventh circuit court of appeals held in a 2003 case, -- quote -- "congress would not be flouting the constitution if amendedded the immigration and nationality act to put an end to this nonsense." close quote. that's exactly what my bill

David Vitter

0:16:50 to 0:17:10( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: would do, put an end to this nonsense. closing this loophole will not prevent anyone from becoming a naturalized citizen. instead, it will ensure that he or she has to go through the same process as anyone else born of foreign national parents who wants to become a united states citizen. now, our practice of birthright citizenship is clearly an

David Vitter

0:17:11 to 0:17:32( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: incentive to illegal immigration, and it really does a disservice to every would-be citizen who is actually following the rules, applying to be naturalized. standing in line often for a very long time. this misguided policy of birthright citizenship not only undermines the stability of our

David Vitter

0:17:33 to 0:17:54( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: immigration system, but it has severe fiscal consequences as well as serious national security implications. recent news reports of -- have highlighted the growing popularity of what is known as -- quote -- "birth tourism." close quote. websites actually advertise birth packages for foreign visitors so that pregnant women

David Vitter

0:17:55 to 0:18:16( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: can give birth in the united states and ensure automatic citizenship under current practice for their newborn children. and, of course, with that automatic citizenship comes the full benefits thereof, including unlimited travel to the u.s., educational benefits and the

David Vitter

0:18:17 to 0:18:38( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: ability to settle here as an adult, and eventually down the line, the ability to grab back the parents and get them into u.s. citizenship. one such agency that appeals to foreign mothers-to-be by describing the benefits of american-born children, pointing out that a one-time investment in a birth package will result

David Vitter

0:18:39 to 0:19:00( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: in a lifetime of benefits for their family, was in the news recently, and specifically it says your children will be able to attend u.s. public elementary schools and that they may apply for scholarships designated for u.s. citizens, and they're entitled to welfare benefits. all of this explicitly spelled

David Vitter

0:19:01 to 0:19:22( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: out in the advertising for this agency. just last month, authorities in california shut down a make-shift maternity clinic after discovering 10 newborns and a dozen chinese women who paid as much as $35,000 to travel to this country to give birth to children who would automatically be recognized as

David Vitter

0:19:23 to 0:19:43( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: u.s. citizens. now, birth tourism, as amazing as this is, is not a new phenomenon, as women from other countries have long traveled to the u.s. locally on tourist or student visas and given birth while here. however, recent reports indicate that the practice has escalated.

David Vitter

0:19:44 to 0:20:04( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: a new report by the center for immigration studies finds that every year, 200,000 children are born to women who were lawfully admitted to the united states on a temporary basis. each of these children receive u.s. citizenship, despite their mother's allegiance to a different country and even if

David Vitter

0:20:05 to 0:20:25( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: the father is not a u.s. citizen. birth tourism is certainly a reprehensible practice, but it's not an illegal one. it's astounding that the u.s. government allows individuals to exploit the loopholes of our immigration system in this manner, and it's obvious that congress has the authority and

David Vitter

0:20:26 to 0:20:47( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: the obligation to put an end to it. in addition to this birth tourism -- and by that, i refer to focusing on tourists here legally under a tourist visa -- of course, there are tens or hundreds of thousands of children born in this country to two illegal immigrant parents,

David Vitter

0:20:48 to 0:21:11( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: and those children under the same practice automatically become u.s. citizens. and this, too, is a very dangerous practice, a magnet to attract more and more illegal activity across the border when we say we want to do everything to stop that. well, certainly, if we truly want to do everything we can to

David Vitter

0:21:12 to 0:21:32( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: stop that, we need to unplug those magnets. stop that policy from attracting more and more illegal crossings across the border. the presiding officer: the senator has reached his 10-minute limit. mr. vitter: madam president, if i could ask for 30 additional seconds? mr. inhofe: i object.

David Vitter

0:21:33 to 0:21:53( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: madam president, i was scheduled for 10 minutes immediately following the senator from louisiana. if he would amend his u.c. to include my 10 minutes, full minutes following him, i would not object. mr. vitter: i would be happy to do that. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. vitter: thank you, madam president. so i introduce this important legislation today, and i thank senators paul and lee and moran for joining me in addressing

David Vitter

0:21:54 to 0:22:05( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: this critical issue. i invite all the members of the senate to join me in doing this. and i -- i yield the floor, madam president. mr. inhofe: madam president?

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