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The 14th Amendment: What’s the point?


On July 9, 1868, the 14th Amendment was place into our U.S. Constitution under the title, “Citizen Rights.” The first sentence and starting point of this amendment states the following: “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 they reside … “

I believe any and all people are welcome to this nation; like my great-grandparents who emigrated here from Norway, they naturalized and obtained their citizenship. The 14th Amendment deals with “Due Process & Civil Rights.” My question as a high school civics teacher who is told that the Constitution is important to know for students is, are we really following what we have in our laws? Are non-citizens getting the same rights as citizens? And if so, why even have citizenship if it really means nothing?

I am told that all people in the United States are entitled to “due process of law” and are bound by these laws providing the right to a free public education, civil rights and all other language in the Constitution. I agree that all humans should have these rights, but that is not what the 14th Amendment states — it states that it only applies to “citizens” naturalized or born.

I humbly appeal to our lawmakers at the state and federal level that there needs to be an amendment or re-wording of the opening sentence to the 14th Amendment, or the amendment means nothing — many people in the military put their lives on the line to defend this sacred Constitution of ours. What do we really stand for and do we really follow our laws the way there were originally written, and if we do not, what message are we sending our children?

Jac Crater

Lake Quinault

 

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