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In chapter 10, Margaret D. Stock explores the historical and practical application of “birthright citizenship” and its legal foundation in the Fourteenth Amendment. She discusses the potential, unanticipated consequences of changing America’s long-standing constitutional birthright citizenship rule and examines how a change in the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause could retroactively exclude from citizenship many Americans who have lived in the country their entire lives—including popular politicians discussing this issue nationally. Stock discusses potential problems associated with the practical application of changing the interpretation of the law, and explores and refutes the argument that the Fourteenth Amendment was never intended to cover the children of persons who are not legally present in the United States. By focusing on proposed changes to the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, Stock dissects the problems associated with trying to award citizenship based on the “allegiance” held by a child’s parents.

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