The bill currently has 45 cosponsors and amends current U.S. code to require at least one parent to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident for a new born to receive automatic citizenship.
The Fourteenth Amendment extends citizenship to all persons born in the U.S. and "subject to the jurisdiction"; it also grants Congress the power to enforce and define the provisions of the amendment.
Since the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Congress has defined Birthright Citizenship through appropriate legislation, which for decades has granted citizenship to newborns with both parents illegal aliens, foreign tourists or temporary foreign workers and students. The Fourteenth Amendment gives Congress the right to define birthright citizenship differently.
The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 would add to the existing federal code a provision that requires at least one parent of a new born to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident in order for the new born to receive automatic citizenship.