The overwhelming majority of the world’s countries do not offer automatic citizenship to everyone born within their borders. Over the past few decades, many countries that once did so — including Australia, Ireland, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Malta, and the Dominican Republic — have repealed those policies. Other countries are considering changes.
In the United States, both Democrats and Republicans have introduced legislation aimed at narrowing the application of the Citizenship Clause. In 1993, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) introduced legislation what would limit birthright citizenship to the children of U.S. citizens and legally resident aliens, and similar bills have been introduced by other legislators in every Congress since. The current Congress saw the introduction by Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) of the “Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009,” which so far has gathered nearly 100 sponsors.
Birthright Citizenship in the United States: A Global Comparison