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Origins of Birthright Citizenship in the United States

Eric Foner writes that before passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, no uniform definition of citizenship existed. Citizenship was determined by the states, where the rules varied considerably. Foner suggests that Dred Scott’s holding — that African Americans could not be citizens —  echoes today in Donald Trump’s “long campaign to deny the birthright citizenship status of President Barack Obama.” Read more here.