Citizenship Without Consent

Illegal Aliens in the American Polity

Peter H. Schuck and Rogers M. Smith

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"This provocative book confronts Americans with important, and disturbing, questions about their national identity.  It affords much needed philosophical and historical perspective upon one of our most agonizing political dilemmas."—Bruce A. Ackerman, Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law and Philosophy, Columbia University School of Law

"The authors, professors of law and political science at Yale, urge that 'birthright citizenship'—the automatic grant of citizenship to anyone born on American soil—be withdrawn, and that citizenship be granted in the United States on the basis of 'consent' rather than 'ascription'. . . .  A] provocative and radical proposal."—Nathan Glazer, Times Literary Supplement

"An argument that makes one stop and think about a submerged, but emerging problem of public policy.  The policy proposals challenge one to reflect on his own claim to citizenship, as well as that of others."—Graham Allison, Dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"Timely and . . . controversial. . . . [The authors'] set forth clearly and in a scholarly and responsible manner."—Philip Gleason, America

"The authors make a powerful argument that it is in the national interest to reconsider our policy of conceding citizenship to the children of illegal aliens."—Benjamin Greshin, New York Law Journal

"An important book. . . . Their proposals have implications for all who call themselves—or would like to call themselves—Americans. .. . It should be read by anyone interested in citizenship or immigration."—Virginia Sapiro, Contemporary Sociology

"Provide[s] a serious analysis of the reasoning and intent of this Citizenship Clause.... This admirable book deserves to be taken very seriously by anyone interested in constitutional rights, political philosophy, or the future of U.S. immigration policy." —Michael S. Teitelbaum, The Public Interest

"Citizenship Without Consent is an important book because it considers an issue rooted in a perennial American conflict that is particularly divisive today: the status of the American-born children of illegal (undocumented) aliens. . . . Their proposals have implications for all who call themselves-or would like to call themselves-Americans.  It should be read by anyone interested in citizenship or immigration."—Virginia Spairo, Contemporary Sociology

"This book raises interesting dilemmas about U.S. citizenship."—Thomas Bailey, International Migration Review

 "The questions that Schuck and Smith raise and the arguments that they develop help one to understand the problems if immigration, citizenship, and political community even when one disagrees with their conclusions. . . . Schuck and Smith's book provides an interesting and controversial case study in constitutional interpretation."—Joseph H. Carens, University of Toronto Law Journal

Received Honorable Mention for the 1986 Scribes Book Award, given by Scribes, The American Society of Legal Writers.
ISBN: 9780300035308
Publication Date: September 10, 1985
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