Ah, yes, the ever-so-troubling 14th Amendment.
As I have mentioned in other places, I was given The Heritage Guide to the Constitution as a gift a couple months back, and I have not been the same since. While there is much ground to cover with respect to the 14th Amendment, for this brief post I'm going to focus only on the Citizenship Clause, as it is called.
I could say a bit on the topic, but not any better than this from the Guide itself:
One conspicuous departure from the language of the Civil Rights Act was the elimination of the phrase "Indians not taxed." Senator Jacob Howard of Ohio, the author of the Citizenship Clause, defended the new language against the charge that it would make Indians citizens of the United States. Howard assured skeptics that "Indians born within the limits of the United States, and who maintain their tribal relations, are not, in the sense of this Amendment, born subject to the jurisdiction of the United States." Senator Lyman Trumbull, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supported Howard, contending that "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" meant "not owing allegiance to anybody else... subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States." Indians, he concluded, were not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States because they owed allegiance - even if only partial allegiance - to their tribes. Thus, two requirements were set for United States citizenship: born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction.
By itself, birth within the territorial limits of the United States, as the case of the Indians indicated, did not make one automatically "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. And "jurisdiction" did not simply mean subject to the laws of the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of its courts. Rather, "jurisdiction" meant exclusive "allegiance" to the United States.
What I find interesting about this is that the historical record is there for the reading, and can easily verify original intent. Perhaps, in time, we may yet see this Republic turned away from the path to national suicide that we're on. While insisting on such antiquated ideas as allegiance will surely qualify me as a "hater" to someone, I can think of no simpler means of correcting some of the problems resulting from the 14th Amendment than insisting on the plain, simple and original intent of the authors of the Amendment.