In 1898, Wong Kim Ark, a Chinese American, won a landmark Supreme Court case, which established the precedent of birthright citizenship.
Wong Kim Ark was born in California in 1873 to parents who were Chinese natives. In his 20s, after a temporary visit to China, he sailed back to San Francisco. The Chinese Exclusion Act had since been passed, barring all Chinese immigration to the U.S., but Wong Kim Ark protested that he was born here, and the Supreme Court ultimately decided that, under the 14th Amendment, he was, in fact, a citizen by birth.
"Birthright citizenship is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. That birthright is protected no less for children of undocumented persons than for descendants of Mayflower passengers." ~ James Ho
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