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A different way to tackle immigration: 14th amendment challenge

Chaaron Pearson on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 12:00:00 am

Arizona kicked off a nationwide immigration debate when it signed the toughest immigration bill into law in early 2010.  They look to be leading the debate in early 2011 with state President Russell Pearce’s plans to sponsor yet another controversial immigration bill this year targeting the 14th amendment.

Pearce is not alone in looking for revision or clarification of the 14th amendment.  Lawmakers and advocates descended on Washington D.C. on January 5 to announce how they propose to stop “anchor babies” or U.S. born children of illegal immigrants from automatically becoming U.S. citizens.  There is a new group of state legislators, State Legislators for Legal Immigration, which is also taking a hard at the 14th amendment within their immigration reform proposals.

The 14th amendment’s first sentence reads “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”  Supporters argue that this sentence has been misinterpreted, thus granting citizenship to children born on U.S. soil, regardless of their parents’ citizenship.  They hope to have the Supreme Court clarify the reading of that sentence to avoid granting citizenship to children with parents in the country illegally.

Arizona’s state legislature will be looking at this issue along with at least twelve additional states that have agreed to push similar legislation. 

This issue was raised in the U.S. Senate this past August.  At that time Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was considering an amendment that would deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants. 

To read more: Lawmakers target citizenship by birthplace

                     Arizona’s next immigration debate: babies born in U.S.

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