Birthright citizenship bill unveiled by Arizona lawmakers — 2011′s version of SB 1070by Hugh Holub on Jan. 05, 2011, under border issues, immigration law reform, mexico, politics
This from the Arizona Republic:
Birthright citizenship bill unveiled by Arizona lawmakers
Republic Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON – Two Arizona lawmakers joined with legislators from other states Wednesday to unveil legislation designed to force the federal courts to reconsider the current practice of granting U.S. citizenship to anyone born in the United States.
Advocates hope the legislation will result in a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court stating that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was not meant to grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.
Among the supporters of the effort are the architects of Arizona’s toughest-in-the-nation immigration enforcement law, Senate Bill 1070, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.
“The purpose of this legislation is to restore the original intent of the 14th Amendment, which is currently being misapplied and is encouraging illegal aliens to cross and cost American taxpayers $113 billion annually,” said Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican and founder of State Legislators for Legal Immigration, referring to the findings of a study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which opposes birthright citizenship.
The state legislators group, which has members from state legislatures in 40 states, held a news conference at the National Press Club to announce the legislation. The event was interrupted several times by immigrant rights’ activists who shouted that the legislation is racist and inhumane and held up a sign saying “Protect the 14th Amendment.”
Metcalfe said lawmakers in about 20 states have expressed interest in introducing the bill in their state legislatures.
Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh and Arizona state Sen. Ron Gould, both Republicans, said they plan to introduce legislation in the next few weeks that would define what it means to be an Arizona citizen.
That definition would say that an Arizona citizen must be a U.S. citizen, who would be defined as someone who is born in the United States and has at least one parent who owes no allegiance to any foreign sovereignty. Naturalized U.S. citizens also would be considered Arizona citizens.
Kavanagh and Gould both said they expect the Arizona Legislature to pass the bill, most likely in April. If passed, there would be no immediate affect on babies born to illegal immigrants in Arizona or their families, the lawmakers said.
Rather, the bill, if it becomes law, is designed to draw a legal challenge from immigrant rights’ groups over the definition of a U.S. citizen and force the issue into the federal courts for clarification of the 14th Amendment.
“The bottom line: What we want is our day in court,” Kavanagh said.
The draft bill specifically states that citizenship of a particular state shall not give the citizen any special rights, benefits, privileges, or immunities under law. Babies born to illegal immigrants in Arizona or other states that pass the legislation would not be stripped of any of the current rights or benefits they receive, the lawmakers said.
The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1868 and states that “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.”
The amendment’s primary intent was to guarantee citizenship to African-Americans, particularly former slaves. But the question of whether the authors also intended to allow the children of illegal immigrants to become citizens has been a matter of debate since its inception.The dispute focuses on the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Opponents of birthright citizenship argue that illegal immigrants are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
Others counter that the words merely were meant to exclude U.S.-born children of foreign diplomats or occupying enemy armies, the two well-known exceptions to birthright citizenship under English common law. Indians also were left out because the U.S. government considered their tribes to be quasi-sovereign.
Also: Here is the Washington Post’s version of the story:
…”This country has a malady, and it is costing her citizens dearly,” added South Carolina State Sen. Danny Verdin (R). He added that the rise in number of what he called “anchor babies” – children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants – had created a problem of epic proportions. “It’s just as bad to be poisoned over time as to have a sudden lethal dose.”