WASHINGTON - Americans for Constitutional Citizenship (ACC) is calling a bill to deny citizenship to children born on U.S. soil to undocumented immigrants introduced by Rep. Steve King, R. Iowa, in the House of Representatives "unconstitutional: and "un-American."
In a statement, ACC said: "Our Constitution states unequivocally that all people born in the U.S. and under its jurisdiction are U.S. citizens entitled to equal protection under the law – period, no exceptions…Instead of debating the substantive issues at stake for our country, Rep. King has put forth a divisive and futile piece of paper that has no place being considered in the U.S. Congress."
The American Citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment states explicitly 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." Constitutional citizenship enshrined in the 14th Amendment was intended to put citizenship above the preferences and prejudices of any politician or era, and to ensure that all those born on U.S. soil are treated equally with rights of citizenship that no government may abridge.
Rep. King's bill comes just days after a group of state legislators announced plans to push similar legislation at the state level, which was also denounced by ACC.
"Our country went through the atrocities of slavery and the bloodiest war in its history to settle this question with the adoption of the 14th Amendment. Citizenship for all those born in the U.S. is the foundation of American identity and the cornerstone of our civil rights laws. For those reasons, our diverse coalition has come together to oppose – in the strongest possible terms – any legislation at the state or federal level that would seek to undermine the citizenship guarantee of the U.S. Constitution," said ACC.
ACC is a diverse coalition of civil and human rights organizations, including The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, dedicated to preserving the guarantee of American citizenship for those born in the U.S.