WASHINGTON - An immigration lawyer says ending birthright citizenship would sharply cut the U.S. military's pool of potential recruits.
Conservative activists have been pushing to supersede the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to everyone born in the United States, whatever their parents' status.
Margaret Stock, who practices law in Anchorage, Alaska, and is retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, said the number of potential recruits could drop by 8 percent to 10 percent, The Arizona Republic reported. Jeanne Batalova of the Migration Policy Institute told the newspaper she estimates 8.1 percent of active military members have at least one immigrant parent.
While the military does not provide information on how many people in the ranks are immigrants or the children of immigrants, officials say about 12 percent are Hispanic. Pentagon studies show the children of immigrants are more likely than others to enlist and tend to stay in the service longer, Stock said.