December 4, 2020         
Greenberg Traurig Mexico City Achieves 100% Score on the Human Rights Campaign Equidad MX LGBTQ+ Survey   •   DYSIS Announces Medicare Reimbursement Rates for the New Add-On CPT Code 57465, Which Can Be Used for DYSIS Smart Colposcopy, Ef   •   Global Advisor, Colleen Goggins, Joins ZO® Skin Health's Board Of Directors Following Majority Investment By Blackstone   •   DDB Latina Celebrates Its Third Time Named As The Most Creative Network At El Ojo de Iberoamerica   •   Ulta Beauty Announces Third Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results   •   BioAesthetics Announces University Clinical Study for its Nipple Reconstruction Graft   •   Burns & Levinson Closes Strategic Growth Investment for GA Foods   •   2021 Donate Life Floral Sculpture to Honor Donation and Transplantation Professionals as Donation Healthcare Heroes on New Year&   •   MTV Entertainment Group Launches New Initiative to Fuel the Creation of More BIPOC and Women Owned and Operated Production Compa   •   BEERMKR Home Brewing System Is a Beer Lovers Dream Holiday Gift   •   Gloriae Dei Cantores' Musical Advent Calendar is Available for Listening All the Way to Christmas!   •   Ministers Qualtrough and Bains explore opportunities to improve accessibility requirements for buildings in Canada   •   Scary Mommy And Huggies® Partner To Launch New Series "Up Early Tonight" To Stream On Hulu   •   Grant Thornton named one of Working Mother’s Top Companies for Executive Women   •   Nexus Pharmaceuticals Announces Diversity Certification   •   Byron Allen To Launch TheGrio.TV As An Over-The-Air Broadcast Television Network And Free Digital Streaming App To Target Africa   •   AEO Updates Payment of Deferred First Quarter Cash Dividend of $0.1375 Per Share, Due to Strong Financial Condition   •   Direct Agents Announces Polycultural Offering   •   Ellevate Network Rolls Out Second Iteration of Annual Raise Her Voice Campaign In Honor of International Women's Day and Nationa   •   Communitech’s Fierce Founders Uplift: Levelling the Playing Field and Shattering Glass Ceilings
Bookmark and Share

Wave Of GOP Bills Go After U.S.-Born Kids

  Valeria Fernández, New America Media

 

PHOENIX, Ariz.—A national coalition of GOP lawmakers is planning a new push to change the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution to deny citizenship to the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants.

In Arizona, state Senator. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa a longtime crusader against illegal immigration whose legislative efforts include the controversial SB 1070, announced the 14-state campaign at a press conference on Tuesday. He said he plans to introduce an Arizona bill revoking the right of children born in the United States to have automatic U.S. citizenship, regardless of their parents’ status, at the new legislative session that begins in January.

This is not the first time that Pearce has supported repealing “birthright citizenship,” which courts have ruled is guaranteed under the 14th Amendment. In 2008, when he was a state representative, he backed a bill by then-state Senator Karen Johnson to deny birth certificates to the children of undocumented immigrants. 

That bill never got a hearing. But the passage of SB 1070, which has gained notoriety as the toughest anti-immigrant law in the country for its efforts to criminalize undocumented immigrants, has catapulted Pearce into the national spotlight and given momentum to his broader agenda. 

Pearce wouldn’t detail specific provisions of his proposed bill, but did clarify that it wouldn’t be retroactive. If it were, two-thirds of the children born in Arizona would loose their citizenship.

The Arizona lawmaker is joining forces with Kansas attorney and law professor Kris Kobach, who was involved in the drafting of SB 1070 and is running for Kansas secretary of state on the GOP ticket. At least 41 other politicians across the country have signed onto the “State Legislators for Legal Immigration” coalition that plans to introduce similar legislation in at least in 14 states.

Pearce didn’t hide the fact that the coalition’s ultimate goal is to force the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the birthright-citizenship issue. 

At the heart of Pearce’s argument is the original intent of the Citizenship Clause in the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868, after the Civil War.

According to the clause, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the States Wherein they reside.” The clause was designed in part to overrule the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, which held that blacks could not be citizens of the United States. 

But Pearce and his supporters argue that Senator Howard M. Jacob, the Michigan Republican who authored the Citizenship Clause, did not intend for it to apply to the children of undocumented immigrants.

At the Tuesday press conference, Pearce quoted Jacob as stating that the amendment wouldn’t grant citizenship to “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.”

“What we have here is a misapplication,” Pearce declared. “We cannot ignore the damage that comes and the costs to the taxpayers.” The proponents’ main argument for challenging the birthright clause is that it would the costs for government programs and services that now are provided to the U.S. citizen children of undocumented parents.

At another press conference in Harrisburg, Penn., state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, the founder of a national group of legislators critical of illegal immigration, said the 14th Amendment “greatly incentives foreign invaders to violate our border and our laws,” the Huffington Post reported.

In addition to Arizona and Pennsylvania, similar bills could also be introduced in Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Legal experts say that persuading the Supreme Court to reinterpret the birthright clause is a long shot, but would probably stand a better chance of success than attempting to amend the Constitution itself, since that requires a two-thirds vote of the states.

The concept behind the bill worries immigrant advocates.

“If you are denied a birth certificate, you’ll be in a no man land,” said Carlos Galindo-Elvira, vice president of philanthropic and community relations at Valle del Sol, a Phoenix nonprofit that provides mental health and other services to Latino families and children.

He said SB 1070 and a slew of other anti-immigration Arizona laws have already had a detrimental impact on health care access for U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. A new bill challenging the very concept of birthright citizenship could make things even worse, Galindo-Elvira said.

Local immigration activists were quick to criticize Pearce’s latest initiative and briefly interrupted the press conference in protest.

“This [new bill] does nothing to prevent or slow the flow of immigration,” declared Lydia Guzman, president of the Somos America coalition.


STORY TAGS: HISPANIC , LATINO , MEXICAN , MINORITY , CIVIL RIGHTS , DISCRIMINATION , RACISM , DIVERSITY , LATINA , RACIAL EQUALITY , BIAS , EQUALITY



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News