Senator Russell Pierce, who wrote the controversial new Arizona law that requires foreign nationals to have their identification on them to prove that they’re in the country legally in the event of a crime stop, as well as making it illegal to be in the country… well, illegally (which, by the way, mirrors federal law, something the federal government has been lax in upholding), has barely allowed the heated rhetoric to die down before proposing his new idea; to repeal the law that automatically grants citizenship to children born in the United States.
Already, there have been screams from critics that the proposed new law (which has not been drafted yet) would be “unconstitutional”, as it would be a clear violation of the 14th Amendment, which states in part, from the very beginning of Section 1:
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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Technically, they’re right, but there’s a problem with this argument; this amendment was drafted back during the Reconstruction Era in 1868, soon after the so-called “Civil War”, in order to protect the rights of blacks and their children from being defined as “second-class citizens”.
I don’t think the writers of this amendment had envisioned this law covering illegal aliens who sneak across our borders for the express purpose of popping out a kid to “anchor” them into this country.
Senator Pierce stated that “We create the greatest inducement for breaking our laws”, and continued that the law as it is written has been “hijacked and abused”.
“There is no provision in the 14th Amendment for the declaration of citizenship to children born here to illegal aliens,” Pierce said.
Ira Mehlman, spoksman for the Federation for Immigration Reform, agrees with Senator Pierce, stating that “the whole idea of citizenship means that you have some connection other than mere happenstance that you were born on U.S. soil.”
One of the proposed bill’s critics, Michele Waslin of the pro-immigrant Immigration Policy Center in Washington, complained that “Every single parent who has a child would have to go through this bureaucratic process of proving their own citizenship and therefore proving their child’s citizenship.”
As if showing your I.D. card or birth certificate to the doctor was so difficult…
Of course, the biggest critics are the illegal aliens themselves, like Araceli Viveros and her husband Saul. Araceli has lived in the U.S. illegally for at least 10 years, her husband 20 years. They have two children, a 2 year old and a 9 year old, who were automatically granted citizenship when they were born.
“Soy así que orgulloso mis niños nacieron aquí. Pueden aprender inglés y guardar el estudiar” she said.
Oh, I’m sorry… did I mention that Mrs. Viveros conducted her interview in Spanish, even though she’s been living here for over 10 years?
My mistake, let’s try that again; “I am so proud my children were born here. They can learn English and keep studying”.
Looks to me like you should be following your kids’ example there, Mrs. Viveros.
She also expressed her feelings against the proposed new law, saying that its “very bad”. She stated that her husband has been working “very hard” as a landscaper in Phoenix, and that her children “deserved” to become American citizens.
“Deserved” to become citizens, Mrs. Viveros? In what way? Just because they were born here after you and your partner in crime managed to avoid deportation for 20 years? I really wish the reporter had asked her to be more specific about that. Then again, this is the mentality of most illegal aliens.
I’m not proposing that we repeal the entire amendment. The vast majority of it is a good law, but we need a re-write of the first sentence to reflect that only those children who are born of American citizens can automatically be citizens themselves. This concept of automatically granting every child of illegal immigrants is a blatant abuse of the law as it is written now, and the illegal aliens know it.
Slavery ended here hundreds of years ago. There is no longer any need to automatically grant citizenship to every child born of foreign nationals who enter our country. The law is outdated… it’s time to bring the 14th Amendment up with the times.
Ariz. Lawmaker Takes Aim at Automatic Citizenship: Michelle Price, Associated Press, 06/15/2010
Amendment XIV: United States History.com