Arizona Bills Target Birthright Citizenship

GOP lawmakers aim to trigger review of 14th Amendment
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2011 12:34 AM CST
Arizona Bills Target Birthright Citizenship
Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, officially files his House bill targeting the US. Constitution's 14th Amendment, at the Arizona Capitol yesterday.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Republicans introduced four bills yesterday aimed at denying US citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. The lawmakers hope to provoke a Supreme Court review of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof ." Lawmakers in a dozen other states are planning to introduce similar bills.

Opponents slammed the bills as so unconstitutional that it is unlikely the Supreme Court would even consider them, the Arizona Republic reports. Democratic state lawmaker Albert Hale, a Navajo, warned that the legislation would create a class of stateless people and pointed out that he would count as an "anchor baby" under the bills because Native Americans weren't granted citizenship until 1924. "My mother, born in 1919, was not a citizen," he said. "So I am a child of a non-citizen and therefore illegal. Am I to be deported? And If I am, where are you going to deport me to?" (More anchor babies stories.)

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