Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Legislator Supports Task Force on 14th Amendment

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Legislator Supports Task Force on 14th Amendment

Article excerpt

Saying the problem is costing the state millions of dollars, a state lawmaker has joined other legislators across the country to develop legislation that would "eliminate the misapplication" of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In a media announcement released this week, state Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City, said the organization State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) has formed a nationwide task force called the 14th Amendment Citizens Model Committee. Key is a member of the SLLI.

The task force, Key said, is working to develop model legislation to eliminate the misapplication of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That amendment, he said, has been utilized to secure citizenship for the children of illegal aliens and their families.

Key said aliens are encouraged to come into the United States to give birth and use their child "to secure illegal benefits, residency and American jobs for themselves and for their families."

"It has cost the state of Oklahoma $10.8 million this year to house prisoners in our state alone," Key said. "A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has been used to claim that schools are prevented from asking the immigration status of students. I suggest that the state of Oklahoma has the constitutional authority to determine if students are here illegally and if they qualify for state-funded education."

He said Oklahomans are paying millions of dollars annually to educate the children of the illegal aliens.

"Most Oklahomans oppose this misuse of taxpayer funds and want it stopped," Key said.

Yet while some Republicans have called for changes - or even repeal - of the 14th Amendment, at least one of Oklahoma's U.S. senators was opposed to the idea.

In August, Muskogee Republican Tom Coburn said he didn't support repealing the amendment and instead urged the Obama administration to enforce the country's existing immigration laws.

Coburn said calls for changing the Constitution were wrong.

"We shouldn't do it," Coburn said in late August. "What a lot of people don't realize is that about half the immigrants who are here illegally originally came to this country legally, but our immigration policy isn't working. We've failed to enforce our existing laws and we've failed to enforce our borders."

Under the 14th Amendment, a child born in the United States is immediately a citizen. …

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