Under the 14th Amendment, babies born in the United States
automatically are citizens - even if their parents are illegal
immigrants. Lawmakers in Arizona and other states are challenging
Arizona - already tied up in federal court over its controversial
immigration law - has launched another effort regarding illegal
immigrants sure to be fought over on constitutional grounds. At
issue are what immigration hard-liners call "anchor babies" -
children born to illegal immigrants but who automatically are US
citizens under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Arizona lawmakers this week filed legislation requiring citizens
of the state to be US citizens, with the added requirement that each
person must have at least one parent who was born in the US or is a
naturalized citizen. In other words, babies born in the United
States to a father and mother who are both illegal immigrants would
not be US citizens.
While Arizona is leading the way, other states are expected to
follow - perhaps a dozen or so, according to State Legislators for
Legal Immigration, a 40-state coalition founded by Pennsylvania
state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R). The organization wrote the model
legislation introduced in Arizona on Thursday.
Could you pass a US citizenship test? Check your knowledge.
"According to the Fourteenth Amendment, the primary requirements
for US citizenship are dependent on total allegiance to America, not
mere physical geography," Representative Metcalfe said at a meeting
of state lawmakers and constitutional scholars in Washington earlier
this month. "The purpose of this model legislation is to restore the
original intent of the Fourteenth Amendment, which is currently
being misapplied and is encouraging illegal aliens to cross and cost
American taxpayers $113 billion annually, or nearly $1,117 yearly
per individual taxpayer."
Action in the US Senate
Meanwhile, US Sens. David Vitter (R) of Louisiana and Rand Paul
(R) of Kentucky this week introduced a resolution calling for an
amendment to the Constitution requiring that a person born in this
country to illegal immigrant parents does not automatically gain
citizenship unless at least one parent is a legal citizen, a legal
immigrant, an active member of the armed forces, or a naturalized
"For too long, our nation has seen an influx of illegal aliens
entering our country at an escalating rate, and chain migration is a
major contributor to this rapid increase - which is only compounded
when the children of illegal aliens born in the US are granted
automatic citizenship," said Senator Vitter.
Based on US Census data, according to the Pew Hispanic Center,
some 340,000 children were born to illegal immigrants in the United
States in 2008. …