Let me see if I get what those on the right are saying.
They are in favor of abolishing all or part of the fourteenth amendment which states:
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.
My understanding of the above Constitutional amendment, which, by the way, was created to make sure that slaves born in this country would be considered citizens of the United States and the state where they lived.
Further understanding of the above bill protects anyone born in this country with citizenship. That includes babies born to immigrants who don’t have legal permission to be here. The GOP claims that is why they want to abolish the 14th amendment. They claim that immigrants are purposely coming here to have their babies (called “anchor babies” by the GOP, so that down the line, when confronting immigration procedures, they can claim that their child(ren) are American citizens.
However, in my view,this political move may go furtherand much deeper than what appears on the surface. Here’s what the 14th amendment covers:
- allows citizenship to any person born into the United States (that included slaves and former slaves)
- forbids any state to deny a person his or her natural rights “life, liberty, and property without due process of law or
- deny any person within a jurisdiction the equal protection of it’s laws
- It ensured that blacks would be considered citizens.
That being said, it seems to me that Gay Rights is covered under the “equal protection” clause. Could it be that the GOP wants to kill the metaphorical “two birds with one stone”? Could it be their intent to not only quash the so called ”anchor babies” theory but also the claim by many gay rights advocates that gays are protected from discrimination based on the 14th amendment’s “equal protection clause”.
However, for now, the GOP is just using the “birthright” issue to attack the 14th amendment and children born to undocumented immigrants. So much for “compassionate conservatism”.
John McCain (R-AZ) said today: “I support the concept of holding hearings,” McCain told reporters in the Capitol.
Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said yesterday:
“I may introduce a constitutional amendment that changes the rules if you have a child here,” Graham said during an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake, that we should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child’s automatically not a citizen.” [...]
“I’m a practical guy, but when you go forward, I don’t want 20 million more 20 years from now,” he said. “I want to be fair. I want to be humane. We need immigration policy, but it should be on our terms, not someone else’s. I don’t know how to fix it all. But I do know what makes people mad, that 12 million people came here and there seems to be no system to deal with stopping 20 million 20 years from now.”
Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., said today:
…that Congress should hold hearings to look into denying citizenship to illegal aliens’ children born in the United States, as the fight over immigration widens into the explosive “birthright” issue
In my opinion this move to overturn one of the most effective and important amendments in the constitution will be an uphill battle. I’ll be curious to see just how far those politicians will go.