If you think there is no way the Republican Party can move further to the right, you’d be dead wrong. Apparently their psychotic tirade against anyone who is not white, rich, straight and Christian isn’t enough. Now they want to attack the Constitution and hundreds of years of tradition in the United States in an effort to spite immigrants.
House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Subcommittee held a hearing on April 29 to potentially eliminate the birthright American citizenship guaranteed in the 14th amendment. The 14th Amendment states:
“…all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
It’s not that hard of a concept. If you are born in the United States you become a citizen. That’s the way it’s been since our nation’s founding. When it comes to, let’s say, marriage, Republicans say we can’t tamper with tradition, but when it’s citizenship they have no problem destroying the longstanding tradition of granting citizenship to children born on American soil, even if their parents are not citizens.
Take a wild guess at who’s trying to push this xenophobic, asinine notion through Congress — none other than “calves the size of cantaloupes” Steve King, a Republican Representative from Iowa, and Louisiana Republican David Vitter. Defending his notion, King said:
“I don’t think I’m hearing an argument as to why it would be a good idea to grant automatic citizenship to any baby that could be born in the United States to any mother who could find a way to get into the United States. That hands over the immigration policy to everyone except Americans. So I don’t know that that’s even a debate before this committee unless you want to expand your political base by any means necessary.”
I have one argument. Repeat after me: This is how it’s been done since the nation’s founding. And, for argument’s sake, if we’re going to talk about “expanding your political base,” can we talk about how it’s ideas like these that will drive away Hispanic and Latino voters from the GOP? With President Obama in the White House, I say let the Republicans pass it, just so he can veto it. Then the Republicans can suffer the consequences in 2016.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), issued a blistering statement against King and Vitter’s notion, calling the GOP a “radical, anti-immigrant” party:
“Evidently, there is no American principle too sacred not to be surrendered in Republicans’ race to pander to the most radical, anti-immigrant corners of their party. Today’s hearing is an appalling Republican effort to reverse one of our most fundamental constitutional guarantees: people born on American soil are Americans.”
Pelosi went on to describe it as “one of the most loathsome, xenophobic proposals in recent memory.”
Republicans accuse President Obama of shredding the Constitution, yet they’re doing just that. Gotta’ love how hypocritical they are.
Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) took it a step further, calling the party a “nativist wing” that will see consequences from Spanish speakers:
“In Spanish-language media there will be one more piece of evidence that Republicans will do anything and everything to keep their nativist wing happy.”
The Republicans have unleashed an unconscionable assault on birthright citizenship that not only dishonors our Founders’ visions, but it betrays the future and growth of our country, and insults millions of proud first-generation American citizens.
Image via Gage Skidmore