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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2011, 10:00 AM
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Default Several states want court ruling on birthright citizenship

In a move certain to escalate the legal tug of war over illegal immigration, state lawmakers from across the country announced Wednesday that they are launching an effort to deny automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants.

Republicans from Pennsylvania, Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina and other states said they were taking aim at birthright citizenship by seeking to apply the Constitution's 14th Amendment - which grants citizenship to all children born in the United States - only to children with at least one parent who is a permanent resident or citizen.

Within weeks, several state legislatures are expected to introduce bills that would lay the groundwork for such a reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, which was passed in the wake of the Civil War in order to confer citizenship on freed African American slaves.

Proponents said their strategy is designed to draw legal challenges and get the issue before the Supreme Court.

Civil rights groups denounced the move and said it was motivated by racism against Latino immigrants. They also said that Supreme Court precedents have made clear for more than a century that the 14th Amendment applies to all children born in the United States, regardless of whether their parents were in the country legally.

About 340,000 children were born in the United States to undocumented immigrants in 2008, according to a study released in August by the Pew Hispanic Center. Thousands of children born to tourists and foreign students also could be denied citizenship if the 14th Amendment were reinterpreted.

The move is the latest example of states testing the boundaries of federal control over immigration. "This country has a malady, and it is costing her citizens dearly," said South Carolina State Sen. Danny Verdin (R). He added that the rise in number of what he called "anchor babies" - children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants - had created a huge problem.

Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) said that he was planning to introduce legislation within weeks and that legislators in about 40 states, including Virginia, had signed up to learn more about the proposal. Metcalfe said he expected about 20 states to introduce legislation soon, among them Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nebraska, Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, who has been pushing for Arizona-type legislation in Virginia, said he is disappointed that Virginia is not in the vanguard of the push to end birthright citizenship.

"It has been so difficult to get bold action," he said.

In Maryland, Del. Patrick L. McDonough (R-Baltimore County), the legislature's most outspoken critic of illegal immigration, said it is possible he may introduce birthright legislation. But it is unlikely to advance very far in a state controlled by Democrats.

"It's hard to imagine a more quintessentially anti-American proposal than one that would judge a person by their parents or grandparents or great-grandparents," said Lucas Guttentag, who directs the Immigrant Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. Guttentag said that the ACLU would counter any effort to challenge the 14th Amendment.

Proponents of the new strategy said they would adopt a two-pronged approach. The first is to introduce bills in state legislatures that revive the concept of "state citizenship." Only children with at least one parent who is a U.S. permanent resident or citizen would be granted state citizenship, though it wouldn't prevent the federal government from granting U.S. citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants.

The second prong of the strategy involves a more direct challenge to the authority of the federal government by using what is known as a state compact to draw a distinction between the children of undocumented immigrants and those of legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens.

A compact is a legal term that describes a measure, passed by states, that requires congressional approval. If Congress approves a state compact, it can become federal law without requiring the signature of the president, said Kris Kobach, professor of law at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and the Kansas secretary of state-elect.

The states involved in the compact would issue different birth certificates to children of permanent residents and U.S. citizens from those of undocumented immigrants, tourists and foreign students. The birth certificates would draw a distinction between those children whose parents are "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" - a phrase from the 14th Amendment - and other children whose parents are not.

Kobach and other proponents said that because undocumented immigrants are in the country illegally, they are not under the jurisdiction of the United States.

Effectively, states would be throwing down the gauntlet to Congress to deny citizenship to children who do not have at least one parent who is a permanent resident or a citizen.

Walter Dellinger, who was assistant attorney general and acting solicitor general in President Bill Clinton's administration, predicted that the Supreme Court would dismiss the challenge to the 14th Amendment because of past decisions that ruled children born in the United States were citizens.

In 1898, the Supreme Court ruled that children born to Chinese migrants - who were themselves barred by exclusionary racial laws from becoming citizens - were U.S. citizens since they were born on U.S. soil.

The clause in the 14th Amendment that restricted birthright citizenship to those "under the jurisdiction of the United States," he added, merely excluded the children of foreign diplomats from becoming citizens.

Repeated challenges to the 14th Amendment, several civil rights experts said, had questioned the legitimacy of African American, Chinese American and Japanese American citizens. Each time, the challenge was refuted.

"This matter has been raised in every instance in a racial context," Dellinger said. "That's why we wanted a simple rule: Every new girl or boy born in this country is simply, indisputably, an American."
--Washington Post
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2011, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by realist View Post
About 340,000 children were born in the United States to undocumented immigrants in 2008, according to a study released in August by the Pew Hispanic Center
wow, but then what will they do with these half a million babies every year, if they're not citizens? There doesn't seem to be a practical solution for illegal babies.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2011, 11:01 AM
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I heard in NPR recently about many coming over as tourists just to give birth and then they go back to their home countries. This would give their child an option to move to US if need be. This legislation if passed may help close the loop hole.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2011, 11:08 AM
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"Constitution's 14th Amendment - which grants citizenship to all children born in the United States - only to children with at least one parent who is a permanent resident or citizen."

How about legal residents like us - waiting for GC ? we are not permanent residents or citizens either.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2011, 11:44 AM
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No matter what happens.... I have a feeling that this will ultimately screw the legal law abiding highly skilled population. The funny part will be to wait and watch how !
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2011, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by vin13 View Post
I heard in NPR recently about many coming over as tourists just to give birth and then they go back to their home countries. This would give their child an option to move to US if need be. This legislation if passed may help close the loop hole.
Friend of mine actually did that a few years ago. When his wife got pregnant he sent her to NYC to visit relatives on a visitor visa, had the baby there, paid nothing out of pocket (hospital had to foot the bill), collected baby's US passport and left country. That is what I call abuse and there should be some provision to close these kind of loop holes I totally agree.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2011, 05:11 PM
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Friend of mine actually did that a few years ago. When his wife got pregnant he sent her to NYC to visit relatives on a visitor visa, had the baby there, paid nothing out of pocket (hospital had to foot the bill), collected baby's US passport and left country. That is what I call abuse and there should be some provision to close these kind of loop holes I totally agree.
They are smart and using working the system...10+ million from Latin america are doing that. penelope CRus did that . whats wrong...wallstreet bankers get trillion dollar bailouts !!! on a trillion dollar scheme of thing ...they did nothing wrong.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2011, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by go_guy123 View Post
They are smart and using working the system...10+ million from Latin america are doing that. penelope CRus did that . whats wrong...wallstreet bankers get trillion dollar bailouts !!! on a trillion dollar scheme of thing ...they did nothing wrong.
whether someone uses a loophole or not is not the point - as long as its legal - people have every right to utilize the provision of the law to their advantage........

what confuses the hell out of me is that in the last 10 years - this country has increased its population by only about 9% - coupled with increase in life expectancy - soon, there will be more retired people than working people (some legislators want to increase the retirement age to 70 in response)........a simpler solution would be a controlled population increase through organic growth as well as planned immigration
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2011, 10:28 AM
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As it is being discussed, if the 14th amendment is considered, the birthright citizenship will not be just addressed for illegal immigrants.
A lot of people misuse and abuse this rule..... US is probably one of the few countries that still provide the birthright citizenship.....

However, any change to this particular rule has to be done through legislation only and the courts cannot do anything until the constitution itself is changed!
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:56 PM
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Despite a person is legal or illegal, if the intention is to make his/her baby a citizen of US, it is considered as an abuse of the system which they are trying to close.

There is no law in universe states that "a baby has to be a citizen of US to lead a good life in the earth".

Illegals who are supposed to worry are indeed happy, because they dont' care about anything.

Legals who are supposed to be happy are indeed worrying everyday, becasue they care about everything, visa, stamping, perm, I-140, I485, AP, EAD, GC with newly added item 'birthright citizenship'.

Strange!!!

Last edited by ivgclive; 01-10-2011 at 02:44 PM.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2011, 02:22 PM
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Changing U.S. Constitution is very hard, and I don't think they'll do it. What they are trying to is to change the interpretation of the 14th amendement. If they do not succeed in amending the Constitiution, they will try different tricks, such as pass state laws that will say that "no birth certificate" can be issued unless a Permanent Resident parent or U.S. Citizen parent applies for one. I don't think this is flying anywhere. However, I do understand the merits of this case.
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