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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    TN: Duncan gaining support for bill

    Duncan gaining support for bill
    Republicans say citizenship not birthright for immigrants' kids
    By Michael Collins
    Knoxville News Sentinel
    Posted August 7, 2010 at midnight

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. seemed as if he was virtually alone when he put his name on a bill to deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. That was last year. This year, the idea is catching on.

    Frustrated by Congress' efforts to curb illegal immigration, a number of prominent Republicans are suggesting the time has come to consider repealing or rewriting the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the United States.

    "It's a very difficult thing to amend the Constitution, and it should be a difficult process," said Duncan, a Knoxville Republican. "But the great majority of the people, overwhelming majorities, are really fed up with illegal immigration. People are just kind of at the end of their rope about it, really."

    The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868 to guarantee citizenship to children of former slaves and other immigrant communities, declares that all persons born or naturalized in the United States and "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" are citizens.

    But opponents of illegal immigration say many foreigners are taking advantage of the amendment's citizenship clause in a way in which it was never intended.

    Many, they say, cross the borders illegally for the sole purpose of giving birth in the United States, believing they will then be allowed to petition for visas to stay in the country because their children are American citizens.

    Advocates for Latino groups and immigrants' rights say ending automatic citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants would strike at a core American value and would do little to curb illegal immigration since most come to the United States looking for a job. They also suggest Republicans are bringing up the issue now in an effort to win votes in this fall's elections.

    "What's going on here is politics," said Elias Feghali, spokesman for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. "It's fine to have an immigration debate, where people can sit down on both sides of the issue and discuss what is the realistic path forward to reform the system. But it's a whole other thing to use immigrants as a scapegoat, as a cheap way to get some votes."

    When the latest proposal was introduced last year in the U.S. House, just two lawmakers signed on: Duncan and the bill's primary sponsor, U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif.

    Though still considered a long shot, the idea started to gain attention last week when U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who had been a lead negotiator on immigration reform, said he might file a bill to end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.

    Other prominent Republicans quickly came forward and said it's something Congress should consider. They include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the party's presidential nominee in 2008; U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee; and U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Senate's No. 2 Republican.

    "The reason there is a debate about birthright citizenship is that we've lost control of our borders," said U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Senate's third-ranking Republican.

    Alexander's office did not say whether the Maryville Republican supports denying automatic citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.

    U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Chattanooga, "thinks we should look at all policies that may have the effect of encouraging illegal immigration," said his spokeswoman, Laura Herzog.

    Many legal experts say the only way to end automatic citizenship would be to amend the Constitution, which could take years and probably would not be successful.

    But lawmakers could also try to end birthright citizenship through legislation. That approach would likely focus on the 14th Amendment phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Congress could pass a law declaring that illegal immigrants are not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States because they entered the country illegally, thus making their children ineligible for citizenship.

    That, however, would be a stretch and would almost certainly result in a prolonged battle in court, said Peter Spiro, a professor and citizenship scholar at Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia.

    "If I were handicapping it," Spiro said, "I would be willing to bet some serious money on the court finding the (citizenship) rule to be a constitutional one."

    Only a handful of countries bestow citizenship upon anyone born within their borders. Besides the United States, birthright citizenship is in practice in Canada and some Latin countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, but nowhere in Europe.

    Duncan said ratifying the 14th Amendment was the right thing because it gave citizenship rights to the children of slaves who were brought to the United States against their will. But at the time, he said, no one could have imagined the immigration issues the country is now facing.

    "I don't think we ought to grant birthright citizenship to children of illegal immigrants," he said. "We shouldn't give people who are here illegally the same rights as we give to people who are here legally. To me, it's that simple."

    Feghali, however, said ending birthright citizenship could lead to consequences that no one can foresee.

    "The last thing we need," he said, "are government agencies in delivery rooms inspecting newborns to see whether they're 'real Americans.' ''

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Tbow009's Avatar
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    Well then...

    Advocates for Latino groups and immigrants' rights say ending automatic citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants would strike at a core American value and would do little to curb illegal immigration since most come to the United States looking for a job. They also suggest Republicans are bringing up the issue now in an effort to win votes in this fall's elections.

    "What's going on here is politics," said Elias Feghali, spokesman for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. "It's fine to have an immigration debate, where people can sit down on both sides of the issue and discuss what is the realistic path forward to reform the system. But it's a whole other thing to use immigrants as a scapegoat, as a cheap way to get some votes."


    If that is the case than you wont mind at all if we fix the 14th amendment. Since they come here primarily just for jobs and such you wont miss birthright citizenship at all. The fact that you are and will vehemently argue AGAINST fixing the 14th amendment shows what LIARS you are and how afraid you are of losing that MASSIVE perk of being able to plop out a U S citizen

  3. #3
    Senior Member Richard's Avatar
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    The problem actually is not in the 14th amendment it is in the opinion on the Wong Kim Ark Decision written by Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray. This Supreme Court case took place almost thirty years after the amendment. Wong Kim Ark was actually the son of two people who were living here as long term legal residents. The United States at that time had policies in place limiting the right of Chinese to become American citizens. There was a question whether this also applied to their children. The decision of the court that since Wong Kim Ark was born here that he could choose to be a citizen despite the proscription against the same choice by his parents. Horace Gray wrote an opinion that has been a problem ever since. It is rather only by baldly misconstruing the meaning of wording in the amendment that rights could be contrived that would grant birthright citizenship to illegal aliens. Ironically Gray had also written two opinions to the effect that unaturalized immigrants did not have citizen equivalent rights.

    http://www.supremecourthistory.org/hist ... 40gray.htm

    <img src=http://www.supremecourthistory.org/history/images/040_gray.jpg>
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Wong Kim Ark was actually the son of two people who were living here as long term legal residents.
    This must have a bearing.
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  5. #5
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    The distinction in Wong Kim Ark is the parents were residing here legally, but could not obtain citizenship because of the Chinese Exclusionary Act. It was or own government’s exclusionary policies against the parents of of Wong Kim that resulted in his birthright citizenship being denied.

    Quite different from two people who voluntarily entered this country in violation of established immigration law and expect citizenship rights to be conveyed to their offspring.

    Any decent lawyer will be able to make that distinction clear in a court of law.

    Wong Kim Ark should and will not be the controlling law in a case involving the citizenship rights conveyed to the offspring of two people who entered this country in violation of federal immigration laws. This is the current situation and it’s clearly distinguishable from that of Wong Kim Ark.

    In fact, I would bet that Wong Kim Ark will hardly be mentioned in an opinion involving citizenship rights to the offspring of illegal invaders. If it is, it will only be to discuss the vast distinctions between the two cases and why it does not apply to current situation.
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