n an attempt to broaden Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigration, state lawmakers are working on a new bill to deny citizenship to "anchor babies" — children born to illegal immigrants on U.S. soil. The bill faces a huge hurdle in the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which states that anyone "born or naturalized" in the U.S. is entitled to citizenship. Republican state senator Russell Pearce, the bill's lead sponsor, says the measure is necessary to stop illegal immigrants who have "hijacked" the 14th Amendment to "gain access to the great welfare state we've created." Is denying citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants necessary to discourage people from breaking the law — or is it blatantly unconstitutional? (Watch a Russia Today report about Arizona's proposed "anchor babies" crackdown)
We need to rethink the Constitution: The 14th Amendment does provide "birthright citizenship to all people born in the country," says J.C. Arenas in American Thinker. But "the Founders of this great country" never intended to let scofflaws use their kids "as breathing Powerball tickets." When illegal immigrants are abusing the 14th Amendment to get their families access to social programs, at taxpayer expense, the time has come to redefine "birthright citizenship."
It's unconstitutional. Period: Sorry conservatives, says blogger Femocracy in Firedoglake. The evidence supporting your theory "that the entire population of soon-to-be-parents from Mexico is scheming to jump the border to have their babies in Arizona" is "razor-thin, if not nonexistent." Besides, the Constitution clearly states that, "if you’re born in the United States, you are a citizen." You may not like it — but that's the law of the land.
"Arizona's latest anti-immigration bill"
The bill won't stand — but the damage will be done: Even if Arizona passes this bill, says Sandip Roy in The Huffington Post, "the courts will quickly strike it down." The danger, though, is that this attempt to trample the 14th Amendment will move "the needle so far to the extreme on the issue of immigration" that the scary law Arizona passed earlier will start to look "fair and balanced" by comparison. Like it or not, that's where our country's conversation on immigration is headed.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Attack of the invasive species
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- 7 ways to quickly become a master at anything
- How Captain America won over China
Subscribe to the Week