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Hullabaloo


Sunday, June 13, 2010

 
Writing it Right This Time

by digby


So Arizona is going to introduce a bill to pressure Israel to deport the children and grandchildren of European Jews to Poland and Germany. You'd think there would be some kind of outcry, wouldn't you?

Oh, wait. They just want to revoke the citizenship of the children of Mexicans so they can be deported to Mexico (and other ocuntries "down there.") Not a problem. My bad:


Buoyed by recent public opinion polls suggesting they're on the right track with illegal immigration, Arizona Republicans will likely introduce legislation this fall that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona - and thus American citizens according to the U.S. Constitution - to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens. The law largely is the brainchild of state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican whose suburban district, Mesa, is considered the conservative bastion of the Phoenix political scene. He is a leading architect of the Arizona law that sparked outrage throughout the country: Senate Bill 1070, which allows law enforcement officers to ask about someone's immigration status during a traffic stop, detainment or arrest if reasonable suspicion exists - things like poor English skills, acting nervous or avoiding eye contact during a traffic stop. (See the battle for Arizona: will a border crackdown work?)

But the likely new bill is for the kids. While SB 1070 essentially requires of-age migrants to have the proper citizenship paperwork, the potential "anchor baby" bill blocks the next generation from ever being able to obtain it. The idea is to make the citizenship process so difficult that illegal immigrants pull up the "anchor" and leave. (See pictures of the Great Wall of America.)

The question is whether that would violate the U.S. Constitution. The 14th Amendment states that "all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." It was intended to provide citizenship for freed slaves and served as a final answer to the Dred Scott case, cementing the federal government's control over citizenship.

But that was 1868. Today, Pearce says the 14th Amendment has been "hijacked" by illegal immigrants. "They use it as a wedge," Pearce says. "This is an orchestrated effort by them to come here and have children to gain access to the great welfare state we've created." Pearce says he is aware of the constitutional issues involved with the bill and vows to introduce it nevertheless. "We will write it right." He and other Republicans in the red state Arizona point to popular sympathy: 58% of Americans polled by Rasmussen think illegal immigrants whose children are born here should not receive citizenship; support for that stance is 76% among Republicans.


This is just righting a long ago wrong. After all, if you'd have polled the country before they passed the 14th amendment, I have no doubt that 76% of racist confederates were against it, along with a bunch of other ignorant fools who have no idea what they are saying, just as they are today.


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