Immigration in 2011 – Part 7 of 10, Attacks on the 14th Amendment

Seventh part of our ten part series examining the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) publication of “What to Watch Out for in Immigration in 2011.”

Topic #7: Attacks on the 14th Amendment

The proposal by Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) to revoke portions of the14th amendment which gave automatic citizenship to children born on U.S. soil sparked controversy back in July 2010. Since Senator Graham’s proposal many other senators have continued to debate and propose new legislation over the issue of birthright citizenship. Although many senators are pushing to pass laws that would prohibit children born in the U.S. from being granted U.S. citizenship, AILA believes this type of legislation would do little to fix our broken immigration system. Additionally, passing the law would only increase the number of individuals in the U.S. who are residing here illegally.

28 different bills have been proposed by Republican senators since 1995 to prohibit citizenship rights under the 14th amendment. AILA believes restricting the civil rights guaranteed under the 14th amendment would “offend the country’s most sacred values” and put into place discrimination that the country was founded on to fix. Passing the law and actually repealing the citizenship clause would mark the first time in history that the Constitution was amended to restrict civil rights and liberties. Eliminating the basis of citizenship based on place of birth would create problems for the general American public as well because they would no longer be able to provide their birth certificate as proof of citizenship.

Revoking portions of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution will not fix our broken system; it will only create more problems and increase the amount of undocumented individuals in the U.S. If you have any ideas on how best to fix our broken immigration system, we welcome your comments and suggestions…

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