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10/23/2010 7:39:00 AM
Lawmakers want to deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants
Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said Tuesday the failure of Congress to statutorily
Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said Tuesday the failure of Congress to statutorily "clarify' the 14th Amendment which guarantees citizenship to those born in this country makes it necessary for states to take the lead.

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Legislators in more than a dozen states across the nation are launching efforts to deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, with Arizona to be ground zero.

Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said Tuesday the failure of Congress to statutorily "clarify' the 14th Amendment which guarantees citizenship to those born in this country makes it necessary for states to take the lead.

Pearce, the author of two other Arizona laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration, said details have not yet been finalized. But he told Capitol Media Services one place Arizona can make its views heard would be to deny state-issued birth certificates -- the necessary precursor of proof of citizenship -- to children of those not in the country legally.

Lydia Guzman, president of Somos America, an immigrants rights group, said any such measure will wind up in court.

"Expect plenty of lawsuits. Expect plenty of legal fees in this,' she said. "This is nothing but a political ploy for political posturing.'

Pearce said he's not concerned.

"We'll be sued on no matter what you do by the Left who continue to refuse to accept the laws of this land or the rights of lawful, legal citizens of this country,' he said. In fact, Pearce said a legal challenge is exactly what he wants.

He said courts which have ruled in the past that citizenship can be a matter of the geography of birth have gotten it wrong. More to the point, Pearce said he believes a new lawsuit challenging an Arizona law on citizenship will have a different result.

"With this Supreme Court, we'll win that battle,' he said, saying that's why those who want citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants want to kill the legislation before it ever gets on the books. "They know I have a 5-4 states' rights court.'

Pearce said he also is weighing whether to require proof of legal presence in this country before a child can be enrolled in public schools at state expense. That, too, is a direct challenge to a different Supreme Court ruling which makes such a requirement illegal.

He said lawmakers in 13 states also unveiled their own plans on Tuesday to pursue legislation.

"You can't have laws that say you can't enter, you can't remain here in violation of federal law, but then provide inducements for you to break those laws,' Pearce said. Providing automatic U.S. citizenship to children born in this country to people who are not citizens, he said, is one such inducement.

Some details are lacking at this point.

One is whether a child would have to have both parents be U.S. citizens to get that right or whether a single parent would qualify. Pearce said, though, any change would be prospective only and not seek to revoke the citizenship of any child of illegal immigrants already born.

The effort comes on the heels of a Pew Hispanic Center study estimating that about one out of every 15 children in the United States was born to a family in which at least one parent is in this country illegally. While there are no specific state-by-state figures, extrapolation of other data suggests there are an estimated 170,000 "anchor babies' in Arizona.

Pearce said they're called that because once someone is a U.S. citizen he or she can sponsor other family members to come to this country legally. "It's become a culture of corruption,' he said.

Central to the legal fight is the constitutional amendment adopted just after the Civil War which says anyone born or naturalized in the United States is a citizen of both the U.S. and the state where the person lives. That was aimed to provide legal protection to blacks born as slaves.

Courts have since interpreted that to entitle someone to claim citizenship regardless of the legal status of one or both parents.

Pearce, however, said the judges ignored language requiring not just birth in the United States but also that the person is "subject to the jurisdiction' of this country. He said, for example, that's what kept Native Americans from voting for nearly a century after the amendment even though there was no question where they were born, as they were considered citizens of sovereign government. That same logic, he said, applies to people who are not citizens, whether here legally as visitors or otherwise.

But Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, has said foreigners are to U.S. jurisdiction: With the exception of diplomats, someone who commits a crime here can be prosecuted in Arizona courts.

Pearce said there are companies who offer "birthing packages' designed for pregnant women so they come to the United States to have their babies. Pressed for specifics, Pearce said two web sites where he saw that information "have been pulled down.'

Gov. Jan Brewer sidestepped repeated questions Tuesday about her views.

"I have not heard all the debate in regards to that,' she said, saying she wants to see the issue considered. Brewer said any comment she would have is "based on speculation' of exactly what would be in the measure.

"It's hypothetical,' the governor said. "I can't make an answer based on your questions.'

The governor acknowledged Arizona already is in court defending the legality of two other Pearce-crafted immigration laws: a 2007 measure allowing states to punish companies that knowingly hire undocumented workers, and this year's legislation designed to give police more power to question and detain suspected illegal immigrants.

"No one wants to be in court,' she said. "No one wants to be fighting with the federal government.'

Pearce said it is a fight worth fighting, no matter what the legal bills. He put the cost of illegal immigration on Arizona taxpayers at $2.7 billion a year "just to medicate, educate and incarcerate.'

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Shasiti valena

you are all yelling about how proud you are to be an American and how you , your parents or grand parents came here legally I think the Souix, Cheyenne, Apache, Hopi or hundreds of other Native Americans might have a few things to say about this since we did not come here legally. We were not invited here. We found and stole this land. All of it!! We literally killed millions of Native Americans. This makes you feel proud? It makes me sick to my stomach and my family are European. But the damage is done and since there is no going back then I agree things need to be done legally. I want to know if illegals are just coming here to work or if you are coming here to molest my 4 year old.

Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010
Article comment by: Supports SB1070

If mommy and daddy are illegal then so are their offspring as is afforded by the US Constitution. But that will be up to the liberal USSC to decide after the USDOJ lawsuits are settled.

Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010
Article comment by: John A. Bond

Dear [anonymous and proud] What Part Of Illegal Don't People Understand?:

You stated:

"A lot of Mexicans think we stole the land from them that Texas, California, and AZ belong to them. They must have forget the Spanish American war? Or never taught history?
The U.S. won this land we own it.'

Uh, er, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I think you mean the Mexican-American war don't you?

You must since the Spanish-American war was a war with Spain over cuba with Spain not Mexico!

You also said:

"John A. Bond should remember what country his loyalties belong to, or do they? I wonder by his slanted view on a lot of these topics! "

I am an American citizen who loves his country and wants it to live up to the democratic principles it alleges to believe in and claims to adhere to, also.

I do not think dropping atomic bombs on civilian populations [Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan] meets that criteria.

Nor do I believe that torturing "enemy combatants" or anyone else we are at war with by water boarding them meets that criteria either. It is not only my right but my duty to speak out when I become aware of such abuses and diametrically opposed behavior to our constitutional republic when I encounter and/or discover them.

It is YOUR right to disagree with me, too. I at least put my name on my posts. To live in fear is a terrible way to live.

Posted: Sunday, November 28, 2010
Article comment by: What Part Of Illegal Don't People Understand?

First of all to Javier, Yes a lot of our ancestors came to America from other country's across the ocean, or boarders LEGALLY! They were proud to become free Americans, and they worked hard to get their citizenship. It was a great honor to come to the land of the free where they had so many opportunities. They did not sneak over and live in hiding, they were out in the open, and did it legal. What is wrong with that? Are you prejudice against Americans? We have rights also as a people!

A lot of Mexicans think we stole the land from them that Texas, California, and AZ belong to them. They must have forget the Spanish American war? Or never taught history?
The U.S. won this land we own it.
We make the laws, like all other country's on earth we have the right to protect our country from invaders, people who want to live under the law in every way, sneak over, sell drugs, or work a job pay no taxes, have as many babies as they want free in our hospitals that our tax dollars pay for. No one has a right to just take from another person or country, because they want to!
The proud gangs from Mexico defend and protect this corruption, and promote drugs and murder people who disagree with them or get in their way!

These people have no respect for the U.S. laws, freedoms, and rights. If they did they would be legal Americans and so would their children, and there would be no problem!
Laws are what make, and shape our country and if they are not respected there will be mass ciaos. Look at our boarder perfect example of people coming over who don't care about anything except what they want now!

Becoming an American is not something you do in an instant, it's something you work at, and are thankful to do legally! If it's not worth it to go through the process than these illegals must not care as much as my ancestors did about becoming a free American!

If I steal is it really mine? If my child eats what I stole or I give it to them does it become "not stolen" all of a sudden?
Then I get caught and I cry, "I wanted it and I took it , so it's mine and I have a right to have it?"

That is not what being an American is, or living in America should be about! Taking and stepping on everyone else rights to get what you want!

John A. Bond should remember what country his loyalties belong to, or do they? I wonder by his slanted view on a lot of these topics!
I totally agree with Dave he is 100% right on!

I am not prejudice, I don't care what your skin color is or where you come from, you are welcome to come here and become an American citizen do it legally. My family did and I am thankful or I would not be a free American!

Posted: Saturday, November 27, 2010
Article comment by: The Goatherder

To Ron James: I don't know whether your statistics are correct or not, as you don't cite a source. Your statement "There children don't even want to learn the English language" is an utterly false opinion, not a statistic. Younger Spanish speaking students in primary grades are willing and eager to learn their new language. Older students are more reluctant, as learning a new language past about age 12 is extremely difficult. Your statement, by the way, contains a spelling error. Just saying......

Posted: Friday, November 26, 2010
Article comment by: John A. Bond

Ron James:

Okay, you have proven we have a racist criminal justice system that unjustly focuses upon illegals and mexican americans.

What else is new?

Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010
Article comment by: SUBVERSION FROM WITHIN

This country is at a crossroads. It's not the foreign terrorists that we need fear nearly as much as the self-styled patriot bigots who attain political power and use it to promote their personal warped image of what this country is and should be.

Frightening, but remember that gross errors made at the ballot box can be remedied at the ballot box.

Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Article comment by: Ron James

Javier, did you go to school? Try to learn how to spell english. And to Frank Lee and poppycock Bond, I recently checked out the Federal Bureau of Investigations and D.H.S. report on Arizona. Here's what I found: 83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens/40.1% of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals/53% plus of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens/50% plus of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens/71% plus of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by Illegal aliens or "transport coyotes"/63% of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 63%, 97% are illegal aliens/380,000 plus "anchor babies" were born in the US to illegal alien parents in just one year, making 380,000 babies automatically US citizens (which is UN-Constitutional illegal) and 97.2% of all costs incurred from those illegal births were paid by the American taxpayers. That is almost ALL of them! There's more stats on what these people cost us for allowing their children to go to American schools. There children don't even want to learn the English language. The parents play stupid and the causes the left wing liberals to give in and feel sorry for them. Try to get assistance from the government when you and your ancestors have been here for years. They will help out an Illegal person before taking care of our own people. At least our ancestors and true Americans respect this country, we don't go around waving flags from what ever the country our families came from and the majority of us respect Law Enforcement and the laws of our land. I wish our government would use Mexico's law for the illegals in their country here. And to Mr. Bond, Cowpoke, Poppycock, whatever your name is, thanks for your comment, it's the smartest comment you have ever written. Good job.

Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Article comment by: John A. Bond



Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

Russell Pearce is simply promoting himself as a politician. The cost to Arizona due to his policies is not his concern. After all, some of his biggest supporters are private prison operators.
The more illegal activity that occurs in Arizona, the more Arizona tax dollars go to the prison industry. Our taxes increase to house and feed immigrants in prison who are not working and magically, this results in Mr. Pearce becoming more powerful.

Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Article comment by: Dave Freeman

Wow. So much anger. So much hate.

No other country in the world allows people to sneak across it's borders...have a kid...and then grant the kid citizenship and give the parents the right to remain.

Gaining control over who...and how we let people into this country and grant citizenship to is not racist...it's nationalist.

And again...every other country on this planet does it.

Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Article comment by: The Goatherder

Yeah, conservatives just LOVE the constitution all right. Except when they don't. Except when it doesn't suit their agenda. Then it's ok to change it.

Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Article comment by: Lee Cali

Delaware Bob may be full of "poppycock" as Mr. Bond put it. . I would call it Poop-y-cock!. But the one is to rail against is our state Senator Russell Pearce who has the arrogance and the clout to defy our Federal laws and welcomes the legal expenditures that would far outweigh the costs that the undocumented workers have on the system. And as if to threaten us all the more, he assures us that the 5-4 majority (remember how Democrats were supposed to be activist judges?) on the Supreme Court will uphold his racist bills.
Already the state has lost $140 million dollars in tourism as a result of the ill-conceived SB1070. It wasn't bad enough to challenge the 1st amendment, now he wants to take it further and challenge the 14th amendment.

Watch out who you vote for, Arizona, you may regret it!

Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Article comment by: The Cowpoke

. Javier Hernandez writes "you are all forgetting that your parents or grandparents are also immigrants." Yes you are absolutely correct. The difference is that they were proud to be Americans and entered this country legally and applied for citizenship. That avenue for citizenship has always been open to all immigrants. Mexican immigrants could do the same but they would rather flout immigrant laws and attempt to change the laws MY parents, and perhaps yours, fought and died to protect. There once was a time in Phoenix when Americans and immigrants of Mexican descent worked and lived in harmony. That period ended when the drug cartels began to colonize America to expand their business and recruit illegal immigrants to do their bidding. Well you may get your wish and find that the US becomes just like the country you fled.

Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Article comment by: Javier Hernandez

You are all forgetting that your parents or grandparents are also immigrants. They most likely crossed the Atlantic ocean and wer in the botton of a ship where the rats dwelled. It was probalble that they craaied diseaes from those roedents and also had lice like most european immmigrants. No one liked the Irish or the Italians becuase of that. Now they consider Irish a true American because of the skin color. If they are staying here illegally how are we suppose to know if they are illegal aliens?i do agree that many hispanics do committ crimes. So do italian Americans as well as the IRa.

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