Looking past Arizona’s SB1070 ruling this week, some lawmakers are toying with the idea of ending the “birthright citizenship, birth tourism or anchor baby” policies America currently has in place.
After the Arizona ruling came down Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News that "birthright citizenship" needs to be changed.
"I'm a practical guy, but when you go forward I don't want 20 million more (illegal immigrants) 20 years from now," he told Fox News. "Let's have a system that doesn't reward people for cheating."
In the past lawmakers have tried to implement similar measures through the states, however Graham said he may try introducing a constitutional amendment.
"We should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child's automatically not a citizen," he said. "They come here to drop a child - it's called 'drop and leave.' ... That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons."
If the Senator goes through the amendment process is will be a permanent solution but the process is much more difficult. Changing the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress as well as ratification by three-fourths of the states (38 states is the magic number to amend the Constitution).
Michael Wildes, an immigration lawyer and former federal prosecutor told Fox News, the push is a "pie in the sky" matter and didn’t believe it would survive any court challenges.
"It's spiteful," Wildes said. "These are U.S. citizens. ... They're babies that by the grace of God were born in one country instead of another."
A similar measure was introduced in April of last year by former Congressman Nathan Deal. His proposed legislation would have stripped birthright citizenship from the 14th Amendment because he says the law only applies if one of the child's parents is a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant.
However the bill perished in the House despite the fact it had 92 co-sponsors.
The author of Arizona SB1070, Republican Russell Pearce has considered putting forth a similar birthright citizenship bill at the Arizona state level.
Pearce maintains the 14th Amendment, which was adopted after the Civil War, was intended to protect African Americans not to give every child born in the U.S. citizenship.
"Illegal wasn't illegal then," Pearce explained. "If you think about it, it's illegal to enter the United States, illegal to remain here, but you get the greatest inducement you could possibly have - the citizenship of your child. ... It was never intended to do that."
According to NumbersUSA, a responsible legal immigration think tank, there are no European nations that grant birthright citizenship and Canada is the only developed nation other than the United States to provide citizenship to those simply born on a country’s soil.
Another birthright law was introduced in California dubbed the “California Taxpayer Protection Act.” The measure would have curtailed the birthright citizenship process; however the initiative failed to collect enough signatures to be on the November ballot in the Golden State.
“It’s been a long process to get us this far,” said Ted Hilton of Taxpayer Revolution, the group who authored the initiative. “I’d say we’ve been working on this for more than 10 years. I’ve consulted with many Constitutional attorneys to get it right.”
His hard work was put to the test and he vows to keep fighting for a change in the state’s citizenship law in the future. “California has been hit hard with illegal alien public spending that is out of control,” Hilton said.
Highlights of the proposed birthright citizenship bill included, applicants for state, local, and state-administered federal aid to verify lawful presence in the United States. Additionally, applications for public benefits submitted by undocumented parents on behalf of their lawful-resident children would be given to federal authorities.
According to the Attorney General for the state of California, who prepares the title and summary, the state would deny birth certificates to children born to undocumented parents unless the mother provides a fingerprint and other information to be given to the federal authorities.
Finally, the initiative would have eliminated benefits for children in child-only CalWORKS cases which are not mandated by federal law.
“This initiative follows the intent of the framers of this country,” U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif. said. “Article V of the 14th Amendment gives us the right to define subject to the jurisdiction.”
The bottom line is the California initiative would use a common sense approach, according to Bilbray. “This is a concept of fairness that is very moderately written to solve some of California’s problems.” He continued to say that it is absurd to write welfare checks to people without checking their legal status.
The Taxpayer Revolution grassroots group contends that the state could save upwards of $2 billion dollars each year which would help close the state’s $20 billion budget gap.
“This initiative will save taxpayer money and slow down rampant illegal border crossings,” Hilton contends.
Agreeing with the proposed birthright citizenship laws is Cuban national, Tony Dolz, a naturalized citizen, who immigrated legally to this country and strongly believes in reforming the anchor baby system. “My father was an attorney before he died and instilled on his children a respect for the rule of law and above all for the U.S. Constitution.”
“We are a generous nation as shown by taking 1.5 million immigrants annually, a greater number than any other nation in the world,” Dolz explains. “I believe that foreigners who jump in front of the line of millions of law abiding foreigners that are in the process of complying with our immigration laws and who are doing so are showing disrespect for our country and its laws.”
California state officials estimate between 20-25 percent of all births each year are to those in the country illegally. According to Hilton, it is becoming evident that the parents lack the ability to pay for these births and immediately require public services to care for these children.
“Our citizen movement will continue to launch a state and national debate to bring an end to “birth tourism” and automatic citizenship in the United States,” Hilton said.
Other items included in the California anchor-baby initiative:
*Requires illegal mother to provide identification with a photograph, fingerprints and fees in person
*Ends all illegal public funded benefits
*Ends prenatal care for illegal aliens
*Terminates all child welfare checks to illegal aliens (some of which are sent out of the country)