Posted on January 28, 2011

Arizona Bill Targets Citizenship for Children of Illegal Immigrants

Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2011

Arizona lawmakers are again diving into the national debate over illegal immigration, proposing a bill that challenges automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.


Republican State Rep. John Kavanagh, who filed the latest proposal, said the goal isn’t to get every state to enact such a law but to bring the dispute to court in hopes of reducing the costs associated with granting automatic citizenship.


This is the second time this year that lawmakers in a state have targeted the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. A similar proposal was filed last week in the Indiana General Assembly.

Supporters argue that the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to people born in the U.S. who are “subject to the jurisdiction” of this country, doesn’t apply to the children of illegal immigrants because such families don’t owe sole allegiance to the U.S.

Opponents say the proposal is mean-spirited, won’t make a dent in the state’s immigration woes and will be declared unconstitutional by the courts.