Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

As Arizona considers birthright citizenship bill, babies (with parents) march

Screen shot from Facebook page for "One-Thousand Baby Chain"

A hearing in the Arizona state Senate Judiciary Committee on legislation whose proponents hope to end birthright citizenship is expected to last late into the night. In response, critics today staged a protest they call the "One-Thousand Baby Chain" outside the state Capitol in Phoenix.

Arizona's SB 1309 was introduced in January by state Sen. Ron Gould, one of four anti-birthright citizenship bills filed together that intend to redefine who is a citizen of Arizona, and differentiate between the children born to undocumented parents and other children when issuing state birth certificates.

The ultimate goal of proponents is to force a Supreme Court review of the 14th Amendment, which as interpreted provides for automatic citizenship to all born on U.S. soil. The bills are among several anti-birthright citizenship bills filed at the federal and state level last month.

In protest, an immigrant rights group called Border Action Network called for opponents to demonstrate - and to bring their families. Hilary Tone, a spokeswoman for the group, said that about 80 people picketed today outside the Capitol, "several with babies and children."

Mike Philipsen, a spokesman for Gould, said the hearing would run late. If the legislation were to make it out of the committee tonight, he said, it would likely not make it to the state Senate floor for at least two weeks as legislators wrestle with the state budget.