How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Bloggers on the 14th Amendment battle

Photo by Victoria Bernal/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A baby at a May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles, May 1, 2010

Those who write about immigration, politics, and the intersection of the two have had quite a bit to work with since Wednesday, when several GOP state legislators announced that they'd be introducing bills at the state level in hopes of forcing a U.S. Supreme Court review of the 14th Amendment.

Adopted shortly after the Civil War, the constitutional amendment guarantees U.S. citizenship for everyone who is born in this country. The goal of the anti-birthright citizenship lawmakers is to deny citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants.

In one recent post, The New Republic's Adam Serwer highlights a quote from anti-birthright citizenship advocate Sen. Russell Pearce of Arizona (from the Washington Times, via ColorLines), pointing out the statement as historically incorrect. Pearce was quoted as saying that the amendment was meant to apply to African Americans and that its sponsors "specifically said it didn't apply to foreigners or aliens." Serwer writes:

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The model bill to challenge the 14th Amendment

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U.S. Constitution art, September 2008

As had been planned, a group of conservative state legislators convened in Washington, D.C. this morning to unveil what they termed "14th Amendment Misapplication State Legislation."

A press release from the office of Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a leader in the anti-birthright citizenship movement, listed a series of Republican state legislators from Pennsylvania, Arizona, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Georgia as attending the unveiling press conference, all part of a national coalition of immigration restriction-minded legislators.

The idea is for legislators in individual states to introduce bills based on the model legislation, written as a blanket bill to be applied in any state, in order to force a Supreme Court review of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

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14th Amendment, Section 1: The battle begins

Photo by Victoria Bernal/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A baby at a May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles, May 1, 2010

After months of strategizing, the battle over the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is about to officially begin.

On Wednesday, two Arizona Republican leaders, including SB 1070 architect Sen. Russell Pearce, will introduce to press in Washington, D.C. the model legislation that they hope will force the U.S. Supreme Court to review and eventually reinterpret the constitutional right to U.S. citizenship for all those born in this country, with the goal of denying the right to children born to undocumented immigrants.

Arizona lawmakers will not be the only ones introducing the model legislation, the product of a larger coalition of state legislators who share the same goal. Legislators in at least 14 states plan to do the same, with the objective of prompting a judicial review.

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Top five immigration stories of 2010, #1: Arizona's SB 1070

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC


It's been a year in which immigration has played a part in everything from the economy and the 2010 census to the California governor's race, making it tough to limit the year's biggest immigration stories to a list of only five. The stories we have reviewed this week have included the tragic massacre of migrants near the Texas border in Tamaulipas, which highlighted just how dangerous clandestine passage to the United States has become; the record number of deportations under the Obama administration, part of an enforcement trade-off for broader reforms that never came; the controversial enforcement programs Secure Communities and 287(g); and the Dream Act, which prompted an unexpected student movement in support of its proposed conditional status for undocumented college students and military hopefuls.

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