Photo by Cliff 1066/Flickr (Creative Commons)
A child participates in a parade of flags, October 2010
We've featured some of the text from the 1868 amendment to the United States Constitution and what the amendment entails, as well as the model bill that some conservative state legislators hope will force federal judges to revise it in their quest to deny U.S. citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants.
The amendment itself has a long and storied history, dating to just after the Civil War. Worth highlighting is the landmark late 1800s legal case that set the precedent for how it is interpreted, and which involved the U.S.-born son of Chinese immigrants.
The 14th Amendment was one of three changes to the Constitution during and after the Civil War era known as the Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th abolished slavery, the 15th prohibited the states from denying the vote to anyone based solely on race. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History's website has a detailed article from a Columbia University history professor on how the amendment came to be, placing it in historical context.
Photo by Chuck Coker/Flickr (Creative Commons)
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.
Illegal Immigration Opponents Want States to Change to Birthright Citizenship - ABC News A coalition of state lawmakers is announcing plans today for a state-by-state approach to blocking the issuance of state birth certificates to children of undocumented immigrants.
Pearce won't attend unveiling of citizenship bill - Arizona Daily Star One of the biggest champions of ending birthright citizenship, Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, who also sponsored SB 1070, has canceled plans to attend today's scheduled D.C. press conference announcing states' plans to take on the 14th Amendment. Other Arizona legislators are expected to attend.
Birthright Citizenship Looms as Next Immigration Battle - New York Times More on the proposal by several GOP legislators to end the automatic right to U.S. citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants, reported from Arizona.
One of the biggest immigration-related stories of the year, one that I regret not having squeezed into my top-five list, also involved culture, religion, and a substantial dose of fear.
Nearly ten years after the World Trade Center attacks, a nationwide rise in anti-Muslim sentiment manifested itself everywhere from Ground Zero in New York City to Temecula, and many points in between. Citizens mounted protests against planned mosques from coast to coast, arsonists set fire to a mosque construction site in Tennessee, a Florida preacher threatened to burn copies of the Quran, and the overwhelming majority of Oklahoma's electorate voted to ban Sharia law from the courts, even if Islamic law had never been cited in one of the state's courtrooms.
The experience has left many Muslim Americans reeling. In the recent Bloggingheads exchange above, Egyptian-born columnist Mona Eltahawy describes the feeling she got seeing some of the news reports: "It was like looking in the mirror and seeing a monster in place of yourself."