The desert state has been at the center of immigration furor since it passed SB 1070, the country’s strictest anti-illegal immigration bill, last month. Now, Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce plans to introduce a new measure that would deny birth certificates to children born to illegal immigrants. But is this even possible? The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: “all persons, born or naturalized in the United States…are citizens of the United States.” But to Senator Russell Pearce, that is so 1868. Pearce says illegal immigrants have “hijacked” the 14th Amendment – and it’s time for a change. Critics say this is clearly unconstitutional. But Pearce vows to introduce it nonetheless. What’s going on in Arizona? Is there any chance a bill like this could stand up to judicial review?
Russell Pearce, Arizona State Senator; sponsor of anti-illegal immigration bill SB 1070, scheduled to go into effect at the end of July
Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean, UCI School of Law
John Eastman, Former Dean and Professor, Chapman Law School