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Can Arizona stop the children of illegal immigrants from gaining citizenship?

by AirTalk®

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Ana Sari, 3, sits on her father's shoulders as they demonstrate outside the building that houses immigration court along with family and friends of IFCO System employees as they await word on the deportation hearings July 31, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images

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

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