Patt Morrison for January 4, 2011

14 states set to attack birthright citizenship on a local level

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Legislators in Arizona, joined by 13 other states, are preparing to roll out bills that would curtail the rights of children born to illegal immigrants.

It will start in Arizona, the same state that reignited a passionate, national debate over immigration policy with their infamous SB 1070 legislation that severely restricted the rights of illegal immigrants. Legislators in Arizona, joined by 13 other states, are preparing to roll out bills that would curtail the rights of children born to illegal immigrants, even though citizenship is technically a federal, Constitutional issue that starts with the 14th Amendment. Arizona lawmakers will be at the National Press Club tomorrow to introduce a bill that would, among other things, deny birth certificates to the children of undocumented immigrants. Defenders of birthright citizenship claim that the states do not have legal ground to do such a thing and that anti-immigrant types are looking for a court battle; critics of illegal immigration argue that states are picking up where the federal government has fallen down. Can states start to dictate the terms of American citizenship?

Guest:

Michelle Waslin, senior policy analyst at the Immigration Policy Center

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-District 8; Chairman of the Arizona House Appropriations Committee


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