Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The model bill to challenge the 14th Amendment

U.S. Constitution art, September 2008
Photo by Chuck Coker/Flickr (Creative Commons)

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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In the news this morning: The birthright citizenship battle, undocumented immigrants and taxes, border arrests continue to drop, more

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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.


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Muslims in America last year: 'Like looking in the mirror and seeing a monster in place of yourself'

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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."


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American snapshot: Downey

Caribbean dreaming against the snowy San Gabriels on a crisp Southern California winter day, January 4, 2011
Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

No, definitely not Florida.


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Census Bureau history lesson: The immigrant population over time

Photo courtesy of Erica Marshall/Flickr (Creative Commons)

For those who love statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau has compiled a nifty list of historical census facts regarding the nation's foreign-born population, as hot of a newsworthy topic today as it was in the nineteenth century.

Here's nifty historical fact number one:

The foreign-born population accounted for 10 percent of the total U.S. population in 1850, and 15 percent in1890. Today, the foreign-born comprise 12 percent of the population.

In other words, immigrants are no bigger part of the population than they were 111 years ago, and comprise only a slightly larger piece of the pie today than they did before the Civil War.

Also in the numbers, though, is one telling difference that may well influence perceptions: The ethnic and racial makeup of the foreign born.

From another item on the list:


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