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Hate group to assist lawmakers in campaign to change the US Constitution

October 21, 2010

Yesterday, the Grand Rapids Press ran an Associated Press (AP) story about a group of state law from around the country who want to change the US Constitution say that children of undocumented immigrants who are born in the US can no longer get automatic citizenship.

The article cites Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce as one of the lawmakers pushing for a change to the US Constitution. In the article Pearce, who wrote Arizona’s anti-immigrant law that went into affect this year, says, “We’ve allowed the hijacking of the 14th Amendment.”

The article also cites a constitutional lawyer and a spokesperson with a pro-immigration group also from Arizona.

At the end of the story the AP reporters list the states that have lawmakers who are joining in on this effort – Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Among the Michigan lawmakers whom are in favor of changing the US Constitution so as to not grant automatic citizenship to child born in the US from undocumented immigrants is Rep. Dave Agema. This fact prompted Grand Rapids Press writer Troy Reimink to post a short piece on MLive yesterday in order to stimulate some discussion about the topic.

Reimink quotes Rep. Agema who says, “When you get a whole bunch of states on board with this, we’ll try to get the Congress to change the 14th Amendment back to what it should be.” However, the Press writer does not ask Agema what he means when he says changing the 14th Amendment back to what it was.

Reimink also does not provide any background on Agema as to why he would support such an effort. Agema is one of the state legislators who supported a Michigan version of the anti-immigration Arizona bill. Agema also favors making English the “official” language of Michigan and held a bogus public hearing on immigration in 2007.

In addition, Reimink links to a Washington Independent article which states that lawmakers working to change the 14th Amendment would, “receive help in crafting the legislation from Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legislative arm of the pro-enforcement Federation for American Immigration Reform.

It is unfortunate that Reimink did not mention that this group would help craft this legislation, especially since they are one of the largest anti-immigration groups in the country. FAIR has also been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Kate Wheeler permalink
    October 21, 2010 5:24 pm

    Even though I knew this was coming, it makes me so tired and angry. There have been numerous challenges to the 14th Amendment, which was originally written to be airtight so that the children of people freed from slavery would not be denied citizenship at the state level. Because it is so carefully constructed, every challenge has gone down in flames. And people like Pearce and Agema know that.

    They plan to tie up federal resources and courts with this nonsense to stir up more grassroots hatred against immigrants, particularly (in Pearce’s case especially) Latinos. They’ll use it to raise tons of money for their campaigns and foundations, and then the whole thing will just fizzle; they’ll pack up their money and disappear into the government sewers.

    Pearce’s “challenge” is based on the first sentence of the amendment: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

    He says that the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” excludes the population he brands as “illegal immigrants.”

    However, there are plenty of cites and notations from the writing of the original bill that explain that that phrase was intended to apply only to the children of diplomats, who may be born in this country because of parental assignments, but who are essentially considered to be born on foreign soil because that’s how the diplomatic service operates.

    Imagine what is going to happen when citizens realize these brain surgeons, by overturning the 14th Amendment, are going to make *everyone’s* children non-citizens of this country, even when born here. Like Germans, all American parents will have to apply for their child’s citizenship. It won’t be automatic. And since we are not set up to do that, it would be a mess.

    And, as in Germany, it will open the door to a lot of underground activist activity: American-born people acting as “stand-ins” and taking oaths that they are a baby’s parent when they’re not; which will allow immigrant babies to obtain citizenship anyway. It’s not going to change a thing…except we’ll have to hire a raft of new federal workers to handle all of the application paperwork and red tape for citizenship on behalf of every child who’s born here.

    This doesn’t have a chance of succeeding, but if it did, it would not have the promised effect. All you have to do is look at European countries who have jus sanguinis, rather than jus soli, citizenship to see what will happen here.

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