(CNSNews.com) – The movement to prevent the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants from automatically becoming American citizens is gaining steam.
At the federal level, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Wednesday introduced legislation that would end automatic citizenship for the children of illegal aliens. And at the National Press Club in
The state lawmakers said they hope to spark a legal battle over the “misapplication” of the 14th Amendment, particularly the portion that reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the
The group State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) introduced both a model bill and a state compact that – if adopted – would most likely trigger a constitutional challenge.
Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh (R) – an SLLI member – said the group’s goal is to legally eliminate birthright or automatic citizenship for anyone born in the
The model bill – to be introduced in a number of state legislatures in coming weeks -- says automatic citizenship applies only to children who have at least one parent who is either a
“According to the 14th Amendment, the primary requirements for
Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor and
“The bill also anticipates that there will be litigation on this subject,” Kobach said at a press conference in
State compacts, which are permitted under Article I of the Constitution, allow states to agree among themselves on matters of policy. Because they set policy for more than one state, state compacts must be approved by Congress.
The model state compact presented by SLLC would have each member state add a line item to its birth records indicating whether a newborn is a “natural born” citizen. It defines that term the same way the model bill does -- as someone born to a person who is either a
“[The state compact] has no effect until Congress approves it, so it is a slightly different animal than the bill,” Kobach explained.
Kobach said the combination of birthright legislation and the state compact would accomplish three goals: “It restores the original meaning of the 14th Amendment; it reinvigorates the concept of state citizenship recognized in the United States Constitution; and it offers Congress the opportunity to exercise its responsibility – in response to the state compact – to uphold the Constitution of the United States and define the terms of the Constitution of the United States in accordance with its responsibilities.”
SLLI includes lawmakers from 40 states who have pledged to introduce either the bill or the compact and to push for passage in their respective states.