Pearce bill would target Arizona 'anchor babies' | Immigration & SB 1070
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Immigration & SB 1070

Pearce bill would target Arizona 'anchor babies'

Under potential law, children born in U.S. to illegal immigrants wouldn't be citizens

Sen. Russell Pearce, who authored Arizona's controversial new immigration law, now wants to deny citizenship to so-called "anchor babies."

Citizenship is granted to children born in the U.S. – even to illegal immigrants, according to the Constitution. But Pearce told Time Magazine that the 14th Amendment has been "hijacked" by illegal immigrants.

"They use it as a wedge," he said. "This is an orchestrated effort by them to come here and have children to gain access to the great welfare state we've created."

Oklahoma Republican Randy Terrill is working on a similar bill for his state.

"Currently, if you have a child born to two alien parents, that person is believed to be a U.S. citizen," Terrill told NPR. "When taken to its logical extreme, that would produce the absurd result that children of invading armies would be considered citizens of the U.S."

A similar bill is working its way through Congress. Several European countries do not grant birthright citizenship, but about 30 countries do.

"Many countries do not grant birthright citizenship because they have older histories and see themselves as individual nations with individual identities," John Skrentny, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies and sociology professor at the University of California at San Diego, explained to ABC. "Whereas the United States, like many other countries in the Western Hemisphere, began as, and has always seen itself as, a melting pot," he says.

Pearce said the new law will not conflict with the Constitution.

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"Citizenship has always been privilege extended only on conditions established by the sovereign . . . not the mere happenstance of location of birth or residence," he wrote on his website.

“We will write it right,” he told Time.

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2 comments on this story

Jun 14, 2010, 5:44 pm
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As for the “Anchor Baby” baby law. It was never meant for illegal alien females who intentionally scorn our sovereignty laws. No illegal alien child, should gain the rights given to a citizen, as the law was intended for newly released slaves—after President Lincoln executed the Declaration of Emancipation at the end of the Civil.  war. It needs to be filed with the Supreme Court, for their re-evaluation of 14 Amendment, as this law is been misinterpreted and should be revised. This la as it is is costing taxpayers for every “Anchor Baby” and family that is adjoined Billions of Taxpayer dollars every year. Once here the system is corrupted by these females attaching themselves like parasites to food stamps, Section 8 housing, prenatal carewelfare benefits and ordinary cash. Just like the Child Credit scam that is being extracted from US taxpayers according to Ed Rubenstein, the author of “The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest anti-poverty program in the United States – and the most illegal-immigrant friendly.”

Jun 14, 2010, 1:44 pm
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Fact Check

Whatever the merits of changing the rules of birthright citizenship, Randy Terrill’s much-quoted comment about invading armies is a total political red herring, and needs a quick fact check.

First, does the Oklahoma Republican seriously suggest that the U.S. will be subject to invasion any time soon - an invasion so prolonged that the occupying army will settle down to procreate?

Second, an invading army wouldn’t be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States - a primary point of the 14th Amendment. No jurisdiction, no citizenship. Also, U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) essentially says that children of agents of a foreign power employed in an official capacity aren’t citizens, despite jus soli doctrine.

Unless we’re attacked by a foreign army, and unless the Supreme Court completely throws out an important clause in the Constitution, we shouldn’t fret much about the children of invading armies becoming citizens.

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