Republican lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would take US citizenship away from babies born in the United States to undocumented immigrants. The concept of birthright citizenship is a fundamental tenet of the constitution of this country. But according to Rep. Gary Miller (R-Brea, CA), "You have many people coming to this country illegally. They come to this country and have babies. The children are citizens," Miller told the Whittier Daily News. "The children are eligible to go to school. They receive food stamps and social programs. The American taxpayers are paying for it."
Citizenship is guaranteed for anyone born on US soil under the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The proposed bill does not aim to change the constitution, but is looking to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to specify who the 14th amendment applies to. If passed, the amendment would ensure that only children born to at least one parent who is either a citizen, permanent resident or actively serving in the U.S. military could be considered U.S. citizens. The likelihood of the bill passing is very low, with most lawmakers acknowledging the fact that it would likely be immediately challenged on constitutional grounds.
"This bill is unconstitutional," said Rep. Joe Baca, (D-San Bernardino, CA). "It would change one of the most basic principles that our nation was founded on: If you were born in the United States, you're an American."
"We should ban these types of divisive proposals," Baca continued. "All this bill is meant to do is play on people's fears, incite anger and hate surrounding anti-immigration policies. This bill doesn't do anything to fix our broken immigration system."