Graham Wants To Deny American-Born Babies Citizenship
Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren last night that he plans to push a constitutional amendment to remove “birthright citizenship” for children of immigrants born in the U.S.:
“People come here to have babies,” he said. “They come here to drop a child. It’s called “drop and leave.” To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child’s automatically an American citizen. That shouldn’t be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons.”
Plans to remove automatic citizenship for people born in the U.S. are floated from time to time, mostly to combat what Graham called the “drop and leave” phenomenon: immigrants having babies who can later help them obtain citizenship (see also: “anchor babies“). The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., but since children must be 21 to petition for their parents to come to the U.S., immigrant’s rights groups contest the idea that “anchor babies” exist at all.
That hasn’t stopped lawmakers: 92 House members signed on to a 2009 bill that would restrict citizenship to children born to at least one parent who is a citizen, legal permanent resident or military member.
Still, even if these ideas became law — opposition from the left and the difficulty of amending the Constitution virtually assure they would not — the effort would probably be shot down by the Supreme Court. The Court ruled twice in favor of citizenship for people born in the U.S. regardless of their parents’ status.
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