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Poll: Americans favor Steve King’s proposal to end birthright citizenship

A new national poll contends that a vast majority of likely American voters support a plan by U.S. Rep. Steve King to end the practice of automatically endowing U.S. citizenship on an infant born in the country by a woman who entered illegally.

The Rasmussen Reports telephone survey released Tuesday indicates that 61 percent of likely voters believe that a child born in the U.S. to a woman who entered illegally should not automatically become a citizen. The figure is slightly increased from a similar survey in August 2010 and, according to Rasmussen, is the highest level of support seen thus far for changing the law.

King, a Republican who represents Iowa’s 5th District, introduced H.R. 140, Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011, on Jan. 5, 2011. The Iowa Independent contacted his office following release of the Rasmussen results, and in response King issued the following statement:

Americans want their borders secured, and they understand that the practice of granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens undermines border security by encouraging illegal aliens to sneak into the country,” said King. “The current practice of granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens is not mandated by the U.S. Constitution. It is based on a misapplication of the 14th Amendment that needs to be addressed by Congress. We now know that 61% of Americans oppose the practice of granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens, and my legislation, H.R. 140, gives Congress the means to address this issue. It is important that Congress close the birthright citizenship loophole, and this high level of support makes it much more likely that Congress will.

The latest survey results show that only 28 percent of Americans now believe that the current practice of granting birthright citizenship should continue.

King’s proposed legislation has garnered 73 sponsors, although no other member of the Iowa delegation has signed on. It has been referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement where King serves as vice-chairman.

The bill seeks to amend section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act so that a newborn would only become a citizen if one of its parents are a U.S. citizen or national, a lawful permanent resident alien in the U.S. or an alien performing service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

A similar bill, S.723, was introduced earlier this month in the U.S. Senate by Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and has garnered three co-sponsors.

The issue of birthright citizenship, which King has previously referred to as “anchor babies,” has been on King’s to-do list for some time.

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