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Gutierrez: Dems Should Call Republicans’ Bluff on 14th Amendment

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) today joined the growing list of lawmakers who said they want Congressional hearings on the 14th Amendment, specifically its provisions for providing citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. — including children of illegal immigrants.

But Gutierrez, an outspoken supporter of immigrants’ rights, has a different motivation for supporting hearings: he thinks Republicans are posturing and wants Congressional leaders to “call their bluff“:

Imagine a United States where every birth initiates an investigation to determine the citizenship and immigration status of each parent. Let’s have the hearing so we can take careful notes when the Republican’s witness explains how this government intrusion into maternal and child health — burdening our health care system and discouraging pregnant women from seeking medical care (while perhaps discouraging claims of paternity) — is justified to secure our borders and protect the core liberties of America. I would love to hear the opening remarks of Judiciary Committee Members Lindsey Graham in the Senate or Lamar Smith in the House broadcast live from coast-to-coast on C-SPAN. I can hear it now. “Mr. Chairman, I would like to express my support for a full federal background check and proof of citizenship for every precious human life.”

Republicans have been accused of using the issue to win support from voters, as but as Gutierrez argued, it’s not necessarily a winning political statement. Still, it doesn’t look like many Democrats will be joining Gutierrez in his effort: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), chairman of the subcommittee that would theoretically look into the issue, shot down the idea of hearings to The Plum Line today.

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