Automatic Citizenship Opposed
Nearly two of three Arizona voters want to deny automatic U.S. citizenship to the babies of illegal immigrants, a survey indicated.
The Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found voters favored a state senator’s proposal not to grant instant citizenship to U.S.-born babies by a 64 percent to 26 percent margin.
Under current U.S. law, any child born in the United States to an illegal immigrant is automatically a U.S. citizen.
Russell Pearce, a Republican state senator, plans to introduce a bill that would deny birth certificates to children born to illegal immigrants.
“I intend to push for an Arizona bill that would refuse to accept or issue a birth certificate that recognizes citizenship to those born to illegal aliens, unless one parent is a citizen,” Senator Pearce wrote in an e-mail to his constituents.
Republicans and Democrats differed in their views, with 84 percent of Republicans saying the children of illegal immigrants born in the United States should not become citizens and Democratic voters split nearly evenly.
The poll also gauged opinion on Arizona’s controversial new immigration law with two-thirds of the respondents in favor of the measure and a scant 24 percent opposed.
The law, which was signed April 23 by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer and takes effect July 29, makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It stipulates a law enforcement officer making a stop or during detention or arrest can request proof of citizenship if the officer has “reasonable suspicion” a person is in the country illegally.
The Obama administration has filed a lawsuit to block the enactment of the Arizona law, arguing that it will “cause the detention and harassment of authorized visitors, immigrants and citizens who do not have or carry identification documents” while altogether ignoring “humanitarian concerns” and harming diplomatic relations.
The Rasmussen results are based on 500 responses to the June 29 survey, which has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.
The legal basis for birthright citizenships derives from the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although the original intent of the 14th Amendment was to give former slaves citizenship after the Civil War including the right to due process, the Amendment has gone on to have far-reaching implications beyond the intent of the writers. The specific part that is being used to justify birthright citizenship comes from Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”
The question facing Arizona legislator is whether illegal aliens are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Illegal aliens do not have the right to vote in federal elections, do not have to register for the draft, and do not pay taxes, unlike American citizens, because they are foreign nationals living within the borders of the United States.
Supporters of birthright citizenship claim that the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States has no real meaning and is just another way of saying “born in the United States.” For illegal alien supporters, they believe the Fourteenth Amendment requires that any child born on U.S. soil be granted U.S. citizenship.