AZ State Senator Leads National GOP Group On Quest To End Birthright Citizenship

Yesterday, NDN wrote about Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce taking SB1070 national with his group State Legislators For Legal Immigration.

Well today as it turns out, Pearce and his organization are going to launch an initiative to revoke birthright citizenship. Alia Beard Rau of The Arizona Republic has the full story here:

Republican lawmakers in 15 states Tuesday announced a nationwide effort to change the way the 14th Amendment is interpreted and stop granting citizenship to babies born in the USA to illegal immigrants.

A national coalition called State Legislators for Legal Immigration is coordinating the effort.

Russell Pearce is getting a little help from his buddy Kris Kobach, who is not a state legislator, but is an avid opportunist:

Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce said Kansas lawyer Kris Kobach, who helped draft Arizona's tough immigration law now on appeal in the federal courts, is working with him and Republican state Rep. John Kavanagh to draft a bill that all the states could use as a model on the citizenship issue.

The legislation is ready to go in front of the Arizona legislation in January:

Pearce said a bill draft is written and will be ready for consideration when the Arizona legislative session starts in January.

Pearce also discussed how the legislation would work:

He would not say exactly how they will propose denying citizenship but said the legislation would not be retroactive.

Previous attempts in Arizona have focused on tinkering with state-issued birth certificates.

When asked how the state would prove citizenship in a delivery room, Pearce said delayed birth certificates could be given to allow parents time to gather proof of citizenship.

This process would face considerable federal and constitutional challenges, as birthright citizenship is guaranteed in the 14th Amendment:

States issue birth certificates but citizenship is a federal issue.

The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, states that "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 amendment's primary intent was to guarantee citizenship to African Americans, particularly former slaves. But the question of whether the authors also intended to allow the children of illegal immigrants to become citizens has been a matter of debate.

Some advocates have proposed repealing or changing the 14th Amendment, but both Kavanagh and Pearce said they want the Supreme Court to reconsider its interpretation.

More on this as it develops