Posted by on January 10, 2011 in Blog

Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) recently introduced a bill that would do away with the automatic granting of citizenship to children born in the United States as a first step in tackling immigration reform. Rather, H.R. 140, Rep. King’s Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011, would require that at least one parent of a child born in the United States be a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) in order for that child to become a U.S. citizen.  Otherwise, that child would be undocumented. Basically, Rep. King wants to dismantle the Constitution by changing the 14th Amendment, a document that he took an oath to protect. Additionally, Rep. King continues to utilize the utterly dehumanizing term “anchor baby” in his arguments for wanting to fundamentally change the Constitution and discusses how they are a bane on the economy. 

But is this really immigration reform? Is changing the Constitution an essential step to addressing the problems in the immigration system? Has Rep. King addressed border security, or the backlog in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, has he addressed the growing concern of employer abuse of immigrant labor, has he addressed the conditions in immigrant detention centers? No, he wants to simply restrict citizenship. Restricting citizenship will do nothing to fix the system and will only bring about disunity and division. 

Ironically, Rep. King’s controversial bill may have ruffled some feathers in Congress as well. He was denied the Chairmanship of the Immigration Panel of the House Judiciary Committee. House Judiciary Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) instead chose Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA). While this is likely a step in the right direction, there is no doubt that Rep. King will continue to push his own immigration priorities.  

As we here at AAI stated once before, please support and defend the Constitution, do not tweak it when politically convenient.