The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A pair of Republican congressmen from Georgia is co-sponsoring legislation aimed at denying automatic birthright citizenship to the American-born children of illegal immigrants.
Reps. Phil Gingrey, of Marietta, and Rob Woodall, of Lawrenceville, put their names on House Resolution 140, also called the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011.
The bill would require that a child born here also have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen or national; a legal resident; or “an alien performing active service in the armed forces” in order to be considered a citizen. U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, filed the bill this week. Another co-sponsor is Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif.
“Throughout my time in Congress, combating illegal immigration has always been a high priority of mine,” Gingrey said in a prepared statement. “Addressing the birthright citizenship issue needs to be at the forefront of this effort.”
Woodall said: “An important part of immigration reform must be removing the incentives that are in place encouraging illegal immigration. Representative King’s bill is a good step in that direction.”
A coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups called Americans for Constitutional Citizenship issued a statement this week, calling the measure unconstitutional and un-American.
“Our country went through the atrocities of slavery and the bloodiest war in its history to settle this question with the adoption of the 14th Amendment,” the group’s statement says. “Citizenship for all those born in the U.S. is the foundation of American identity and the cornerstone of our civil rights laws. For those reasons, our diverse coalition has come together to oppose — in the strongest possible terms — any legislation at the state or federal level that would seek to undermine the citizenship guarantee of the U.S. Constitution.”