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Creating a new class of illegal immigrants.

A plan to challenge the constitutional definition of citizenship has been revealed by State Legislators for Legal Immigration, Cranberry Township, Pa. Insisting that they need to correct a "monumental misapplication of the 14th Amendment" and protect their states from the 'Illegal alien invasion,' the legislators have proposed model legislation intended to spark a Supreme Court ruling to reinterpret the 14th Amendment.

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This legislation will attempt to create a new definition of "state citizenship" and narrow the categories of people who would be citizens at birth--those born to at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen or national, or legal permanent resident. It also would create a "state compact" requiring slates to issue two different types of birth certificates: one for those considered "natural-born U.S. citizens" and another singling out those whom the state does not consider a citizen.

"The proposal is clearly unconstitutional and an embarrassing distraction from the need to reform our nation's immigration laws," responds Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, Washington, D.C. "It constitutes a vicious assault on the U.S. Constitution and flies in the face of generations of efforts to expand civil rights. Moreover, it is an attack on innocent children born in the U.S. who would be confined to a new second-class citizenship and vulnerable to abuse and discrimination.

"While claiming to uphold the Constitution, these legislators have taken a dear stance against American values and principles. In the U.S., we have confirmed a tradition of liberty, equality, and justice, where we are no more able to punish children for the actions of their parents than we are to pass titles of nobility down from one generation to the next," states Johnson.

"Denying citizenship to certain children born in the U.S. would not decrease unauthorized immigration; in fact, it would increase the number of people in the U.S. without legal immigration status--and the impact of this effort would be felt well beyond the undocumented population. Every American parent would have to prove the citizenship status of their children, requiring new documentation and a large government bureaucracy to sort through historical records, immigration documents, and international citizenship laws at taxpayer expense.

"We acknowledge that our immigration laws are badly broken," Johnson concedes, "and we recognize that state and local legislators are frustrated by Congress' unwillingness to reform our immigration system. Rather than challenging Congress to reinterpret the 14th Amendment, we need to redouble our efforts to reform our immigration laws."

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Title Annotation:YOUR LIFE
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2011
Words:418
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