Dissatisfied with efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act, some Republicans are trying to bring back slavery. The 14th Amendment guaranteed citizenship rights to the newly freed slaves and reversed the Dred Scott Decision by a conservative Supreme Court.
Section 1. 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told The Hill on Monday that Congress “ought to take a look at” changing the 14th Amendment, which gives the children of illegal immigrants a right to U.S. citizenship.
McConnell’s statement signals growing support within the GOP for the controversial idea, which has also recently been touted by Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
In an interview, McConnell said the 14th Amendment provision should be reconsidered in light of the country’s immigration problem.
McConnell stopped short of echoing Graham’s call for repeal of the amendment.
“I think we ought to take a look at it — hold hearings, listen to the experts on it,” McConnell said. “I haven’t made a final decision about it, but that’s something that we clearly need to look at. Regardless of how you feel about the various aspects of immigration reform, I don’t think anybody thinks that’s something they’re comfortable with.”
During an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Kyl said, “There is a constitutional provision in the 14th Amendment that has been interpreted to provide that, if you are born in the United States, you are a citizen no matter what. … And so the question is, if both parents are here illegally, should there be a reward for their illegal behavior?”
Kyl added that he suggested to Graham that “we should hold some hearings and hear first from the constitutional experts to at least tell us what the state of the law on that proposition is.”
It is unclear when such hearings would occur. Democrats, who control the Senate, set the chamber’s hearing schedule.
Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform strongly oppose the Republican-led effort, which could play a major role in firing up both the left and right this election year.
The escalating debate on the 14th Amendment comes in the wake of the legal battle between Arizona and the federal government over the state’s immigration law.
The idea of repealing the 14th Amendment has picked up steam among conservatives in recent weeks. Rep. Lamar Smith (Texas), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced legislation to deny citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants. The legislation, previously introduced by retired Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.), has 93 co-sponsors.
Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) is the highest-ranking House Republican to formally co-sponsor the measure.
Graham, who had considered working with Democrats on immigration reform earlier this year, told Fox News last week that “birthright citizenship is a mistake.”
“We should change our Constitution and say if you come illegally and you have a child, that child is automatically not a citizen,” Graham said.
McConnell said the Obama administration needs to improve its ability to secure the country’s borders before tackling an amendment repeal.
“That’s how you get the credibility to deal with other aspects of the problem,” he said.
While President Obama’s push for immigration reform is considered dead in the 111th Congress, some Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing for a scaled-back bill to move this fall.
One such option is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) Dream Act, which would give undocumented students the right to apply for permanent residence in the U.S. Durbin’s bill has attracted praise from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), but Durbin has publicly noted that some Democrats are not on board.
Wonder what would happen to Rethuglys if they enforced this part?
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.