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Anti-Immigration Move to Repeal 14th Amendment Must Be Resisted

August 23, 2010 - Immigration |

As New Jersey immigration lawyers, we strongly resist and oppose any proposed change in the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The 14th amendment automatically grants citizenship to any child born inside the United States. 

In July, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican-South Carolina dropped a bombshell, by announcing that he would consider an amendment that would revoke birthright citizenship to children of illegal immigrants born in the United States.  Currently, these children are eligible for American citizenship.  According to Senator Graham, the mothers of these children arrive in this country, specifically to have their children here.

According to a study by the Pew Hispanic Center, 8% of the approximately 4.3 million babies born in 2008 in the US, had at least one parent who was an illegal immigrant.  That translates into a total of 340,000 babies who automatically qualified for American citizenship, and had a parent who was an illegal immigrant.  The study takes into consideration March 2009 census figures, and states that children of illegal immigrants constituted approximately 7% of the below-18 population in the country.  An overwhelming majority of these children - approximately 79% - are American citizens precisely because they were born in this country.

However, the Pew study does not indicate that most of the mothers of immigrant children came into the country recently.  About 8% of the mothers in the study had been in the country for more than a year, and more than 50% of them had actually been in the country for five years.  There goes that theory about women coming into the country specifically to “drop babies“ as Senator Graham put it.

As New Jersey immigration attorneys, we believe that the question of amending the Constitution to repeal the 14th amendment should not even arise.  There's nothing to indicate that the 14th amendment is being used specifically by large armies of foreign women, who walk through our borders simply to deliver babies and obtain US citizenship for them.  This is one of those knee-jerk reactions to the immigration issue that benefits no one.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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